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Lerista miopus (GÜNTHER, 1867)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymSoridia miopus GÜNTHER 1867: 49
Lygosoma (Rhodona) bipes concolor WERNER 1910
Lygosoma (Rhodona) miopus — GLAUERT 1960: 98
Lygosoma (Rhodona) nigriceps GLAUERT 1962
Lerista miopus — AMEY & EDWARDS 2017 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: (neotype locality): Strickland St, Geraldton, Western Australia (28° 46' S 114° 37' E).  
Reproductionoviparous; Sex was determined in 36 specimens opportunistically, either through observation of everted hemipenes or previous dissection. There were ten females and 26 males in this sample. The smallest sexually mature male measured 60 mm SVL, the smallest female 63 mm. The largest specimen measured (106 mm SVL) was male, the largest female 97 mm. No consistent differences between the sexes were observed in any morphological character measured.<br />Data on the reproductive cycle that could be opportunistically collected without further dissection are presented in Table 3. In summary, reproductive individuals were found in spring, not summer or autumn. One female in late vitellogenesis had a developing clutch of four follicles. A gravid female had ova measuring 5.33 mm diameter, but the date of collection of this individual is unknown (Amey & Edwards 2017).<br /> 
TypesNeotype: WAM R136122, designated by Amey & Edwards (2017).
Holotype: unknown (BMNH records cite 1946.8.15.60 as holotype in error), from Champion Bay, W. A. fide COGGER 1983
Holotype: ZMB 21464, from Denham, W. A. [Lygosoma (Rhodona) bipes concolor]
Holotype: WAM R14039, from Vlaming Lighthouse, North West Cape, W. A. [Lygosoma (Rhodona) nigriceps] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Lerista with forelimb either absent (represented by a depression) or a nubbin (<0.7% SVL), one or two digits on a relatively short hindlimb (<14% SVL), fused frontoparietals, four or five supraciliaries and a free eyelid (vs. fused into a transparent spectacle).

Comparisons. Only three other species of Lerista, L. connivens, L. lineopunctulata and L. varia, have the combination of forelimb a nubbin or stump, two clawed digits on the hindlimb, free eyelid and interparietal fused to the frontoparietals. From L. connivens, L. miopus differs in a reduced hindlimb (6–14% SVL vs. 13–23%, 3–10 lamellae beneath longest toe vs. 11–14, 2–7 supradigitals above longest toe vs. 8–11, 63–89 scales between adpressed limbs vs. 50–60), more supraciliaries (five vs. four) and colour pattern (brown-grey dorsally with or without indistinct dark brown spots, pattern fading laterally vs. a broad, dark brown vertebral zone with 2 lines of dark brown spots and a thick, dark brown upper lateral band). From L. lineopunctulata, it differs in a reduced forelimb (usually a depression only or a nubbin no more than 0.7% SVL vs. a stump 0.7–1.2% SVL) and less distinct colour pattern (indistinct lines or reticulations vs. lines of dark brown spots dorsally). From L. varia, it differs in a reduced hindlimb (6–14% SVL vs. 13–24%, 2–7 supradigitals above largest digit vs. 8–10, 63–89 scales between limbs when adpressed vs. 43–61) and more paravertebrals (73–97 vs. 63–73). 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983 and AMEY & EDWARDS 2017.

Sympatry with Lerista lineopunctulata. The distribution of L. miopus and L. lineopunctulata appear to be very close to each other, with specimens assigned morphologically to L. miopus only 8 km from L. lineopunctulata specimens at Jurien Bay. Specimens from this area can be assigned confidently to either taxa but genetic information for them was lacking. A closer study of this apparently near contact between the two could be rewarding.

Type species: Soridia miopus Günther 1867 is the type species of the genus Oncopus COPE 1892, a synonym of Lerista, fide Shea 2021. 
  • AMEY, ANDREW P.; DANIELLE L. EDWARDS 2017. Taxonomy of the Sand Sliders of Western Australia’s central coast (genus Lerista, Squamata: Scincidae): recognition of Lerista miopus (Günther, 1867). Zootaxa 4317 (1): - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1892. On degenerate types of scapular and pelvic arches in the Lacertilia. Journal of Morphology 7: 223–242 - get paper here
  • Glauert, L. 1960. Herpetological miscellanea. XII. The family Scincidae in Western Australia. Pt. 2. The genus Lygosoma. Western Australian Naturalist 7 (4): 81-99 - get paper here
  • Glauert, L. 1962. Herpetological miscellanea. XIII. A new skink from the North-west Cape, Western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist 8: 86-87 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1867. Additions to the knowledge of Australian reptiles and fishes. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (3) 20: 45-57 - get paper here
  • Scott, Shawn; Stephen Mahony, Chad T. Beranek 2020. An observation of predation and prey caching of Ctenophorus parviceps (Squamata: Agamidae) and Lerista miopus (Squamata: Scincidae) in Western Australia. Herpetology Notes 13: 579-581 - get paper here
  • SHEA, GLENN M. 2021. The identity of twelve scincid generic names proposed by Cope in 1892 (Squamata: Scincidae). Zootaxa 5057 (4): 577–589 - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1910. Reptilia (Geckonidae und Scincidae). In: Michaelsen, W., and R. Hartmeyer: Die Fauna Südwest-Australiens. Vol. 2. G. Fischer, Jena, pp. 451-493. - get paper here
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