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Emoia adspersa (STEINDACHNER, 1870)

IUCN Red List - Emoia adspersa - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Steindachner's Emo Skink 
SynonymEumeces (Mabuya) adspersus STEINDACHNER 1870: 430
Euprepes (Mabuia) parvisquameus PETERS 1874: 160
Mabouia parvisquamis — MÜLLER 1880
Eumeces microlepis FISCHER 1886: 58 (fide BROWN 1991)
Emoia adspersa — SMITH 1937: 226
Emoia adspersa — GREER 1974: 20
Emoia adspersa — AUSTIN & ZUG 1999
Emoia adspersa — RICHMOND et al. 2021 
DistributionWestern Samoa, a few small islands from Tuvalu to Tokelau (endemic), Tonga, Fiji (fide SMITH 1937), Cook Islands, Wallis-Futuna, Ellice

Type locality: Samoa  
TypesHolotype: NMW 16623
Holotype: lost (was: MTD (= MTKD)) [Eumeces microlepis FISCHER 1886] 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: SVL 63.0-81.0 mm for 24 females and 64.0-85.0 mm for 22 males; snout bluntly rounded, its length 37-44% of HL and 53-64% of HB; HB 64-75% of HL and 13-1 7% of SVL; eye 70-78% of snout length and 37-45% of HB; rostral truncate dorsally, in broad contact with frontonasal; supranasals triangular, not in contact with anterior loreal; prefrontals separated; interparietal moderately large, longer than broad; one pair of nuchals; anterior loreal shorter and higher than posterior; seven or eight upper labials, usually sixth enlarged and below eye; six or seven lower labials; dorsal scales smooth; midbody scale rows 50-60 (x̅ = 54.8; SD = 2.45; n = 26); dorsal rows 93-114(x̅ = 102.8; SD = 4.708; n = 25); length of extended hindlimb 76-92% of axilla-groin distance and 36-45% of SVL; rounded lamellae under fourth toe 23-3 1(x̅ = 27.4; SD = 1.414; n = 25). (Brown 1991)

COLOR (in preservative). Dorsal ground color olive-green to olive-brown, usually with scattered dark blotches covering one to three scales; dark brown to blackish band present on upper lateral surface, from four to 10 scales in breadth, but with uneven edge between ear and forelimb, continuing as more or less solid band from forelimb to groin or broken into irregular series of dark blotches (Fig. 2a), dark band often bordered dorsally by series of light (bluish white or grayish) faint or sharp dashes, one or two scales in breadth and two to four or five scales in length; dorsal surface of tail and limbs have scattered dark spots; lower lateral surfaces and undersurface of head and throat bluish gray; venter dirty ivory diffused with bluish gray. (Brown 1991)

COMPARISONS. As pointed out by Schwaner and Brown (1984), the two species (adspersa and lawesi) differ primarily in features of the color pattern, SVL, size of eye (see ratios in descriptions), and means for number of subdigital lamellae (t = 7.492; df = 71; P = <0.001). (Brown 1991) 
CommentDistribution: see map in Richmond et al. 2021: Fig. 2. 
  • Adler,G.H.; Austin,C.C. & Dudley,R. 1995. Dispersal and speciation of skinks among archipelagos in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Evolutionary Ecology 9: 529-541 - get paper here
  • Austin,C.C. & Zug,G.R. 1999. Molecular and morphological evolution in the south-central Pacific skink Emoia tongana (Reptilia: Squamata): uniformity and human-mediated dispersal. Austral. J. Zool. 47: 425-437 - get paper here
  • Brown W C 1991. Lizards of the genus Emoia (Scincidae) with observations on their evolution and biogeography. MEMOIRS OF THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (No. 15) 1991: i-vi, 1-94 - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E.; Burt, May Danheim 1932. Herpetological results of the Whitney South Sea Expedition. VI. Pacific island amphibians and reptiles in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 63 (5): 461-597 - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Gill B J. 1993. The Land Reptiles of Western Samoa. Journal of the Royal Society Of New Zealand 23 (2): 79-89. - get paper here
  • Gill B J. Rinke D R. Zug G R. 1994. Emoia adspersa (Lacertilia: Scincidae): Confirmed in Tonga. RECORDS OF THE AUCKLAND INSTITUTE AND MUSEUM 31: 215-217.
  • Greer, A.E. 1974. The generic relationships of the scincid lizard genus Leiolopisma and its relatives. Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 1-67. - get paper here
  • Higgins, H. 1943. A Few Reptiles from Western Samoa. Copeia 1943 (1): 59 - get paper here
  • Müller, F. 1880. Erster Nachtrag zum Katalog der herpetologischen Sammlung des Basler Museums. Verh. Naturf. Ges. Basel 7: 120-165 - get paper here
  • Peters,W.H.C. 1874. Über neue Reptilien (Peropus, Agama, Euprepes, Lygosoma, Typhlops, Heterolepis) der herpetologischen Sammlung des Berliner zoologischen Museums. M. Ber. k. preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1874: 159-164 - get paper here
  • Richmond, J. Q., Wostl, E., Reed, R. N., & Fisher, R. N. 2021. Range eclipse leads to tenuous survival of a rare lizard species on a barrier atoll. Oryx, 1-10 - 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
  • Steindachner, F. 1870. Herpetologische Notizen (Il). Reptilien gesammelt Während einer Reise in Sengambien. Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, 62: 326-348. - get paper here
  • Zug, G. R., I. Ineich, G. Pregill, and A. M. Hamilton. 2012. Lizards of Tonga and a description of a new Tongan treeskink (Squamata: Scincidae: Emoia samoensis Group). Pacific Science 66(2):225-237 - get paper here
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