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Eremiascincus phantasmus MECKE, DOUGHTY & DONNELLAN, 2013

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Ghost Skink
G: Südlicher Streifenskink, Gespenstskink 
SynonymEremiascincus phantasmus MECKE, DOUGHTY & DONNELLAN 2013
Sphenomorphus fasciolatus — STORR 1974: 69 (part.)
Eremiascincus fasciolatus — GREER 1979: 325 (part.)
Eremiascincus fasciolatus — COGGER 2000: 477 (part.) 
DistributionAustralia (NE South Australia, S Northern Territory, SW Queensland, W New South Wales)

Type locality: 5.5 km SE of Red Lake Yard, E side of Lake Hope Channel, SA (28°15'29''S, 139°12'29'' E.  
Reproductionoviparous (Mecke et al. 2016) 
TypesHolotype: SAMA R49358 (field number C97047) (Fig. 13), male; leg. M. Hutchinson. Paratypes (22 specimens): SAMA R49896 (F)—43.7 km east of Purni Bore, on the Rig Road, SA, 26°19'17''S, 136°31'53''E; R50047 (unsexed juvenile)—66.8 km E Purni Bore, Big RD, SA, 26°19'17''S, 136°31'53''E; R50888 (F)—29.1 km NNW Murda Hill, Simpson Desert Regional Reserve, SA, 26°42'09''S, 138°15'44''E; R51482 (M)—25.1 km NW Atna Hill, Simpson Desert CP, SA, 26°16'29''S, 137°19'37''E; R51436 (M)—1.1 km SSE Approdinna Attora Knolls, SA, 26°04'50''S, 137°36'43''E; R54137 (M)—37.1 km WNW of Muloorina Homestead, SA, 29°09'45''S, 137°32'01''E; R54255 (unsexed juvenile)—15.3 km WNW Kannakaninna Waterhole, Kalamurina, SA, 27°53'09''S, 137°49'13''E; R55437 (F)—17 km NW Karrathunka Waterhole, SA, 26°06'07''S, 139°08'45''E; R55447 (M)—12.4 km NW Karrathunka Waterhole, SA, 26°08'27''S, 139°09'54''E; R55507 (M)—30.2 km ESE Mulka Hill, SA, 28°26'51''S, 138°52'06''E; AMS R113164 (M)—25 km N of Poeppel Corner, Simpson Desert, NT, 25°46' S, 138°00'E; R155329 (M)—Sturt National Park, 1.8 km W (by road) along Whitecatch Gate Road, NSW, 29°06'51''S, 141°10'54''E; QM J41600 (F), J41602 (F)—Durrie Station, Glennie Well, QLD, 25°55'48''S, 139°55'49''E; J44070 (F)—Simpson Desert, QLD, 25°40'48''S, 138°31'48''E; 48473 (M)— Chookoo, 30 km WSW Jackson, QLD, 27°34'48''S, 141°54'00''E; J75056–57 (M), J75060 (M), J75067 (unsexed juvenile)—2 km W of Birdsville (behind Airstrip), QLD, 24°53'60''S, 139°18'00''E. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium to large-sized (snout-vent length up to 92.5 mm), slender narrow-banded Eremiascincus having 8–9 undivided supralabials (usually 8); 2 infralabials usually in broad contact with the postmental scale; 20–30 subdigital lamellae, at least basally in two rows and at least basally keeled; plantar scales 12–18, smooth; 28–33 scale rows at mid-body; head small, snout depressed, and ear opening small and circular; dorsum with keels posteriorly and tail often with strong ridges; coloration pattern usually comprises 29–39 perfectly transverse narrow, often very pale bands on the tail (type a, b); body without bands or with indication of light narrow bands (type a, b) dorsally or more frequently on sides of body, usually pale, without any indication of banding visible. 
CommentLimb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
EtymologyThe specific name ‘phantasmus’ is Latin for ‘ghost’ and used as a noun in apposition. It is the Latin translation for a vernacular name Worrell proposed in 1963. 
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
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