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Ctenotus strauchii (BOULENGER, 1887)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesCtenotus strauchii strauchii (BOULENGER 1887)
Ctenotus strauchii varius STORR 1981 
Common NamesE: Eastern Barred Wedge-snout Ctenotus 
SynonymLygosoma strauchi BOULENGER 1887: 229
Lygosoma (Sphenomorphus) strauchi — SMITH 1937: 220
Ctenotus strauchii strauchii — STORR 1981
Ctenotus strauchii — COGGER 1983: 153
Ctenotus strauchii — COGGER 2000: 446
Ctenotus strauchii — WILSON & SWAN 2010

Ctenotus strauchii varius STORR 1981: 139
Ctenotus strauchii varius — WILSON & SWAN 2013: 242 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia,)

Type locality: Gayndah, Qld.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.19.66
Holotype: AMS R49507 (Australian Museum), collected on 14 October 1975 by H.G. Cogger and P. Webber [varius] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (strauchi): “A sharply patterned member of the C. schomburgkii group with nasals in contact, prefrontals widely separated, second supraocular usually narrower than third, ear lobules very small, and subdigital keels fine and mucronate.” (Storr 1981)

Description (strauchi): “Snout-vent length (mm): 30-52 (N 19, mean 41.8). Length of appendages (% SVL): foreleg 22-29 (N 18, mean 25.8), hindleg 33-48 (N 18, mean 40.4), tail 135-187 (N 7, mean 159.0). Nasals in short to moderately long contact. Prefrontals widely to very widely separated. Supraoculars 4, first 3 in contact with frontal; second narrower than third (N 13) or about as wide (3) or slightly wider (2). Supra-ciliaries 6 (N 2) or 7 (16), fourth to penultimate usually much smaller than others. Upper ciliaries 9 or 10 (N 15, mean 9.5). Second loreal1.2-1.8 times as wide as high (N 17, mean 1.47). Presuboculars 2. Upper labials 7 (N 16) or 8 (3). Ear lobules 2-5 (N 18, mean 3.2), obtuse, very small. Nuchals 3-5 (N 17, mean 3.5). Midbody scale rows 26-32 (N 18, mean 28.5). Lamellae under fourth toe 14-22 (N 18, mean 18.1), each with a fine, mucronate, greyish-brown keel.” (Storr 1981)

Coloration (strauchi): “Head dark olive-brown (paler in far west of range) and tail pale brown. Back brown with or without a narrow, black, pale-edged vertebral stripe from nape to base of tail. Narrow or wide black laterodorsal stripe from above eye to base of tail, enclosing a series of pale spots, dots or short dashes. Narrow white dorsolateral stripe from above eye to tail (on which it becomes wider and suffused with brown; except in AM R62861 where it is replaced by a series of short white oblique dashes). Black upper lateral zone from orbit to base of tail, enclosing a series of small whitish spots or 1-3 series of whitish dots that tend to align vertically; represented on tail and sometimes on lore by a dark brown stripe. White midlateral stripe from bottom of loreals to base of tail, branches encircling ear aperture. Narrow black or greyish-brown lower lateral zone, sometimes enclosing small irregular white spots; represented on upper and lower lips by a dark stripe. Upper surface of limbs pale brown, streaked or mottled with black. Plantar scales wholly white.” (Storr 1981)

Diagnosis (varius): “Distinguished from C. s. strauchii and C. allotropis by its pale coloration, diffuse colour pattern, more numerous presuboculars and upper labials, supraciliaries decreasing gradually in size from first to penultimate, and ear lobules more disparate in size. Further distinguishable from C. allotropis by its sharply keeled subdigital lamellae.” (Storr 1981)

Description (varius): “Snout-vent length (mm): 33-56 (N 30, mean 46.7). Length of appendages (% SVL): foreleg 21-29 (N 29, mean 24.4), hindleg 32-42 (N 29, mean 36.8), tail 126-173 (N 15, mean 148.4). Nasals in short to moderately long contact (N 31) or narrowly separated (1). Prefrontals moderately to widely separated. Supraoculars 4 with first 3 in contact with frontal (N 29) or 5 with first 4 in contact with frontal (2), second usually much narrower than first. Supraciliaries 6-9 (seldom more than 7, N 30, mean 6.6). Upper ciliaries 8-13 (N 28, mean 9.4). Second loreal 1.1-1.9 times as wide as high (N 30, mean 1.60). Presuboculars usually 3 (with second small and wedged in between top of first and top of third), occasionally 2, rarely 1. Upper labials 7-9 (N 30, mean 8.0). Ear lobules 2-4 (N 30, mean 2.8), short, obtuse or subacute, first or second much larger than others. Nuchals 1-5 (N 29, mean 3.2). Midbody scale rows 25-32 (N 29, mean 28.4). Lamellae under fourth toe 16-21 (N 30, mean 18.1), each with a fine mucronate keel.” (Storr 1981)

Coloration (varius): “Ground colour of head and back pale olive-grey, pale reddish-brown or pale buffy-brown, of tail pale reddish-brown. Black dorsal markings highly variable: occasionally a narrow vertebral stripe and on each side a narrow dorsal stripe; usually a laterodorsal series of irregular spots or short transverse bars. White dorsolateral stripe from above lore or eye to base of tail, usually narrow and continuous. Upper lateral zone black, occasionally enclosing 1-3 series of small pale spots, but usually broken up into a series of narrowly vertical bars or approximately rectangular blotches, alternating with bars of dorsal ground colour similar in size and shape to black bars; represented on lore by narrow black stripe, and on tail by a series of squarish brown spots. Narrow white midlateral stripe. Narrow grey lower lateral zone usually present.” (Storr 1981) 
CommentLimb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
EtymologyNamed after Alexander Strauch (1832-1893), Russian zoologist.

No etymology given for varius, but apparently after its variable (or divergent) color pattern. 
References
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - 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. J.; Amey, A. P.; Kutt, A. S. 2002. A new species of Ctenotus (Scincidae) from central Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 48(1):85-92 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Prates, I., Singhal, S., Marchán-Rivadeneira, M. R., Grundler, M. R., Moritz, C., Donnellan, S., & Rabosky, D. 2021. Genetic and Ecogeographic Controls on Species Cohesion in Australia’s Most Diverse Lizard Radiation. American Naturalist 199 (2): E57-E75 - 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
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • 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 1981. Ten new Ctenotus (Lacertilia: Scincidae) from Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 9 (2): 125-146 - 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
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
 
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