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Emoia veracunda BROWN, 1953

IUCN Red List - Emoia veracunda - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Tropical Emo Skink 
SynonymEmoia baudini veracunda BROWN 1953
Emoia veracunda — MYS 1988: 137
Emoia verecunda [sic] — MARX 1958
Emoia veracunda — BROWN 1991 
DistributionPapua New Guinea, Irian Jaya

Type locality: Australian New Guinea, Sepik River, Marienberg  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 65302 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: A small Emoia that differs from the typical race primarily in generally lower number of midbody scale rows (30-32; mean, 31.1±+0.316); lower number of scale rows along the middorsal line from the parietals to the base of the tail (45-47; mean, 45.4+0.275); and the generally greater number of lamellae beneath the toes (30-36; mean, 32.6+/-0.805). See table 2 (Brown 1953: 6).

DESCRIPTION: A small Emoia (mature individuals measure 31 to 52 mm. fromsnouttovent);habitusmoderatelyslender;thesnoutroundpointed and only moderately depressed; the anterior loreal shorter and broader (higher) than the posterior, in contact with the supranasal; the prefrontals generally separate (in contact in only three of 42 specimens checked); supranasals narrow, elongate; the supralabial beneath the orbit (generally the fifth) largest, its length more than half of its distance from the rostral; interparietal absent; frontal shorter than the frontoparietals; a single pair of nuchals; 10 to 12, occasionally 13 rows of scales across the nape from ear opening to ear opening; number of rows of scales around the middle of the body 32-38; for 56 specimens, one specimen with 42; number of lamellae beneath the fourth toe 33-41 for 57 specimens (fig. 5); number of rows of scales along the middorsal line from the parietals to the base of the tail 46-56 for 54 specimens; limbswelldeveloped,thelengthofthehindlimbslightlylesstoslightly greaterthanthedistancefromtheaxillatothegroin(46.8to52.9;mean, 49.6 per cent ± 1.513 for 26 specimens) (Brown 1953: 8).

COLOR: The color (in preservative) on the dorsum is generally greenish, greenish brown, or tan, occasionally grayish or dusky. This dorsal band is six to six and two-half scale rows wide on the body, four and two-half scale rows wide at the nape. It is generally marked by two longitudinal rows of brown spots, widely scattered or at times almost forming a stripe on either side posterior to the region of the fore limbs. Thus the broad dorsal band is more or less broken into a central light stripe about two scale rows in width and a dorsolateral light stripe, one plus scale rows in width, a condition that also obtains in E. mivarti. The lateral surfaces are brown at least to the level of the limbs or generally more ventrad; broken by a narrow, somewhat iregular, whitish line (one-half, one, or two-half rows in width, extending from the ear region, not from the tip of the snout) posteriorly above the fore limb to the groin. This dark brown band on the upper, lateral surfaces of the body, which is four to five or possibly six scale rows in width, extends posteriorly on the tail, gradually tapering and fading, and anteriorly on the head, where it also fades somewhat. The lateral white line is continuous with a white diagonal line on the upper fore limb and generally a pale line on the upper hind limb. (See fig. 6.) The venter is bluish or greenish whitetodarkgrayish,apparentlydependinguponconditionsofpreservation. The limbs are generally brownish on the upper surfaces, more or les flecked with light and dark. The toes are frequently white-tipped as noted by Mehely (1898, p. 169) (Brown 1953: 8).

VARIATION: There is only moderate variation in the scale counts or general color pattern in the collections examined in the present study as shown in table 3. Four specimens from Jobi Island are tentatively referred to this subspecies, since the white line on the lateral surface tends to be broken, and in general they are lighter in color. The specimens from Kokoda and Mt. Wilhelm, having fewer lamellae and lacking the dark bars on the lips, are questionable (Brown 1953: 9). 
  • 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
  • Brown, Walter C. 1953. Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 69 A review of New Guinea lizards allied to Emoia baudini and Emoia physicae (Scincidae). American Museum Novitates (1627): 1-25 - 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
  • Marx,H. 1958. Catalogue of type specimens of reptiles and amphibians in Chicago Natural History Museum. Fieldiana Zool. 36: 407-496 - get paper here
  • Mys, Benoit 1988. The zoogeography of the scincid lizards from North Papua New Guinea (Reptilia: Scincidae). I. The distribution of the species. Bull. Inst. Roy. Sci. Nat. Belgique (Biologie) 58: 127-183
  • Read, John L. 1998. Reptiles and amphibians of the Kau Wildlife Area near Madang: a valuable conservation resource. Science in New Guinea 23 (3): 145-152
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