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Ctenotus piankai STORR, 1969

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Course Sand Ctenotus 
SynonymCtenotus piankai STORR 1969: 106
Ctenotus piankai piankai — STORR 1975: 238
Ctenotus piankai — COGGER 1983: 150
Ctenotus piankai — COGGER 2000: 437
Ctenotus piankai — RABOSKY et al. 2017: 14 
DistributionAustralia (NW and W Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia, and Queensland)

Type locality: 24 mi ENE of Laverton, 28°31’ S, 122°45’ E, W. A.  
TypesHolotype: WAM R30000 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small-bodied (to 53 mm SVL), elongate Ctenotus, nasals in contact, prefrontals in contact, 22 or 24 midbody scale rows, 18–23 compressed lamellae under toes with obtuse keel, usually eight supralabial and supraciliary scales; pattern including six (occasionally eight) pale narrow longitudinal stripes on a reddish-brown dorsum, at most a single upper mid-lateral row of spots or dashes, dorsal stripes not continuing on head to snout, tail not red or blue, pale lateral stripe approximately twice as wide as pale paravertebral and dorsolateral stripes, dark vertebral stripe terminates on nuchals (not contacting parietals), pale dorsolateral stripe not continuing anteriorly to eye (broken), pale upper lateral stripe between ear and forelimb usually continuous, lower lateral stripe (if present) on fore-body solid or broken, pale paravertebral stripes join on tail at or posterior to level of heel of extended hind limb, lower labial scales immaculate.

Diagnosis and description: Storr 1975: 238 
CommentAbundance: common, with more than 900 specimens collected (Pianka 2011)

Subspecies: Ctenotus piankai duricola STORR 1975: 239 has been elevated to full species.

Habitat: sand dunes and plains with spinifex grasses (especially Triodia basedowii), with which they are closely associated (Pianka 1986).

Diet: probably true bugs (Hemiptera) and spiders (Pianka 1986; Goodyear & Pianka 2011).

Limb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014)

Distribution: see map in Singhal et al. 2022: Fig. 2. 
EtymologyNamed after Eric R. Pianka (born 1939), American herpetologist at the University of Texas. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • Dittmer, D. E., Chapman, T. L. & Bidwell, J. R. 2020. In the shadow of an iconic inselberg: Uluru’s shadow influences climates and reptile assemblage structure at its base. J. Arid Environ. 181, 104179 (2020) - get paper here
  • Goodyear, Stephen E. and Eric R. Pianka 2011. Spatial and Temporal Variation in Diets of Sympatric Lizards (Genus Ctenotus) in the Great Victoria Desert, Western Australia. Journal of Herpetology 45 (3): 265-271. - get paper here
  • Gynther, Ian; Harry Hines, Alex Kutt, Eric Vanderduys and Megan Absolon 2009. A verteAbrate faunavsurvey of Cravetns Peak Rbeserver, farawestetrn Qeueenslanfd auna survey of Cravens Peak Reserve, far western Queensland. Cravens Peak Scientific Study Report - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. 1969. Sympatry of desert lizards (Ctenotus) in Western Australia. Ecology 50: 1012-1030 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. 1986. Ecology and Natural History of Desert Lizards. Analyses of the Ecological Niche and Community Structure. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey - get paper here
  • RABOSKY, DANIEL L.; PAUL DOUGHTY, HUATENG HUANG 2017. Lizards in pinstripes: morphological and genomic evidence for two new species of scincid lizards within Ctenotus piankai Storr and C. duricola Storr (Reptilia: Scincidae) in the Australian arid zone. Zootaxa 4303 (1): 001–026 - get paper here
  • Singhal, S., Solis, E., & Rabosky, D. L. 2022. World Heritage lizard: population genetics and species status of the range-restricted Hamelin skink, Ctenotus zastictus. Bulletin of the Society of Systematic Biologists, 1(2) - get paper here
  • Singhal, Sonal; Huateng Huang, Maggie R. Grundler, María R. Marchán-Rivadeneira, Iris Holmes, Pascal O. Title, Stephen C. Donnellan, and Daniel L. Rabosky 2018. Does Population Structure Predict the Rate of Speciation? A Comparative Test across Australia’s Most Diverse Vertebrate Radiation. The American Naturalist - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1969. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the Eastern Division of Western Australia. J. Royal Soc. Western Australia 51: 97-109 - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1970. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the Northern Territory. J. Royal Soc. Western Australia 52: 97-108 [1969] - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1978. Notes on the Ctenotus (Lacertilia, Scincidae) of Queensland. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 6 (3): 319-332 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1975. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the Kimberley and North-west Divisions of Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 3: 209-243 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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