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Lerista parameles AMEY, COUPER & WORTHINGTON-WILMER, 2019

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Chillagoe Fine-lined Slider 
SynonymLerista parameles AMEY, COUPER & WORTHINGTON-WILMER 2019 
DistributionAustralia (N Queensland)

Type locality: Savanna Way, S Almaden, NEQ (17°24'04"S, 144°38'52"E)  
TypesHolotype: QM J95783, 5 May, 2017.
Paratypes: AMS R44772–73, Chillagoe Post Office, 14.9 km SE, NEQ (17°13'S, 144°33'E), 17 June, 1976 (also paratypes of L. storri); AMS R113854, Chillagoe Post Office, 14.9 km SE, NEQ (17°16'S, 144°34'E), no collection date; QM J87270, Almaden, NEQ (17°23'24"S, 144°39'39"E), 21 July, 2007; QM J95787, Savanna Way, S Almaden, NEQ (17°24'11"S, 144°38'54"E), 5 May, 2017; QM J95792, Savanna Way, S Almaden, NEQ (17°30'30"S, 144°36'54"E), 6 May, 2017; QM J95806, Savanna Way, S Almaden, NEQ (17°24'10"S, 144°38'55"E), 5 May, 2017. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Distinguished from all other Lerista by the complete absence of a forelimb, hindlimb with a single clawed digit, interparietal distinct from the frontoparietals, prefrontals absent, usually only 2 supraciliaries and anterior chin shields in broad contact.

Comparisons. Lerista parameles sp. nov. is most closely related to L. ameles. It can be distinguished from this species by a hindlimb with a single, clawed digit (vs. limbs entirely absent) and the number of supraciliaries (usually two vs. four). The species would key to L. storri following Cogger (2014); however it can be distinguished from this species by the longer hindlimbs (>3.4% SVL vs. <3.2% SVL) with a distinct, clawed digit (vs. monostylar, claw absent), usually only two supraciliaries (vs. three or four), usually two infralabials contacting the postmental (vs. always only one) and anterior chin shields in broad contact (vs. at most point contact). Only four other species of Lerista have two supraciliaries (Lerista greeri Storr, 1982, L. onsloviana Storr, 1984, L. praefrontalis Greer, 1986 and L. stylis (Mitchell, 1955)) and these species also have no forelimb. However, all have three supraoculars (vs. two), the supraciliaries in contact with each other (vs. separated) and are geographically distant, occuring in WA or the Northern Territory (NT). One specimen of L. parameles sp. nov. had three supraciliaries, a condition shared with five other species (Lerista desertorum (Sternfeld, 1919), L. edwardsae Storr, 1982, L. elegans (Gray, 1845), L. lineata Bell, 1833 and L. puncticauda Storr, 1991). However, these species all have a forelimb with one or more clawed digits (vs. forelimb entirely absent). 
CommentHabitat: Specimens were found in loose soil under logs and other debris.

Limb morphology: 0 digits, 1 toe 
EtymologyThe species epithet is formed from a combination of the Greek word para, meaning beside or near, and the species L. ameles, referring to the close relationship between this species and Lerista ameles. 
  • AMEY, ANDREW P.; PATRICK J. COUPER, JESSICA WORTHINGTON WILMER 2019. Two new species of Lerista Bell, 1833 (Reptilia: Scincidae) from north Queensland populations formerly assigned to Lerista storri Greer, McDonald and Lawrie, 1983. Zootaxa 4577 (1): 473–493 - get paper here
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