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

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae (Mabuyini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Upland Sun Skink 
SynonymEutropis gubataas BARLEY, DIESMOS, SILER, MARTINEZ & BROWN 2020: 48
Eutropis Clade F — BARLEY et al. 2013: 3563
Eutropis gubataas — BARLEY et al. 2021 
DistributionPhilippines (Camiguin Norte, Calayan, Camiguin Norte islands in the Babuyan Island Group, NE Luzon: Cagayan and Aurora Provinces, NW Luzon: Ilocos Norte Province)

Type locality: near Barangay Balatubat, in an area known locally as ‘‘Limandok’’ at 320 m, Municipality of Calayan, Cagayan Province, Camiguin Norte Island, Philippines (18.929278N, 121.898818E)  
TypesHolotype: PNM 9846, Male, formerly KU 304620), collected by R.M. Brown and J.B. Fernandez, 7 March 2006.
Paratypes: Six specimens, bearing the same locality and collector data as the holotype, only differing by the dates of collection: KU 304618, collected 6 March 2006; KU 304642, collected 7 March 2006; KU 304688, KU 304689, collected 9 March 2006; KU 304727, KU 304750, collected 10 March 2006. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Eutropis, distinguished by the following combination of characters: (1) body medium-sized (SVL 60–79 mm in adults); (2) interparietal small, parietals in contact posteriorly; (3) paravertebrals 37–44; (4) sum of ubdigital lamellae on all five toes of one foot 78–90; (5) ventral scales rows 27–31; (6) midbody scale rows 30–34; (7) keels on the dorsal and lateral body scales moderately defined, 5–12; (8) lower eyelid scaly; (9) supraciliaries five; (10) prefrontals separated; (11) primary temporal scales one or two; (12) dorsal and lateral body surfaces having relatively uniform bronze and dark brown coloration, respectively, without pronounced light stripes (Fig. 6).

Comparisons.—Critical comparisons for E. gubataas include other Philippine species of Eutropis, particularly those known from the northern islands of the archipelago. Eutropis gubataas can be distinguished from species in the E. indeprensa complex (such as E. cumingi, with which it occurs sympatrically) by its larger maximum body size (adult SVL 60–79 mm vs. 43–60 mm in E. cumingi), and more numerous subdigital toe lamellae (78–90 vs. 59–70). Eutropis gubataas can be readily distinguished from E. bontocensis by color pattern, as it either lacks lateral stripes or has faint, lateral, light stripes limited to only the anterior portion of the body (compared to two prominent, light stripes on the lateral surface that extend the length of the body in E. bontocensis). It can also be readily distinguished from E. bontocensis by more strongly keeled (vs. lightly keeled) dorsal body scales. Eutropis gubataas can be distinguished from E. multifasciata by its smaller maximum body size (adult SVL 60–79 vs. 101– 141 mm), and more numerous (5–12 vs. 3) and more pronounced keels on the trunk dorsals (vs. lightly to barely keeled). Interestingly, this species does not appear to be readily distinguishable from the broadly sympatric E. borealis using external morphology, although E. borealis has a single primary temporal scale, whereas E. gubataas tends to have two. Both are known to inhabit northern Luzon (Brown et al. 2012, 2013b) and the Babuyan Island Group (Oliveros et al. 2011), however, they can readily be distinguished using genetic data—and are not sister taxa within the E. multicarinata complex (Fig. 5).

Coloration in life.—Dorsal ground coloration and tail an iridescent olive brown to gray with scattered dark flecks; head and neck brown. The lateral surfaces with a thick, dark brown band extending from the eye to the hindlimb. Chin creamy white with dark markings. Dorsal surfaces of forelimbs, hindlimbs, and digits dark with indistinct spots. A faint, light line on the anterior portion of the body above the lateral brown stripe; a more distinct light stripe below, extending nearly to the hindlimb. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is an adjectival derivation from the Tagalog noun gubat (meaning forest) and adjective mataas (meaning ‘‘high’’ or ‘‘up high’’) in reference to the new species’ preference for montane forested habitats. The specific epithet is feminine in gender. 
  • 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.; Marites B. Sanguila and Rafe M. Brown 2021. A new species of Sun Skink (Reptilia: Scincidae: Eutropis) from the Zamboanga Peninsula, southwestern Mindanao Island, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology 14 (2): 1-18; DOI: 10.26757/pjsb2020b14012 - get paper here
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