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Eremiascincus musivus MECKE, DOUGHTY & DONNELLAN, 2009

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Mosaic desert skink
G: Mosaik-Wüstenskink 
SynonymEremiascincus musivus MECKE, DOUGHTY & DONNELLAN 2009
Eremiascincus musivus — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: 20 km ENE Karratha at 20°47'10"S, 116°38'29"E.  
Reproductionoviparous (Mecke et al. 2016) 
TypesHolotype: WAM R165266 m (M). Collected by Roy Teale on 31 October 2005. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small, slender Eremiascincus (maximum SVL 59.2 mm), distinguished from other members of the genus by the following combination of characters: ground colour reddish to yellowish brown with a characteristic, consistent dorsal pattern of numerous whitish and dark spots often aligning to form short streaks in an irregular, diffuse reticulum; the presence of a pale vertebral stripe running from the neck to the base of tail (occasionally extending to tail); narrow, wavy, dark bands on the tail (~ 35), which are divided medially and interspaces between these dark bands, which consist of dark-edged pale scales in a single row; homogenous, smooth scales on the dorsum and tail; scales along the top of fourth toe with oblique sutures on basal quarter to third of digit, followed by single rows of scales with transverse sutures; 4TLam undivided and only feebly keeled; plantar scales 10-15; small circular ear opening; MBSR 29–34, PVS 52–62; SupraLab usually 7; 3 chin shields and 1 median chin shield. 
CommentHabitat: desert shrublands and coastal sands of the northern Pilbara.

Limb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
EtymologyThe specific epithet (from Latin, meaning ‘tessellated’) refers to the unique dorsal colour pattern formed by numerous whitish and dark spots. Used as a noun in apposition. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Mecke, S., M. Kieckbusch, T. Graf, L. A. Beck, M. O’Shea & H. Kaiser 2016. First captive breeding of a night skink (Scincidae: Eremiascincus) from Timor-Leste, Lesser Sunda Islands, with remarks on the reproductive biology of the genus. Salamandra 52 (2): 178-188 - get paper here
  • Mecke, S; Dougherty, P. & Donnellan, S.C. 2009. A new species of Eremiascincus (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) from the Great Sandy Desert and Pilbara Coast, Western Australia and reassignment of eight species from Glaphyromorphus to Eremiascincus. Zootaxa 2246: 1-20 - get paper here
  • Mecke, Sven & Paul Doughty 2018. A new species of Eremiascincus (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae) from the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Vertebrate Zoology 68 (1): 27–37
  • MECKE, SVEN; PAUL DOUGHTY, STEPHEN C. DONNELLAN 2013. Redescription of Eremiascincus fasciolatus (Günther, 1867) (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) with clarification of its synonyms and the description of a new species. Zootaxa 3701 (5): 473–517 - 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
  • Skinner, Adam; Mark N. Hutchinson, Michael S.Y. Lee 2013. Phylogeny and Divergence Times of Australian Sphenomorphus Group Skinks (Scincidae, Squamata). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69 (3): 906–918 - 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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