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Glaphyromorphus clandestinus HOSKIN & COUPER, 2004

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Mount Elliot Mulch-skink 
SynonymGlaphyromorphus clandestinus HOSKIN & COUPER 2004
Glaphyromorphus clandestinus — COUPER et al. 2006: 381
Glaphyromorphus clandestinus — SKINNER et al. 2013 
DistributionAustralia (NE Queensland)

Type locality: granite-slab habitat on Mt Elliot, north-eastern Queensland  
TypesHolotype: QM J77554 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This species can be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: large size (SVL 72 mm), adpressed limbs of adult separated by noticeably more than the length of the forelimb, 26 mid-body scale rows, and flanks patterned with dark flecks forming a series of longitudinal lines. The distribution, habitat preferences and habits of this species are poorly known. Currently G. clandestinus is known from a single locality where individuals have been found in an exposed area of exfoliating granite, set in a mosaic of rainforest and eucalyptus woodland.
CommentThe discovery of this species brings to three the number of vertebrate species known to be endemic to Mt Elliot and highlights the evolutionary significance of this southerly outlier to the mountainous rainforest of the Wet Tropics.

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017).

Limb morphology: 5 digits, 5 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Cogger 2014) 
Etymologyfrom the Latin “secret”, in reference to the secretive nature of this species. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Hoskin C.J.; Couper P.J. 2004. A new species of Glaphyromorphus (Reptilia: Scincidae) from Mt Elliot, north-eastern Queensland. Australian Journal of Zoology 52 (2): 183-190 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - 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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