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Lerista chalybura STORR, 1985

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Pilbara Blue-tailed Slider 
SynonymLerista chalybura STORR 1985
Lerista zietzi WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Lerista chalybura — SHEA 1999: 38
Lerista zietzi — STORR et al. 1999
Lerista chalybura — COGGER 2000: 515
Lerista zietzi — AMEY et al. 2005
Tychismia zietzi — WELLS 2012: 266
Lerista zietzi — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Lerista chalybura — ELLIS & KNUCKEY 2022 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

chalybura: Australia (Western Australia); Type locality: Weeli Wolli Spring, WA [22°55'S 119°12'E].

zietzi: Type locality: 9 miles S Wittenoom, WA.  
TypesHolotype: WAM R73934; Paratype: AM (chalybura)
Holotype: WAM R37078 [zietzi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “‘A small slender Lerista with four fingers, four toes, movable eyelids, large ear aperture (about twice as large as nostril), comparatively long foreleg (more than 6 mm long in adults and subadults), greyish or bluish tail, and narrow, inferiorly ill-defined, dark upper lateral stripe.” (Storr 1985, based on 22 specimens) 
CommentSynonymy: WELLS 2012: 266 lists L. chalybura as a synonym of Tychismia (= Lerista) zietzi. Lerista chalybura has been considered “a junior synonym of Lerista zietzi Wells & Wellington, 1985, the holotype of which is a paratype of L. chalybura. The nominal date of publication of L. zietzi is 1.iii.1985, although we have been unable to identify a copy of the publication received before 19.ix.1985, when J. Covacevich (pers. comm.) sighted one. The first copy sighted by G. Shea was sold to him by R. Wellington on 27.ix.1985. The nominal date of publication of L. chalybura is 30.viii.1985. Recent authors appear to consider L. chalybura to have priority (SHEA & SADLIER 1999). Not listed by COGGER 2014.

Richard Wells and Ross Wellington proposed the name Lerista zietzi for the same population (Wells and Wellington 1985). The diagnosis presented by Wells and Wellington (1985) for L. zietzi essentially summarises features of three specimens detailed by Storr (1971) under geographic variation for L. frosti, to which the species was assigned. The two proposed new taxa are synonymous, particularly as the descriptions by Storr (1985) and Wells and Wellington (1985) share the same diagnostic information and some type material: the holotype of L. zietzi (WAM R37078; Figure 2), the only specimen mentioned by Wells and Wellington, is also a paratype for L. chalybura. [...] Based on the printed publication dates of the journal issues in which Storr (1985) and Wells and Wellington (1985) occurred, the Wells and Wellington name Lerista zietzi takes precedence over Storr’s Lerista chalybura, rendering L. chalybura a junior synonym of L. zietzi (Ellis & Knuckey 2022). 
  • Amey, A.P.; Kutt, A.S.; Hutchinson, M. 2005. A new species of Lerista (Scincidae) from Central Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 50 (2): 125-131. - 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.
  • 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
  • Ellis, R. J., & Knuckey, C. G. 2022. Thirty-six years a synonym: the nomenclatural tale of the Pilbara blue-tailed skink, Lerista chalybura Storr, 1985 (Squamata: Scincidae). RECORDS OF THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM 37: 26-30 - get paper here
  • Shea, Glenn M; Sadlier, Ross A 1999. A catalogue of the non-fossil amphibian and reptile type specimens in the collection of the Australian Museum: types currently, previously and purportedly present. TECHNICAL REPORTS OF THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM 15, 1999: 1-91 - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam; Michael S Y Lee and Mark N Hutchinson 2008. Rapid and repeated limb loss in a clade of scincid lizards. [Lerista]. BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:310 - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1985. Revision of Lerista frosti and allied secies (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 12 (3): 307-316 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Wells, R. W. and Wellington, C. R. 1985. A classification of the Amphibia and Reptilia of Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology, Supplementary Series (1): 1-61 [sometimes cited as 1983] - 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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