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Ctenotus severus STORR, 1969

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Stern Ctenotus 
SynonymCtenotus severus STORR 1969: 101
Ctenotus severus — COGGER 1983: 153
Minervascincus severus — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 35
Ctenotus severus — COGGER 2000: 443
Ctenotus severus — COUPER et al. 2006
Ctenotus severus — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: Galena, W. A.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.15.45
Holotype: WAM R24239 [saxatilis]
Holotype: WAM R25680 [severus]
Holotype: WAM R30004 [helenae]
Holotype: WAM R33780 [fallens]
Holotype: NMV D13944 [brachyonyx] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: in Rabosky et al. 2014, Storr 1969: 101.

Diagnosis: “A member of the lesueurii group, inornatus sub-group, with vertebral stripe faint, short or absent; dark laterodorsal stripe very wide; and conspicuous white dorsolateral line separated from dark upper lateral zone by narrow hiatus of dorsal ground colour.” (Storr 1975: 224)

Description: “Snout-vent (mm): 44-90 (70.7). Length of appendages (% SVL): foreleg 19-27 (24.2), hindleg 34-47 (42.6), tail 196-248 (217).
Nasals usually separated (86% of specimens), occasionally just touching or forming a median suture. Prefrontals usually forming a median suture (88%), occasionally separated very narrowly. Supraoculars 4, first 3 in contact with frontal, first narrower than second (disparity not so marked as in inornatus and northern (aliens). Supraciliaries usually 7, occasionally 8, rarely 6, mean 7.2, fourth to penultimate markedly to slightly smaller than others. Palpebrals 9-13 (10.7). Second loreal 1.2-2.3 (1.41) times as wide as high. Upper labials usually 8, occasionally 9, mean 8.2. Ear lobules 3-7 (4.9). Nuchals usually 3 (86% of specimens), occasionally 2 Or 4, mean 3.0. Mid-body scale rows 28-32 (30.0). Lamellae under fourth toe 18-23 (20.8), smooth or widely callose.
Dorsal ground colour very variable, e.g. greyish, dark olive brown, dark reddish brown or bright pale brown. Obscure dark brown or blackish vertebral line, usually present only on neck (where very rarely it is narrowly white-edged). Broad dark brown or blackish laterodorsal stripe from occiput to base of tail. Narrower but more conspicuous white dorsolateral stripe from above and behind eye to base of tail, anteriorly and posteriorly suffused with brown. Obscure whitish midlateral stripe from ear to groin, above and below which ground colour is broken by pale dots or small spots of irregular shape and arrangement.” (Storr 1975: 224) 
CommentSynonymy: Rabosky et al. (2014) found no genetic pattern that differentiated inornatus from helenae, saxatilis, serverus, fallens, or brachyonyx and thus synonymized them with inornatus.

Habitat: Triodia sandplains and flat rocky areas (Shea et al., 1988).

Behavior: The species is active during the day and terrestrial (Shea et al. 1988).

NCBI tax IDs: saxatilis = 480777 (Reptile Database ID = 12842), severus = 480783 (12848), helenae = 480746 (12802), fallens = 480739 (12794), brachyonyx = no NCBI (12778). Note that NCBI tax IDs are not preserved once species get synonymized. If any of them get revalidated they will get new NCBI IDs.

Limb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
  • Barr, J; Somaweera, R & Bateman, P W 2018. Ctenotus fallens (West Coast Ctenotus) Anomalous death through use of modelling clay for research. Herpetological Review 49 (2): 327-328 - 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
  • D'Amore, Domenic Corvasce; David Meadows, Simon Clulow, Jeremiah Sean Doody, David Rhind, Colin McHenry 2018. Increasing dietary breadth through allometry: bite forces in sympatric Australian skinks. Herpetology Notes 11: 179-187 - get paper here
  • Even,Eddy 2005. Reptielen zoeken in Australië. Lacerta 63 (2): 48-65 - get paper here
  • Glauert, L. 1952. Herpetological miscellanea. l. Notes of some forms of Diplodactylus. Some new western Australian lizards. Western Australian Naturalist 3: 166—168 [1951] - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2020. An annotated list of reptiles and amphibians from the 1905 Hamburg expedition to southwest Australia deposited in the Zoological Museum Hamburg. Evolutionary Systematics 4: 61 - 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. 1972. Zoogeography and speciation of Australian desert lizards: an ecological perspective. Copeia 1972 (1): 127-144 - get paper here
  • Prates, I., Hutchinson, M. N., Singhal, S., Moritz, C., & Rabosky, D. L. 2023. Notes from the taxonomic disaster zone: Evolutionary drivers of intractable species boundaries in an Australian lizard clade (Scincidae: Ctenotus). Molecular Ecology, 00, 1–25
  • Punzo, Fred & Sonia Madragon 2002. Spatial learning in Australian skinks of the genus Ctenotus (Scincidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 23 (2): 233-238 - get paper here
  • Rabosky DL, Hutchinson MN, Donnellan SC, Talaba AL, Lovette IJ 2014. Phylogenetic disassembly of species boundaries in a widespread group of Australian skinks (Scincidae: Ctenotus). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 77: 71-82; doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2014.03.026 - get paper here
  • Rankin P R; Gillam M W 1979. A new lizard in the genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) from the Northern Territory with notes on its biology. Rec. Austral. Mus. 32 (15): 501-511 - get paper here
  • Sadlier, Ross 1987. The scincid lizard Ctenotus brachyonyx Storr in N.S.W. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 17 (1-2): 22-24
  • 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 1978. Ctenotus rubicundus, a new scincid lizard from Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 6 (3): 333-335 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1971. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in South Australia. Rec. South Austral. Mus. 16 (6): 1-15 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1974. The genus Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in the South-west and Eucla Divisions of Western Australia. J R. Soc. West. Aust. 56: 86-93 [1973]
  • 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., Smith, L. A. & Johnstone, R. E. 1981. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Perth: University of Western Australia Press and Western Australian Museum, 200 pp.
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Virens, Josef; Robert A Davis, Tim S Doherty 2017. Two records of amelanism in the Australian skink Ctenotus fallens (Storr, 1974). Herpetology Notes 10: 453-455 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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