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Lygisaurus foliorum DE VIS, 1884

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Tree-base Litter-skink, Rainbow-skink 
SynonymLygisaurus foliorum DE VIS 1884
Heteropus blackmanni DE VIS 1885
Ablepharus burnetti OUDEMANS 1894: 145
Lygosoma blackmanni — OUDEMANS 1894: 143
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) blackmanni — SMITH 1937: 225
Carlia foliorum — COGGER 1983
Lygisaurus burnetti — GREER 2005 (online)
Lygisaurus foliorum — COGGER 2000: 539
Carlia burnetti — STUART -FOX et al. 2002
Lygisaurus foliorum — DOLMAN & HUGALL 2008 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Queensland)

Type locality: Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane, Qld.  
TypesNeotype: QM J23660, collected C. Morris & A. Merrit, 22.vii.1973. Designated by Ingram & Covacevich (1988). Holotype: QM presumed lost, see Covacevich (1971). 
DiagnosisDefinition (genus Lygisaurus): The clade comprising Lygisaurus foliorum de Vis, 1884, and all organisms or species that share a more recent common ancestor with Lygisaurus foliorum than with Carlia munda or Liburnascincus coensis (DOLMAN & HUGALL 2008).

Description (genus Lygisaurus): A genus of the Carlia group of skinks, maximum adult SVL ranging from 30 to 39 mm, body and head slender, limbs small to moderately well developed, usually 6 or 7 supralabials, dorsal body scales weakly striate never keeled, sexes similar in colour and pattern but breeding males in some species develop reddish colouring confined to the head or tail, usually 15 premaxillary teeth ([Ingram and Covacevich, 1988b] and [Ingram and Covacevich, 1989]).

Diagnosis: L. foliorum is a large Lygisaurus, with a maximum SV length of 39 mm.
L. foliorum and L. timlowi are the only species of Lygisaurus with the lower eyelid fused (or partially fused) above and with a large trans parent palpebral disc. They are readily dis tinguished from each other by ear size and shape (L. foliorum, smaller than disc with longer axis horizontal vs L. timlowi, very much smaller than disc), ear lobules (present vs absent), supraoculars (4 vs usually 3, occasionally 1 or 2), interparietal scale (free vs fused to interparietal), supralabials (7 or 8, with the 5lh or 6th under the eye vs 6, with the 4th under the eye), midbody scale count (21-25 vs 18-20), and lamellae under the fourth toe (17-23 vs 15-19).
L. foliorum appears to be a sister species of L. aeratus despite the fact that the latter species has a moveable eyelid, a character which may appear to be fused in spirit material and cause confusion between these two species (Ingram and Covacevich, 1988: 336).  
CommentType Species: Lygisaurus foliorum de Vis, 1884 is the type species of the genus Lygisaurus de Vis, 1884.

Phylogeny: Bragg et al. 2018 presented a phylogeny of the genera Lygisaurus, Liburnascincus, and Carlia. 
  • Bragg, J. G., Potter, S., Afonso Silva, A. C., Hoskin, C. J., Bai, B. Y. H., & Moritz, C. 2018. Phylogenomics of a rapid radiation: the Australian rainbow skinks. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 18(1), 15 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Copland, S. J. 1949. Taxonomic notes on the genus Ablepharus (Sauria: Scincidae). II. The races of Ablepharus burnetti OUDEMANS. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 73 (5/6): 362-371 - get paper here
  • Couper, P., Covacevich, J., Amey, A. & Baker, A. 2006. The genera of skinks (Family Scincidae) of Australia and its island territories: diversity, distribution and identification. in: Merrick, J.R., Archer, M., Hickey, G.M. & Lee, M.S.Y. (eds.). Evolution and Zoogeography of Australasian Vertebrates. Australian Scientific Publishing, Sydney, pp. 367-384
  • Couper, Patrick J.; Jessica Worthington Wilmer; Lewis Roberts; Andrew P. Amey and George R. Zug 2005. Skinks currently assigned to Carlia aerata (Scincidae : Lygosominae) of north-eastern Queensland: a preliminary study of cryptic diversity and two new species. Australian Journal of Zoology 53 (1): 35-49 - get paper here
  • Covacevich, J. 1971. Amphibian and reptile type specimens in the Queensland Museum. [type catalogue] Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 16: 49-68 - get paper here
  • Daan, S. & Hillenius,D. 1966. Catalogue of the type specimens of amphibians and reptiles in the Zoological Museum, Amsterdam. Beaufortia 13: 117-144
  • De Vis, C. W. 1884. New Queensland lizards. Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 1: 77-78 - get paper here
  • De Vis, C. W. 1885. A conspect of the genus Heteropus. Proc. Roy. Soc. Queensland 1: 166-173 - get paper here
  • Dolman, Gaynor & Andrew F. Hugall 2008. Combined mitochondrial and nuclear data enhance resolution of a rapid radiation of Australian rainbow skinks (Scincidae: Carlia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49 (3): 782-794 - get paper here
  • Ingram G; Covacevich J 1988. Revision of the genus Lygisaurus de Vis (Scincidae: Reptilia) in Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 25 (2): 335-354 - get paper here
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • Murphy, Michael J. 2016. Survey of the reptiles and amphibians of Yarrigan National Park in the Pilliga forest of northern inland New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 38 (2): 147- - get paper here
  • Oudemans, J. Th. 1894. Eidechsen und Schildkröten. In Semon, R. Zoologische Forschungsreisen in Australien und dem Malayischen Archipel. Denkschriften der Medicinisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft zu Jena, 8:127—146 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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