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Menetia greyii GRAY, 1845

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Common Dwarf Skink 
SynonymMenetia greyii GRAY 1845: 66
Menetia reidi (MCCOOEY 1895)
Ablepharus greyi — PIANKA 1969
Menetia greyii — GREER 1974: 29
Menetia amaura STORR 1978
Menetia greyii — COGGER 1983: 178
Menetia microscincus WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985: 33
Menetia greyii — COGGER 2000: 543
Menetia amaura — COGGER 2000: 542
Menetia greyii — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 316
Menetia greyii — WILSON & SWAN 2013
Menetia amaura — COGGER 2014: 654
Menetia greyii — COGGER 2014: 655 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland,South Australia,Victoria, Western Australia)

Type locality: W. A.

amaura: Australia (Western Australia); Type locality: False Entrance Well, Carrarang Station, 26° 23’ S, 113° 19’ E, W. A.  
Reproductionparthenogenetic, 1-3 eggs per clutch. 
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.8.16.9, designated by Storr, G. M. (1976).
Holotype: WAM R54724 [amaura] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (Menetia): The species of Menetia (as opposed to Pygmaeascincus and Lygisaurus) share a reduced number of supraciliaries (3-4 instead of 5 or more) of which the first and second, but especially the latter, are greatly enlarged; two supraoculars; eyelid completely ablepharine; splenial not distinct; premaxillae fused; maxillary teeth ≤ 12 (modified after Greer 1991 and P. Couper, pers. comm., 18 Nov 2014).
CommentDiet: primarily thysanura (silverfish), small spiders, and true bugs.

Type Species: Menetia greyii is the type species of the genus Menetia GRAY 1845 (fide GREER 1974).

Limb morphology: 4 fingers, 5 toes

Synonymy: after Glenn Shea, pers. comm. 4 Sep 2014. M. amaura has been considered a synonym of M. greyii by Aplin & Smith (1991) and its status seems to remain unclear.

Abundance: common, with more than 500 specimens collected (Pianka 2011)

amaura: One of the smallest skinks known (max. SVL about 25 mm)

Status (amaura). The status of amaura seems to be still unclear but most recent authors treat it as synonym of M. greyii. “Recent genetic studies of the genus Menetia have revealed extensive genetic diversity within a M. greyii ‘complex’ [...]. These studies also suggest the enigmatic holotype of Menetia amaura Storr, collected at False Entrance Well, Shark Bay, is very likely an aberrant specimen of a locally abundant and geographically widespread member of the M. greyii ‘complex’. Because the paralectotypes of M. greyii Gray were probably collected in the vicinity of Perth (Aplin et al. submitted), there is a good possibility that amaura is strictly synonymous with true greyii. Further molecular and taxonomic work is underway to resolve these issues.” (Aplin et al. 2001, Aplin et al. cited as submitted; Adams, Donnellan and Aplin unpublished; P. Doughty, pers. comm. 2 Apr 2014) 
EtymologyNamed after Sir George Grey (1812-1898), a soldier, explorer, colonial governor (of New Zealand and Cape Colony), premier, High Commissioner (South Africa, 1853)and scholar. He explored Western Australia (1837-1839). He tried to convert frontier tribes to Christianity to "civilize" them, supported mission schools, and built a hospital for African patients. 
  • Adams, M.; Foster, R.; Hutchinson, M.N.; Hutchinson, R.G.; Donnellan, S.C. 2003. The Australian scincid lizard Menetia greyii: an new instance of widespread vertebrate parthenogenesis. Evolution Int J Org Evolution 57 (11): 2619-2627 - get paper here
  • Aplin, K.P. and L.A. Smith 2001. Checklist of the frogs and reptiles of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement No. 63: 51–74 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bush, B. 1981. Reptiles of the Kalgoorlie-Esperance Region. B. Bush, Perth, 46 pp - get paper here
  • CHIACCHIO, MICHELE; ANNEGRET GRIMM-SEYFARTH<br />KLAUS HENLE<br /> AND JEAN-BAPTISTE MIHOUB 2020. Water availability as a major climatic driver of taxonomic and functional diversity in a desert reptile community. Ecosphere 11(7):e03190. 10.1002/ecs2.3190 - 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.
  • 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.; CONRAD J. HOSKIN 2014. A new genus to accommodate three skinks currently assigned to Menetia (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Zootaxa 3884 (6): 597–599 - get paper here
  • Dittmer, D. E., Chapman, T. L. & Bidwell, J. R. 2020. In the shadow of an iconic inselberg: Uluru’s shadow influences climates and reptile assemblage structure at its base. J. Arid Environ. 181, 104179 (2020) - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • Greer, A.E. 1974. The generic relationships of the scincid lizard genus Leiolopisma and its relatives. Australian Journal of Zoology 31: 1-67. - get paper here
  • Greer, Allen E. 2001. Distribution of maximum snout-vent length among species of Scincid lizards. Journal of Herpetology 35 (3): 383-395 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2020. An annotated list of reptiles and amphibians from the 1905 Hamburg expedition to southwest Australia deposited in the Zoological Museum Hamburg. Evolutionary Systematics 4: 61 - get paper here
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  • Ingram G J 1977. Descriptions of three small lizards - two of them new. Genus Menetia (Lacertilia, Scincidae) in Queensland. Victorian Naturalist 94: 184-187 - 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
  • Maryan, B., Browne-Cooper, R. and Bush, B. 2002. Herpetofauna Survey of the Maralla Road Bushland. Western Australian Naturalist 23: 197-205 - get paper here
  • McCooey 1985. Dubbo Dispatch and Wellington Independent 30 (84): 4
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Peterson, Magnus and Dean C. Metcalfe. 2015. Menetia greyii (Grey's skink) diet. Herpetological Review 46 (4): 631-632 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. 1969. Habitat specificity, speciation, and species density in Australian desert lizards. Ecology 50 (3): 498-502 - get paper here
  • Pianka, E. R. 2011. Notes on the natural history of the tiny skink Menetia greyi. Western Australian Naturalist 28: 12-17 - get paper here
  • Rankin P R 1979. A taxonomic revision of the genus Menetia (Lacertilia, Scincidae) in the Northern Territory. Rec. Austral. Mus. 32 (14): 491-499 - get paper here
  • Smyth, M. & Smith, M. J. 1974. Aspects of the natural history of three Australian skinks, Morethia boulengeri, Menetia greyii and Lerista bougainvillii. Journal of Herpetology 8 (3): 329-336 - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1978. Taxonomic notes on the reptiles of the Shark Bay region, Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 6 (3): 303-318 - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M. 1976. The genus Menetia (Lacertilia: Scincidae) in Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 4: 189-200. - get paper here
  • Storr, G. M., Smith, L. A. & Johnstone, R. E. 1981. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Perth: University of Western Australia Press and Western Australian Museum, 200 pp.
  • Storr, G. M.; L. A. Smith, and R. E. Johnstone 1999. Lizards of Western Australia. I. Skinks. Revised Edition. Western Australian Museum
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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