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Lobulia sabini KRAUS, 2020

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymLobulia sabini KRAUS 2020 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Milne Bay Province)

Type locality: Camp 4” on N side Mt. Simpson, 10.0364° S, 149.5749° E, 2480 m a.s.l., Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. BPBM 16766 (field tag FK 7408), collected by F. Kraus, 16 February 2003.
Paratypes (n = 20). Papua New Guinea: Milne Bay Province: same locality as holotype (BPBM 16765, 16768, 16770, 16775, 16777, 16780); Mt. Simpson summit, 10.0362° S, 149.5677° E, 2740 m a.s.l. (BPBM 16772, 16779); “Camp 5” on N side Mt. Simpson, 10.0209° S, 149.5947° E, 1490 m a.s.l. (BPBM 16781–83); Bunisi village, 10.0171° S, 149.6002° E, 1420 m a.s.l. (BPBM 16761–64); Siyomu Village, 10.0105° S, 149.6014° E, 1200 m a.s.l. (BPBM 16784–88). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A moderately sized species of Lobulia, adult SVL 49.5–60 mm; with a body having a rounded cross-section, distinct frontoparietals, two supralabials posterior to subocular, scales of temporal region not highly fragmented, single pair of chinshields in medial contact behind the postmental, no ear lobules, subdigital lamellae 17–21 under 4th toe, mid-body scale rows 26–32, paravertebral scales 50–63, mid-dorsum covered with rows of small dark-brown spots or speckles, top of tail base with 2–4 rows of small dark spots/speckles, dark-brown lateral stripe or field present, pale-bronze dorsolateral stripe present, light field on abdomen that lacks brown spotting 4–8 scales wide, and brown spotting under thighs and precloacal region.
Lobulia sabini sp. nov. differs from all other species of Lobulia in having only a single pair of enlarged chin shields in medial contact (vs. 2 or more in the other species) and from all these species except L. stellaris in lacking ear lobules. Lobulia sabini sp. nov. further differs from L. brongersmai in having distinct frontoparietals (vs. frontoparietals fused together in L. brongersmai) and a rounded body in cross section (vs. flattened in L. brongersmai); from L. alpina and L. subalpina in having two supralabials posterior to the subocular supralabial (vs. three in L. alpina and L. subalpina), in having the last supralabial entire (vs. horizontally divided into two scales in L. alpina and L. subalpina), and in having the scales of the temporal region not highly fragmented (vs. highly fragmented in L. alpina and L. subalpina); from L. glacialis and L. stellaris in having the scales of the temporal region not highly fragmented (vs. somewhat fragmented in L. glacialis and L. stellaris), in having 17–21 subdigital lamellae (vs. 12–16 in L. glacialis and 13–18 in L. stellaris), 26–32 midbody scale rows (vs. 32–36 in L. glacialis and 33–38 in L. stellaris), and 50–63 paravertebral scales (vs. 67–76 in L. glacialis and 66–81 in L. stellaris).
Lobulia sabini sp. nov. is most similar in scalation to L. elegans and L. lobulus. Besides the single pair of chin shields in medial contact and the lack of ear lobules, it further differs from L. elegans in its smaller adult size (SVL = 49.5–60 mm vs. 59–66.5 mm in L. elegans), rounded body (vs. flattened in L. elegans), lower mean number of subdigital lamellae under 4th toe (mean = 19.2, range = 17–21, n = 31 vs. mean = 23.2, range = 22–25, n = 10 in L. elegans), and in having the dark-brown mid-dorsal markings reduced to small spots or speckles (vs. two rows of large black checkers in L. elegans), a pale bronze dorsolateral stripe (vs. absent in L. elegans), a dark-brown lateral stripe or field (vs. absent in L. elegans), top of tail base with 2–4 rows of small dark-brown spots/speckles (vs. one row of large blotches in L. elegans), having brown spotting under thighs and precloacal region (vs. uniformly white in L. elegans), and a narrow light field on abdomen without brown spotting (mean = 6.6 scales wide, range = 4–8, n = 21 vs. uniformly 10 scales wide in six L. elegans). L. sabini sp. nov. further differs from L. lobulus in its lower number of mid-body scale rows (26–32 vs. 34–36 in L. lobulus), brown mid-dorsum without two lines of conjoined dark-brown spots (vs. with in L. lobulus), and having brown spotting under thighs and precloacal region (vs. uniformly white in L. lobulus).

Color in life. In life, BPBM 16765 was noted as “Dorsum brown with black edging to scales. Dorsolateral line of light spots. Sides black with many small yellow flecks more or less arrayed in horizontal rows. Venter deep lemon yellow from chin through first half of tail.” Some animals had a dark lateral field below the dorsolateral black stripe (Fig. 3B), but many had whitish sides below the dorsolateral stripe (Fig. 3C). BPBM 16761 had the chin and throat white and the remaining ventral surfaces of the body, tail, and limbs deep lemon yellow; the palmar and plantar surfaces had a lemon-yellow ground color with most scales suffused with brown (Fig. 3D). BPBM 16766 and most other animals had a white chin whereas the remainder of the venter was yellow. BPBM 16780 was entirely white below instead of yellow. 
Comment 
EtymologyThe species is named in honor of Mr. Andy Sabin for his generous financial support of the author’s work in New Guinea. Andrew Sabin made a fortune from a precious-metals recycling business and is an ardent Trump supporter. 
References
  • KRAUS, FRED 2020. A new species of Lobulia (Squamata: Scincidae) from Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa 4779 (2): 201–214 - get paper here
 
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