Palaia pulchra (BOULENGER, 1903)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Palaia pulchra?
|Higher Taxa||Scincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Synonym||Lygosoma pulchrum BOULENGER 1903: 127|
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) pulchrum — SMITH 1937: 225
Leiolopisma pulchrum — ZWEIFEL 1972: 535
Lipinia pulchra — GREER 1974: 11
Lipinia pulchra — MYS 1988: 140
Lipinia pulchra — DAS & AUSTIN 2007
Palaia pulchra — SLAVENKO et al. 2021
|Distribution||Papua New Guinea (north coast)|
Type locality: Albert Edwards Range, 6000 feet (elevation).
|Types||Syntypes: unlocated; was BMNH 19184.108.40.206-40 (formerly 1901.11.27.8-9), Albert Edward Range, 6000ft, New Guinea, collected H.S. Rohu, but not in BMNH (P. Campbell, pers. comm., 7 July 2014).|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis (genus): Small (adult SVL 37.3–41.2 mm) skinks with short limbs (forelimbs 29.9–34.4% of SVL, hindlimbs 36.7–43.8% of SVL); small lobules present on anterior edge of ear opening; single pair of chin shields in medial contact; two supralabials posterior to subocular supralabial; chin shields abutting infralabials; lower eyelid with semi-transparent window; standard three-scale temporal region; nasal scale undivided; frontoparietals fused; oviparous; clutch size two; subdigital lamellae slightly expanded basally.|
Palaia differs from Nubeoscincus, Prasinohaema and Lobulia by having one pair of chin shields in medial contact (vs. two pairs) and an oviparous (vs. viviparous) reproductive mode. It further differs from Nubseoscincus and Lobulia by having slightly basally expanded subdigital lamellae. It further differs from Nubeoscincus and Prasinohaema by having the standard three-scale temporal region (vs. fragmented temporal region), the chin shields abutting the infralabials (vs. chin shields separated from infralabials by a row of genials) and fused (vs. unfused) frontoparietals. It further differs from Prasinohaema by lacking green blood serum (Greer, 1974) and tissues and a prehensile tail with a glandular tip. It differs from Papuascincus by having an undivided (vs. divided) nasal scale and slightly basally expanded subdigital lamellae and by lacking pustulate eggshells (Slavenko et al. 2021).
Description: external ear opening present; 24 midbody scale rows; 22 lamellae under toe IV; supralabial five in subocular position; and dorsum black with five greenish-white longitudinal lines (from DAS & AUSTIN 2007).
|Comment||Type species: Lygosoma pulchrum BOULENGER 1903: 127 is the type species of the genus Palaia SLAVENKO et al. 2021.|
|Etymology||Named after Latin “pulchra” = beautiful, handsome, fine, fair.|
The genus name is latinized feminine genus from the Tok Pisin palai, lizard.
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