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Hemiergis decresiensis (CUVIER, 1829)

IUCN Red List - Hemiergis decresiensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesHemiergis decresiensis continentis COPLAND 1946
Hemiergis decresiensis decresiensis (CUVIER 1829) 
Common NamesE: Three-toed Earless Skink 
SynonymZygnis decresiensis FITZINGER 1826 (nomen nudum)
Tridactylus decresiensis CUVIER 1829: 64
Peromelis decresiensis — WAGLER 1830: 160
Hemiergis decresiensis — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 766
Hemiergis polylepis GÜNTHER 1867
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) decresiense — SMITH 1937: 224
Hemiergis decresiensis — COGGER 1983
Hemiergis decresiensis — COGGER 2000: 500
Hemiergis decresiensis — WILSON & SWAN 2010

Hemiergis decresiensis continentis COPLAND 1946: 69 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, South Australia)

decresiensis: Kangaroo Island, South Australia; Type locality: Kangaroo Is., S. A.

continentis: mainland South Australia; Type locality: Myponga, in 35°25'S, 138°20'E, S.A.

davisi: C and N Great Dividing Range, New South Wales. Type locality: Poison Swamp Creek, 2.7 miles S Bendemeer near New England Hwy, NSW.  
TypesLectotype: MNHN-RA 1601, Ile Decrès (Kangaroo I.), SA, collected Péron & Lesueur, designated by Wells & Wellington (1985). Syntypes: MNHN-RA 1601, MNHN-RA 3041, NHMW = NMW 16629 (probable, fide COGGER 1983).
Holotype: AMS R58733, collected S.J. Copland, 5.xii.1940 (originally Copland collection 821)., paratype in FMNH [davisi]
Holotype: SAMA R2190 [continentis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Very small to moderately small, elongate,'short-legged lygosomatine skinks with lower eyelid movable and bearing a transparent disc; digits 5+5, 4+4, 3+3 or 2+2, short, circular in section, with smooth lamellae; tail very fragile. Distinguishable from Lerista and Leiolopisma by complete series of sub- oculars, absence of ear aperture and presence (in life) of bright yellow or reddish ventral pigments (STORR 1975). 
CommentSynonymy mainly after COGGER 1983.

Subspecies: Hemiergis decresiensis talbingoensis COPLAND 1946 has been elevated to full species status by REEDER & REICHERT 2011. Hemiergis decresiensis davisi COPLAND 1946 was transferred to H. talbingoensis on that occasion.

Type species: Tridactylus decresiensis CUVIER 1829 is the type species of the genus Hemiergis WAGLER 1830.

Phylogenetics: see Singhal et al. 2017 and 2018 for a phylogeny of Australian sphenomorphine skinks.

Limb morphology: 3 digits, 3 toes (Singhal et al. 2018, Reeder and Reichert 2011) 
EtymologyNamed after L'Ie de Decres, the French name for Kangaroo Island, off South Australia, and the type locality of the species. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Copland, S.J. 1946. Geographic variation in the lizard Hemiergis decresiensis (Fitzinger). Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 70: 62-92 [1945] - 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
  • Cuvier, G. J. L. N. F. D. 1829. Le Regne Animal Distribué, d'apres son Organisation, pur servir de base à l'Histoire naturelle des Animaux et d'introduction à l'Anatomie Comparé. Nouvelle Edition [second edition]. Vol. 2. Les Reptiles. Déterville, Paris, i-xvi, 1-406 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Greenbaum, E. 2000. Herpetofaunal observations in disparate habitats in south Sustralia, New South Wales, and queensland, Australia. Herpetological Bulletin (72): 6-16 - get paper here
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Rabosky, Daniel L.; Stephen C. Donnellan, Michael Grundler, and Irby J. Lovette 2014. Analysis and Visualization of Complex Macroevolutionary Dynamics: An Example from Australian Scincid Lizards. Syst Biol 2014 63: 610-627 - 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
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Wagler, Jean G. 1830. Natürliches System der Amphibien, mit vorangehender Classification der Säugetiere und Vögel. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. 1.0. Cotta, München, Stuttgart, and Tübingen, 354 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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