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Ctenotus vertebralis RANKIN & GILLAM, 1979

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Scant-striped Ctenotus 
SynonymCtenotus vertebralis RANKIN & GILLAM 1979
Minervascincus vertebralis — WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 35
Ctenotus vertebralis — COGGER 2000: 449
Ctenotus vertebralis — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory)

Type locality: Arnold River, Cox River Station, in 15° 43’ S, 134° 32’ E, N. T.  
TypesHolotype: NTM R34521 (formerly CAM R410), collected M.W. Gillam, 5.vii.1977. Paratypes: AMS, ANWC, NTM-AS) 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: Ctenotus vertebra/is is a moderately small (up to 55 mm SVL), slender species with sparse patterning. It is distinguished from all other described members of the genus by the following suite of characters: a very distinct black vertebral stripe, often pale edged, extending well onto the tail; no distinct pale blotches on upper lateral or outer vertebral zone; no more than 6 narrow pale longitudinal stripes, including pale edges (when present) on black vertebral stripe (often fewer than six when lateral pattern is absent) (Fig. 1.); presuboculars almost invariably 2; supraoculars 4, second largest; supraciliaries subequal in vertical depth; prefrontals rarely in contact; subdigitallamellae moderately compressed, dark; claws on hindlimb sabre-like (see Rankin, 1978, Rankin & Gillam 1979). 
CommentLimb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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