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Lipinia microcerca (BOETTGER, 1901)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Banded Lipinia, Sipora Striped Skink, Common Striped Skink
G: Sipora Streifenschlankskink 
SynonymLygosoma (Leiolopisma) microcercum BOETTGER 1901
Lygosoma vittigerum kronfanum SMITH 1922: 208
Leiolopisma pranensis COCHRAN 1930
Leiolopisma vittigerum microcercum — TAYLOR 1963: 1030
Lygosoma (Scincella) vittigerum vittigerum — GRANDISON 1972: 82
Lipinia vittigerum microcercum — BOBROV 1995
Lipinia vittigera microcerca — BOBROV & SEMENOV 2008
Lipinia vittigera microcercum — GROSSMANN 2010
Lipinia microcercus — POYARKOV et al. 2019 
DistributionS Vietnam, Thailand ?, Cambodia, S Laos, possibly E Myanmar

Type locality: “Phuc-son, Annam” [=Phuoc Son District in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam]; see Poyarkov et al. 2019 for a discussion of the type locality.  
Reproductionoviparous. Reproduction was described by Goldberg & Grismer (2014): gravid females were recorded in March; females lay two to three eggs; hatchlings were observed in July. 
TypesHolotype: SMF 14593, adult male (=6255 1a in Mertens, 1922)
Holotype: USNM 75591, male [Leiolopisma pranensis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Small (SVL to 41.9 mm) species of Lipinia, differentiated from congeners by the following combination of external traits: external ear opening present; lower eyelid bearing large transparent spectacle; 28 – 32 midbody scale rows; 48 – 58 middorsal scales between parietals and point above vent; 18 – 21 subdigital lamellae under finger IV; 24 – 32 lamellae under toe IV; prefrontals in broad contact; seven supralabials, seven infralabials; thin middorsal light stripe from snout tip to tail base; two paravertebral dark stripes from supraoculars toward tail, continuing on anterior part of tail; two distinct dorsolateral light stripes; broad lateral dark stripe from temporals to anterior part of tail; one distinct lateral light stripe, separated from belly by narrow ventrolateral dark stripe or longitudinal patch of dark spots [Poyarkov et al. 2019].

Comparisons: Comparisons are based on original descriptions or descriptions provided in broader faunal and taxonomic publications (citations in the Materials and Methods section above).
Morphological comparisons between the four members of the L. vittigera species complex from mainland Southeast Asia are summarized in Table 1. Lipinia microcercus stat. nov. can be differentiated from all other members of the L. vittigera species complex by the following opposing combination of characters (see Table 1 for details): L. vittigera sensu stricto (Boulenger, 1894) from Peninsular Malaysia, Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, and Borneo: 15 – 16 subdigital lamellae under finger IV; MDLS broad (two scales wide) from snout tip to tail; PVDS not as broad as MDLS; flanks with dark and pale spots (LDS, LLS absent or indistinct); DTM present, indistinct dark mottling or spots; Lipinia trivittata sp. nov. (herein) from southern Vietnam, Cambodia, and eastern Thailand: 20 – 26 subdigital lamellae under finger IV; MDLS broad (two scales wide); PVDS not as broad as MDLS, not continuing on tail; LDS only present on anterior third of trunk; DTM as narrow black stripe about as wide as DLLS; Lipinia vassilievi sp. nov. (herein) from central Vietnam: 10 – 11 supraciliaries; 14 – 15 subdigital lamellae under finger IV; 19 – 21 subdigital lamellae under toe IV; MDLS broad (two scales wide); PVDS not as broad as MDLS; LDS and VDSL dissolving into two rows of irregular dark blotches; DTM narrow black stripe, about as wide as DLLS.
