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

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Palawan Sun Skink 
SynonymEutropis sahulinghangganan BARLEY, DIESMOS, SILER, MARTINEZ & BROWN 2020: 63
Mabuya multicarinata — TAYLOR 1922: 156 [in part, misidentification]
Mabuya indeprensa — BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 122 [in part, misidentification]
Eutropis indeprensa — MAUSFELD & SCHMITZ 2003: 164 [by implication]
Eutropis Clade D — BARLEY et al. 2013: 3563 
DistributionPhilippines (Palawan)

Type locality: Mount Bintangor at 1070 m, Municipality of Rizal, Palawan Province, Palawan Island, Philippines (8.813068N, 117.643058E  
TypesHolotype: PNM 9867, Female (formerly KU 311407), collected by E.L. Rico, J.B. Fernandez, and R.M. Brown, 13 July 2007.
Paratypes: Eleven specimens, all from Palawan Province, Palawan Island, Philippines. KU 311449, collected by RMB, 31 March 2007, at the boundary between Barangay Samarinana and Saubg on Mount Mantalingahan at 800 m (area ‘‘Pitang’’), Municipality of Brooke’s Point (8.75038N, 117.68968E). KU 311406, collected by E.L. Rico, J.B. Fernandez, and RMB, 24 June 2007, on Mount Mantalingahan at 1490 m (Peak 2), Municipality of Rizal (8.812508N, 117.660838E). CAS-SUR 28729, collected by M. Pinero, 29 March 1961 at 100 ft, Site 437: 5 km SE camp Malatgaw on bank of Malatgaw River, Municipality of Puerto Princesa. CAS-SUR 28731, collected by A.C. Alcala, 13 April 1961 at 300 ft, Site 483: 1 km SE Camp 2, Malakdaw, Municipality of Puerto Princesa. CAS-SUR 28732 (collected by M. Pinero and S. Magusara, 6 April 1961), 28733 (collected by E. Dujon, 9 April 1961), 28734 (collected by S. Magusara, 9 April 1961), Site 465 near Camp 2 at 300 ft, Municipality of Puerto Princesa. CAS-SUR 28735, collected by L.C. Alcala, 13 April 1961 at 400 ft, Site 484, 1 km NW Camp 2 Malatgaw, Municipality of Puerto Princesa. CAS 157302, collected by A. Alcala and J. Vindum, 16 June 1984, Tagnipa, Tinitian Barrio, Municipality of Roxas. CAS-SUR 28678, collected by Q. Alcala, 29 March 1961, 1.5 km south of Camp 1, southern slope of Thumb Peak, Malatgaw River, Municipality of Puerto Princesa. CAS-SUR 28637, collected by Q. Alcala at 400 ft, Site 480, 2 km northwest of camp Malatgaw No. 2, Municipality of Puerto Princesa. CAS 157417, collected by A. Alcala and J. Vindum at sea level, near Puerto Princesa Airport, Municipality of Puerto Princesa. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Eutropis distinguished by the following combination of characters: (1) adult body size small (SVL 40–63 mm); (2) interparietal large, separating parietals; (3) paravertebrals 38–42; (4) sum of subdigital lamellae on all five toes of one foot 63–77; (5) ventral scale rows 26–30; (6) midbody scale rows 28–33; (7) keels on dorsal and lateral body scales moderately defined, 5–10; (8) lower eyelid scaly; (9) supraciliaries five or six; (10) prefrontals separated; (11) primary temporal scales two; (12) dorsolateral surface with two faint to moderate light stripes that fade or become broken towards the posterior portion of the body, adult males frequently with a bright orange coloration on the ventral portion of the head and/or suffusing the lateral band (Fig. 6).

Comparisons: Critical comparisons for Eutropis sahulinghangganan include other Philippine species of Eutropis, particularly those known from the western portion of the archipelago. Eutropis sahulinghangganan can be distinguished from E. multifasciata by its small body size and more numerous keels on the trunk dorsals (adult SVL 40–63 mm with 5–10 keels on dorsal scales in E. sahulinghangganan vs. adult SVL 101–141 mm with 3 keels on dorsal scales in E. multifasciata). The new species can be distinguished from E. islamaliit by its smaller adult body size and fewer total subdigital toe lamellae (adult SVL 40–63 mm with 63–77 total subdigital lamallae in E. sahulinghangganan vs. adult SVL 70–97 with 86–92 lamellae in E. islamaliit). As originally noted by Brown and Alcala (1980:123), E. sahulinghangganan (at the time referred to as the Palawan populations of E. indeprensa) exhibits a ‘‘somewhat lower number of vertebral scale rows between the parietals and base of the tail’’ than E. indeprensa. This trait is not diagnostic, as the range of values for this scalation character in each species overlap, though the trait means are significantly different.

Coloration in life: Dorsal ground coloration and tail an iridescent bronze to olive coloration, with extensive dark brown flecks throughout; head and neck brown, with fewer dark flecks. The lateral surfaces contain a dark brown band that is randomly broken with light spots and extends from the eye to the hindlimb. The lateral band is sometimes suffused with orange anteriorly in adult males. Chin is creamy white with few dark markings, or bright orange in some adult males (Fig. 6). Dorsal surfaces of forelimbs, hindlimbs, and digits dark with indistinct spots. Frequently there are traces of light lines above and below the lateral brown stripes. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is in reference to the fact that Palawan is often referred to as ‘‘the last ecological frontier’’ of the Philippines. The name is an adjectival derivation from the Tagalog adjective huling (meaning last) and noun hangganan (meaning frontier), and thus directly translates to ‘‘Eutropis from the last frontier.’’ 
  • 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
  • Brown, WC. & A.C. ALCALA 1980. Philippine Lizards of the family Scincidae. Silliman Univ. Nat. Sci., Dumaguete City, Mon., Ser. 2: i-xi + 1-246.
  • MAUSFELD, Patrick & Andreas SCHMITZ 2003. Molecular phylogeography, intraspecific variation and speciation of the Asian scincid lizard genus Eutropis Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Reptilia: Scincidae): taxonomic and biogeographic implications. Org. Divers. Evol. 3: 161–171 - get paper here
  • Taylor, E.H. 1922. The lizards of the Philippine Islands. Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Bureau of Science, Government of the Philippine Islands, Manila, Publication no. 17: 269 pp. - get paper here
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