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Eutropis cuprea BARLEY, DIESMOS, SILER, MARTINEZ & BROWN, 2020

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Copper Sun Skink 
SynonymEutropis cuprea BARLEY, DIESMOS, SILER, MARTINEZ & BROWN 2020: 55
Eutropis Clade A — BARLEY et al. 2013: 3563 
DistributionPhilippines (SW Mindanao: South Cotobato)

Type locality: Barangay Tablu, Sitio Datal Mangisi, Municipality of Tampakan, South Cotobato Province, Mindanao Island, Philippines  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: PNM 9868, Female, formerly KU 327372, collected by J.B. Fernandez, 17 August 2009.
Paratypes (paratopotypes).Two juveniles (KU 327370, 327371) bearing the same locality data as the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Eutropis distinguished by the following combination of characters: (1) adult body mediumsized (one specimen measures 83 mm); (2) interparietal large, separating parietals; (3) paravertebrals 38; (4) sum of subdigital lamellae on all five toes of one foot 76–78; (5) ventral scale rows 27–30; (6) midbody scale rows 30–31; (7) keels on dorsal and lateral body scales moderately defined, 9–12; (8) lower eyelid scaly; (9) supraciliaries six; (10) prefrontals in contact or barely separated; (11) primary temporal scales one; (12) dorsal and lateral body surface having relatively uniform bronze and dark brown coloration, respectively, without pronounced light stripes.

Comparisons: Critical comparisons for E. cuprea include other Philippine Eutropis from southern portions of the archipelago. Eutropis cuprea can be distinguished from E. multifasciata by its smaller size, more slender body, and the presence of more numerous keels on trunk dorsals (adult SVL ~80 mm with 9–12 dorsal scale keels in E. cuprea vs. adult SVL 101–141 mm with 3 dorsal scale keels in E. multifasciata). As a member of the E. multicarinata complex, E. cuprea can be distinguished from E. lapulapu by having a larger adult body size (adult SVL ~80 mm in E. cuprea vs. 45–70 mm in E. lapulapu) and from E. englei by having relatively uniform dorsal and lateral coloration (vs. prominent series of five dark brown and four bluish-white stripes in E. englei). Because this species is only known from a single adult specimen, we are unable to assess variation for comparisons to other species confidently. This individual has a single primary temporal scale and the prefrontal scales are barely separated (whereas E. caraga has two primary temporal scales and prefrontals that are more widely separated), but it is certainly possible these traits are not diagnostic of the species.

Coloration in life: Remains unrecorded, but in our experience, Eutropis coloration in preservative is usually quite similar to that in life, with only minor fading, reduction in brilliance and stark contrasts of light and dark adjacent color features, and loss of vibrant reds, blues, and yellows. 
Comment 
EtymologyThe species name is a Latin adjective meaning ‘‘copper,’’ in reference to this species only being known from near Tampakan, Mindanao (which is the location of one of the largest copper deposits in the world), as well as the general copper coloration of the dorsum in species of the E. multicarinata complex, such as this one. 
References
  • Barley, A. J., Diesmos, A. C., Siler, C. D., Martinez, C. M. & Brown, R. M. 2020. Taxonomic Revision of Philippine Sun Skinks (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae: Eutropis), and Descriptions of Eight New Species. Herpetol. Monogr. 34: 39–70
  • BARLEY, ANTHONY J.; JORDAN WHITE, ARVIN C. DIESMOS, RAFE M. BROWN 2013. THE CHALLENGE OF SPECIES DELIMITATION AT THE EXTREMES: DIVERSIFICATION WITHOUT MORPHOLOGICAL CHANGE IN PHILIPPINE SUN SKINKS. Evolution, DOI: 10.1111/evo.12219 - get paper here
 
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