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Ornithuroscincus inornatus SLAVENKO, TAMAR, TALLOWIN, KRAUS, ALLISON, CARRANZA & MEIRI, 2021

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymOrnithuroscincus inornatus SLAVENKO, TAMAR, TALLOWIN, KRAUS, ALLISON, CARRANZA & MEIRI 2021
 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Morobe Province)

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, Morobe Province, north slope of Mt Strong, Kesemani (7.9372°S, 147.0544°E), 1733 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: BPBM 41226 (field tag AA 21402), collected by A. Allison, on 23 February 2012.

Paratypes: 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderate-sized species of Ornithuroscincus (adult SVL 47.9 mm), characterized by the unique combination of short limbs (forelimbs 32.7% of SVL, hindlimbs 41.2% of SVL); frontoparietals separate; nuchals two pairs; paravertebral scales 51; mid-body scale rows 35; 4th digit on front foot no longer than 3rd; subdigital lamellae 21 under 4th toe; single supradigital scales three on 4th toe; dorsal coloration uniform light brown; dorsolateral stripes present as thick, one to two scales wide, unfragmented stripes extending from orbital region to tail, becoming gradually thicker posteriorly, pale brown in preservative, pale green-yellow in life; dark brown lateral field present, lightly speckled with spots, pale blue in preservative, light brown in life; lateral field breaking up to brown spots ventrally; ventral surfaces uniform pale blue in preservative, with dark brown spotting on the thighs, precloacal region and tail; in life, ventral surfaces are green-yellow, becoming lemon yellow on the thighs and base of tail; palmar and plantar surfaces light brown in preservative, dark yellow in life. (Slavenko et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Ornithuroscincus inornatus differs from O. bengaun in having unfused (vs. fused) frontoparietals. It differs from O. albodorsalis, O. noctua, O. nototaenia and O. cf. venemai by having a uniform light brown dorsum with thick pale brown dorsolateral stripes (vs. uniform pale yellow dorsum, light brown dorsum with dark brown longitudinal stripes, pale yellow dorsum with single dark vertebral stripe or dark olive grey dorsum powdered with brown with thick white dorsolateral stripes, respectively), by lacking a parietal eye spot (vs. present) and by having a higher count of midbody scale rows (35 vs. 22–26, 23–28, 24–25 and 24–26, respectively; Brongersma, 1953a; Zweifel, 1979; Shea & Greer, 2002). It further differs from O. noctua by lacking a light yellow to white patch on the occiput. It differs from O. sabini in having uniform dorsal coloration (vs. spotted). (Slavenko et al. 2021).

Color in life: Dorsal surfaces light brown and lateral field dark brown, as in preservative (Fig. 19). Dorsolateral stripes green-yellow. Ventral surfaces green-yellow, becoming lemon yellow on thighs and base of tail. Palmar and plantar surfaces dark yellow. (Slavenko et al. 2021).
 
CommentSimilar species: O. sabini, O. pterophilus, O. viridis. 
EtymologyCombined masculine adjectival form of the Latin in, not, and ornatus, decorated, referring to its bland and simple colour pattern compared to other members of the genus. 
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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