In the following, L. microcercus stat. nov. is compared with other congeners bearing a light middorsal stripe by listing their opposing character combinations: L. albodorsalis (Vogt) from New Guinea: SVL to 54 mm; 22 – 25 midbody scale rows; dorsum pale yellow with dark lateral stripe; L. infralineolata (Günther) from Sulawesi and Sangihi Islands: SVL to 49 mm; 22 midbody scale rows; L. leptosoma (Brown & Fehlmann) from Palau Islands: 7–10 lamellae under toe IV; L. longiceps (Boulenger) from New Guinea, Fergusson, Misima, and Trobriand Islands: 24 midbody scale rows; snout strongly elongated; dorsum light brown with two dorsolateral stripes converging on tail base; tail golden yellow; L. macrotympanum (Stoliczka) from Andaman and Nicobar Islands: 21–23 midbody scale rows; prefrontals separated; hindlimbs and forelimbs not meeting when adpressed; L. miangensis (Werner) from Pulau Miang, Kalimantan Timur, Borneo: 24 midbody scale rows; back golden with two dark brown longitudinal stripes from snout to tail; L. nitens (Peters) from Sarawak, Borneo: SVL to 33.6 mm; external ear opening replaced by scaly dimple; back metallic green with pale yellow vertebral stripe; L. noctua from South Pacific islands (allochthonous) and Indonesia: Maluku and Papua Province; Papua New Guinea, Admiralty Islands, Bismarck Islands, and Solomon Islands: dorsum brown with light vertebral stripe, starting with wide and contrasting light spot on head; dark paravertebral stripes with irregular borders, often broken into row of irregular dark blotches; L. pulchella from the Philippines: 22–26 midbody scale rows; 24–31 lamellae under toe IV; only one light whitish stripe present on dorsum, from snout to tail tip, becoming yellowish from midbody toward tail; L. pulchra (Boulenger) from New Guinea: dorsum black with five greenish light stripes; L. rabori (Brown & Alcala) from the Philippines (Negros Island): SVL to 51.0 mm in males and 54.8 mm in females; 22 midbody scale rows; L. relicta (Vinciguerra) from Indonesia: Mentawai Archipelago, SVL to 56 mm; 20 midbody scale rows; 16 – 18 lamellae under toe IV; tail thick; light vertebral line present and labials each bearing small white spot; lateral dark stripe present from eye to insertion of hindlimbs; L. rouxi (Hediger) from New Ireland, northeast Papua New Guinea, and Bismarck Archipelago: dorsum brown, dark paravertebral stripes, with irregular borders, often broken into row of irregular dark blotches; L. septentrionalis Günther from Indonesia (Papua Province): 24– 26 midbody scale rows; one cream vertebral stripe, broadening toward tail; L. subvittata (Günther) from Sulawesi, Java, the Philippines (Mindanao Island): SVL 47 – 56 mm; dorsal longitudinal stripes extending to forearm region; 22 midbody scale rows; L. vulcania from the Philippines (Mindanao and Luzon Islands): 17 lamellae under toe IV; limbs not meeting when adpressed; dorsum brownish, scattered with dark brown spots; dark lateral stripe, scattered with whitish or yellowish spots.
The following congeners can be distinguished from L. microcercus by the absence of a light middorsal stripe: L. auriculata (Taylor) from the Philippines (Negros and Masbate Islands); L. cheesmanae (Parker) from New Guinea; L. inexpectata Das & Austin from Borneo and its northern offshore islands; L. nototaenia (Boulenger) from West Papua; L. occidentalis Günther from Papua Province, New Guinea; L. sekayuensis Grismer, Ismail, Awangm, Rizal & Ahmad from Peninsular Malaysia; L. semperi (Peters) from the Philippines (Mindanao and Camiguin Islands); L. surda (Boulenger) from Peninsular Malaysia; L. venemai (Brongersma) from Indonesia: Papua Province; and L. zamboangensis (Brown & Alcala) from the Philippines (Mindanao Island). 
CommentSynonymy: following Poyarkov et al. 2019. 
EtymologyReferring to its short tail compared to other lygosomine skinks, Boettger (1901) provided the species epithet "microcercum". He treated this as a flexible adjective by adjusting it to the neutral gender of the genus name Lygosoma. However, such an adjective does not exist in the Latin language. The noun "cercus" is a Latinized version of the ancient Greek "κέρκος (kérkos)" in female gender, meaning "tail". When used as a noun in apposition, the species epithet cannot be reflected and therefore must be used as "microcercus" (fide Poyarkov et al. 2019). 
References
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