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Hemiergis decresiensis (CUVIER, 1829)

IUCN Red List - Hemiergis decresiensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), 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
Hemiergis decresiensis — LUCAS & FROST 1894: 83
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) decresiense — SMITH 1937: 224
Lygosoma decresiensis — BRATTSTROM 1971
Hemiergis decresiensis — COGGER 1983
Hemiergis decresiensis — COGGER 2000: 500
Hemiergis decresiensis — WILSON & SWAN 2010

Hemiergis decresiensis continentis COPLAND 1946: 69 
DistributionAustralia (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.  
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)

Morphology: Hutchinson et al. 2021 present a table of morphological character states across 20 Australian sphenomorphine skinks, including this genus. 
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
  • Brattstrom, B.H. 1971. Critical thermal maxima of some Australian skinks Copeia 1971 (3): 554-557. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Hutchinson, M. N., Couper, P., Amey, A., & Wilmer, J. W. 2021. Diversity and Systematics of Limbless Skinks (Anomalopus) from Eastern Australia and the Skeletal Changes that Accompany the Substrate Swimming Body Form. Journal of Herpetology 55 (4): 361-384 - 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
  • Lucas, A. H. S. & Frost, C. 1894. The lizards indigenous to Victoria. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. (ns) 6: 24-92 - 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
  • Rehorek, S.J., C.M. Leigh & B.T. Firth 1999. Rate of Protein Synthesis of the Harderian Gland of a Skink, Hemiergis decresiensis: A Preliminary Study Copeia 1999 (2): 526-528. - 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. [1830-1832] - 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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