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Dasia olivacea GRAY, 1839

IUCN Red List - Dasia olivacea - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae (Mabuyini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Olive Dasia, Olive Tree Skink
G: Olivfarbener Baumskink 
SynonymDasia olivacea GRAY 1839: 331
Euprepes Ernesti DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 696
Eurepis microcephalus HALLOWELL 1856: 155 (unclear, see comment)
Eurepes olivaceus — GÜNTHER 1864
Tiliqua olivacea — STOLICZKA 1870
Eurepes olivaceus — STOLICZKA 1873
Tiliqua sulcata PETERS — FISCHER 1885: 3
Lygosoma olivaceum — BOULENGER 1887: 251
Diploglossus microcephalus — BOULENGER 1887: 504
Mabuia saravacensis BARTLETT 1895
Lygosoma (Kineuxia) olivaceum — WERNER 1900: 488
Lygosoma olivaceum — SHELFORD 1901: 54
Dasia olivaceum — TAYLOR 1922
Mabuia wirzi ROUX 1925
Lygosoma olivaceum — DAMMERMAN 1929
Dasia olivacea — SMITH 1935: 277
Dasia microcephalus — SMITH 1942
Dasia microcephalus — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 214
Dasia olivacea — TAYLOR 1963: 961
Dasia olivacea — HENDRICKSON 1966: 66
Dasia olivacea — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 260
Dasia olivacea — COX et al. 1998: 113
Dasia olivacea — MALKMUS et al. 2002: 273
Dasia olivacea — GRISMER 2011
Dasia olivacea — GRISMER & QUAH 2019 
DistributionIndia: Nicobar Islands, Philippine I, Natuna I, Singapore,
Myanmar (= Burma) (Tenasserim), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, West Malaysia (Pulau Pangkor, Pulau Tioman, Johor: Pulau Sibu), Indonesia (Borneo, Sumatra, Pulau Simeulue, Nias, Singkep, Sembilan Islands, Java, Bali), Philippines (incl. Mindoro).

Type locality: Prince of Wales’ Island (= Pulau Pinang, West Malaysia)  
TypesHolotype: lost (fide NGUYEN et al. 2009), originally FPM.
Holotype: ANSP 9531; SMITH & TAYLOR (1950: 214) state that “the type is not in good condition (portions of the head mutilated) but appears to belong to a non-American genus, probably Dasia. It may possibly be one of the original series of three specimens of Peale and Green’s Scincus ventralis, since only two of them are now present in the series labeled as cotypes, and thus would be explained Hallowell’s citation of Scincus ventralis as a synonym of this species. It is also possible that a confusion of specimes occurred, the original Gerrhonotus being exchanged for the present type of microcephalus, which Hallowell erroneously thought was one of Peale and Green’s cotypes. One of these alternatives must be true: either a peculiar skink, unknown except by the type of microcephalus, occurs in Mexico, or else some shift of specimens occurred in the Philadelphia Academy collections (ANSP) between 1830 and 1856. We favor the latter alternative.” [Eurepis microcephalus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): large sized skink (snout vent length in an adult specimen more than 100 mm); body robust; limbs well developed, overlapping, when adpressed, tip of fourth toe reaching palm; dorsal scales with multiple keels; supranasals present; tympanum deeply sunk; lower eyelid scaly, lacking a transparent window; crossbands present in an adult specimen; one pair of nuchal scales; interparietal completely separating parietals; pterygoid teeth present. [from Geissler & Kuper 2019, following Greer 1970 and Grismer 2011]

Greer 1970 presents a table with diagnostic characters for the genera Dasia, Lamprolepis, and Apterygodon (now a synonym of Dasia).

Ontogenetic change: the juveniles are banded while the adults are (usually) speckled or almost uniformly brown/bronze dorsally and greenish ventrally. 
CommentSynonymy partly after SMITH 1935 and MANTHEY 1983. The status of Eurepis microcephalus (type locality: “Mexico”) remains unclear (WERMUTH 1969). SMITH & TAYLOR 1950 suggested that it may be a member of Dasia but even that is unclear (see type information) Not listed by Liner 1994 nor Liner 2007.

Type species: Dasia olivacea is the type species of the genus Dasia GRAY 1839. A summary of diagnostic features of the genus is provided by DAREVSKY & ORLOV 1994. The gender of Dasia is feminine.

Distribution: Has been erroneously reported from Sri Lanka, but not present there (SOMAWEERA & SOMAWEERA 2009). Reported from but not listed by DAS 1999 for the Andaman Islands. 
EtymologyThe name olivacea is formed from the Latin word oliva (olive tree) and refers to the characteristic olive color of this species. 
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