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

Type locality: Papua New Guinea, Central Province, crest of Owen Stanley Mts along the Kokoda Track, Myola 2 (9.1509°S, 147.7678°E), 2075 m elevation.  
ReproductionViviparous. Litter size of all three gravid females 2. (Slavenko et al. 2021) 
TypesHolotype: BPBM 44744 (field tag AA 23450), gravid adult female with two embryos, collected by O. Tallowin, on 5 April 2014.
Paratypes (n = 16): Papua New Guinea: Central Province: Crest of Owen Stanley Mts along the Kokoda Track: Myola 2 Guest House, 9.1509°S, 147.7675°E (WGS 84), 2076 m a.s.l. (BPBM 44729–38; four males, five females, one juvenile); Myola 1, 9.1508°S, 147.7675°E (WGS 84), 2057 m a.s.l. (BPBM 44739; female); Myola 1, 9.1506°S, 147.7672°E (WGS 84), 2072 m a.s.l. (BPBM 44740; male); Myola 1, 9.1509°S, 147.7675°E (WGS 84), 2076 m a.s.l. (BPBM 44741–42; two males); same locality as holotype (BPBM 44743; male); Myola 2, 9.1509°S, 147.7679°E (WGS 84), 2076 m a.s.l. (BPBM 44745; male). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-sized species of Ornithuroscincus (adult SVL 42.1–54.8 mm) characterized by the unique combination of short limbs (forelimbs 25.7–30.8% of SVL, hindlimbs 29.0–40.6% of SVL); frontoparietals unfused; nuchals 1–3 pairs; paravertebral scales 57–70; mid-body scale rows 32–41; 4th digit on front foot not longer than 3rd; subdigital lamellae 12–18 under 4th toe; single supradigital scales 3–5 on 4th toe; dorsal coloration light to dark brown in preservative, light to dark greenish brown in life; dark brown to black lateral field present; dorsolateral stripes absent; flanks speckled with spots no more than a single scale wide, blue in preservative, green in life; uniform coloration on abdomen, thighs and precloacal region that lacks brown spotting, light blue in preservative, bright green in life; tail uniformly light blue more or less speckled with light brown spots; palmar and plantar surfaces brown. (Slavenko et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Ornithuroscincus. viridis differs from all other species of Ornithuroscincus in lacking dorsolateral stripes, having shorter relative limb length (forelimbs 25.7–30.8% of SVL and hindlimbs 29.0–40.6% of SVL vs. forelimbs 27.0–36.3% of SVL and hindlimbs 33.3–47.3% of SVL) and a lower average count of subdigital lamellae under 4th toe (15.8, range = 12–18 vs. 20.2, range = 17–23). It further differs from O. bengaun and O. shearmani in having unfused (vs. fused) frontoparietals. It further differs from O. albodorsalis, O. noctua, O. nototaenia and O. cf. venemai by lacking a parietal eye spot (vs. present) and by having a higher count of midbody scale rows [32–41 vs. 22–26, 23–28, 24–25 and 24–26, respectively (Brongersma, 1953a; Zweifel, 1979; Shea & Greer, 2002)].

Ornithuroscincus viridis is most similar in body proportions and scalation to its sister species, O. pterophilus. However, it differs by being slightly smaller on average (mean adult SVL 49.7 mm, range = 42.1–54.8 vs. 55.9 mm, range = 50.1–62.3), in having shorter relative limb length (mean forelimbs 28.2% of SVL, range = 25.7–30.8 and hindlimbs 35.0% of SVL, range = 29.0–40.6 vs. mean forelimbs 30.4% of SVL, range = 27.0–33.7 and hindlimbs 38.0% of SVL, range = 33.3–42.5), a lower average count of subdigital lamellae under the 4th toe (15.8, range = 12–18 vs. 19.9, range = 17–23), primary nuchal scales being usually as wide as long (15 of 17) vs. wider than long (15 of 18), and most easily by colour pattern: O. viridis lacks dorsolateral stripes (vs. present in O. pterophilus), has uniform light to dark brown dorsal coloration (vs. light brown spotted with dark brown to black spots) and in life has a slight greenish tint to its dorsal coloration and bright green ventral surfaces (vs. lime green usually with lemon yellow on precloacal region and thighs). (Slavenko et al. 2021).

Color in life: Dorsum light to dark brown, often with green tint, usually uniform but rarely with sparse dark brown spotting (Figs 16, 24). Green tint not extending to tail, which remains brown. Sides dark brown to jet black, sharply demarcated from dorsum and speckled lightly or heavily with bright green spots a single scale wide. Sides becoming gradually lighter towards venter, dark lateral field of varying width. Venter uniformly bright green, less pronounced on tail and often changing to lemon yellow, with light brown dusting laterally, more pronounced under tail. (Slavenko et al. 2021). 
CommentSimilar species: O. inornatus, O. sabini, O. pterophilus. 
EtymologyFrom the Latin single-ending adjective viridis, green, in reference to the diagnostic coloration of the species in life. 
  • 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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