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Lobulia marmorata SLAVENKO, TAMAR, TALLOWIN, KRAUS, ALLISON, CARRANZA & MEIRI, 2021

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLobulia marmorata SLAVENKO, TAMAR, TALLOWIN, KRAUS, ALLISON, CARRANZA & MEIRI 2021
 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Hela Province)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, Hela Province, Muller Range (5.639°S, 142.625°E), 1900 m elevation.  
ReproductionViviparous. Litter size varies between 2–3 (mean 2.4, N = 9). (Slavenko et al. 2021) 
TypesHolotype: BPBM 34150 (field tag FK 12731), adult male, collected by F. Kraus, on 23 March 2009.
Paratypes (n = 32): Papua New Guinea: Hela Province: Muller Range: same locality as holotype (BPBM 34151–55, 34157; two males, two females, two juveniles); 5.652°S, 142.634°E (WGS 84), 1800 m a.s.l. (BPBM 34156, 34162–63; two males, one female); “Mt Yakapi”, 5.666°S, 142.643°E (WGS 84), 1966 m a.s.l. (BPBM 34158–60; two males, one female); “Point 17 = Dickson’s Village”, 5.64°S, 142.628°E (WGS 84), 1859 m a.s.l. (BPBM 34164–5, 34169–70, PNGNM 25284; two males, one female, two juveniles); “Kunida”, 5.6431°S, 142.634°E (WGS 84), 1910 m a.s.l. (BPBM 34166–8; one male, two females); “Dickson’s House”, 5.6454°S, 142.639°E (WGS 84), 1777 m a.s.l. (BPBM 34171–73, 34177, PNGNM 25281–83; four males, three females); 5.652°S, 142.643°E (WGS 84), 1860 m a.s.l. (BPBM 34174–76; one male, two females); 5.639°S, 142.625°E (WGS 84), 1900 m a.s.l. (BPBM 34178; male); “Top House”, 5.6591°S, 142.635°E (WGS 84), 1910 m a.s.l. (PNGNM 25285; male). 
DiagnosisDiangosis: A medium-sized species of Lobulia (adult SVL 41.9–56.9 mm), characterized by the unique combination of frontoparietals fused; supraorbital ridges typically pronounced; nuchals 2–4 pairs; paravertebral scales 46–56; mid-body scale rows 30–34; 4th digit on front foot longer than 3rd; subdigital lamellae 20–25 under 4th toe; single supradigital scales 3–4 on 4th toe; mid-dorsum with two rows of large dark brown spots converging to a single row roughly around midbody; top of tail with two rows of dark brown spots joining ventrally with dark lateral stripes along the tail length; light blue or white dorsolateral stripes absent; flanks dark brown spotted with grey; light blue or white lateral stripes absent; uniform coloration on abdomen and base of tail, lemon yellow in life, light blue in preservative; thighs and precloacal region without brown spotting; tail and chin uniform light blue speckled with brown spots; palmar and plantar surfaces dark yellow in life, light brown in preservative. (Slavenko et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Lobulia marmorata differs from Lo. elegans, Lo. lobulus and Lo. huonensis in having fused vs. unfused frontoparietals. Lobulia marmorata is most similar in scalation and coloration to Lo. brongersmai, but differs from it in having a higher average count of midbody scale rows [31.5 (30–34) vs. 29 (27–32)], a dark blotch on the nuchal region, posterior to the parietals, and a generally darker coloration due to larger size of the dark brown dorsal spots relative to the base grey coloration. (Slavenko et al. 2021).

Color in life: Notes for the holotype (BPBM 34150) stated “Dorsum tan with irregular black zigzags vertebrally and dorsolaterally, tan scales margined in black. Face black. Chest, belly, and under rear legs deep orange-yellow; chin and throat white with black spots. Mouth lining and tongue blue-black.” Paratypes BPBM 34152 and BPBM 34155 had the venter entirely white. (Slavenko et al. 2021). 
CommentSimilar species: L. brongersmai. 
EtymologyFeminine Latin adjective meaning “marbled”, in reference to the marbled grey and dark brown dorsal coloration of the species. 
References
  • Slavenko, Alex, Karin Tamar, Oliver J. S. Tallowin, Fred Kraus, Allen Allison, Salvador Carranza & Shai Meiri. 2021. Revision of the montane New Guinean skink genus Lobulia (Squamata: Scincidae), with the description of four new genera and nine new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society - get paper here
 
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