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Lerista occulta SMITH & ADAMS, 2007

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Hidden Three-toed Slider 
SynonymLerista occulta SMITH & ADAMS 2007
Phaneropis occultus — WELLS 2012: 76
Lerista occulta — WILSON & SWAN 2010 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia: Flats along western face of the Kennedy Range. Also vicinity of Gascoyne Junction)

Type locality: slopes of the western face of the Kennedy Range at 24°33' 04.6"S, 114°57' 31.5"E.  
TypesHolotype: WAM R120526*, an adult male, SVL 34 mm, tail 28mm. Collected (from site KE4, Carnarvon Basin Survey) by A. Desmond on 10 August 1994. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Distinguished from members of the L. muelleri species group in Western Australia with fused frontoparietals (L. allochira, L. amicorum and L. rhodonoides) by having paired frontoparietals. Distinguished from L.haroldi,L.jacksoni,L.micra, L. muelleri and L. nevinae by having more supraciliaries (usually five in L.occulta versus four in L. haroldi, L. jacksoni, L. micra, L. nevinae and 1+2 i n L. muelleri) . Di st i ngui shed from those species with paired frontoparietals and 5 supraciliaries as follows: from L. clara by having a pigmented venter (opalescent white in L. clara); from L.kingi by its relatively long forelimbs (mean 13.9% versus 9.1% of SVL in L.kingi); from L.rolfei by the lack of a hiatus below the upper lateral stripe (present in L. rolfei); and from L. verhmens by its smaller size (mean SVL for L.micra30.9mm versus 40.5mm for L. verhmens). Generally similar to L. micra in size and scalation but differs in colour. Leristaoccultais purplish-brown rather than brown or grey and usually has five supraciliaries (usually four in L.micra). 
CommentLimb morphology: 3 digits, 3 toes 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is Latin for hidden, alluding to the fact that the relatively few L. occulta remained undetected among several hundred L. micra until identified by allozyme electrophoresis of Aplin, Adams and Cowan. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Smith, LA; Adams, M 2007. Revision of the Lerista muelleri species-group (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in Western Australia, with a redescription of L. muelleri (Fischer, 1881) and the description of nine new species. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 23 (4): 309-358 - 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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