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Panaspis africana (GRAY, 1845)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Guinea Lidless Skink 
SynonymMocoa africana GRAY 1845: 85
ygosoma (Mocoa) africanum — PETERS 1874: 162
Lygosoma africanum — BOULENGER 1887: 265
Lygosoma africanum — BOCAGE 1903: 53
Lygosoma africanum — STERNFELD 1917
Riopa (Panaspis) africanum — SMITH 1937: 229
Leiolopisma africana MITTLEMAN 1952
Panaspis africana africana — FUHN 1972: 261
Panaspis africana — PERRET 1973
Panaspis africana — GREER 1974: 29
Leptosiaphos africana — HAFT 1993: 59
Afroablepharus africanus — SCHMITZ et al. 2005
Panaspis africanus — MEDINA et al. 2016
Panaspis africana — SOARES et al. 2018
Panaspis africana — CHAPPLE et al. 2021 
DistributionPrincipe, Rolas, Sao Tome (Gulf of Guinea, W Africa)

Type locality: “Afrique occidentale”; restricted to “Príncipe” by JESUS et al. 2007.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.18.85 (formerly XV.32.a) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Panaspis africana can be distinguished from other Gulf of Guinea Oceanic Islands Panaspis by the following characteristics 1) preocular and prefrontal scales not in contact; 2) a medium SVL (22–47.5 mm); 3) the limbs do not touch each other when adpressed to the body; 4) an high number of paraventral scales (29–54); 5) between 7 to 15 lamellae under the fourth toe and 6 to 10 under the fourth finger; 6) an orange-brown coloration on the body. 
CommentSynonymy mainly after PERRET 1973, FUHN 1972, and SOARES et al. 2018 
EtymologyNamed after its African origin. 
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Ceríaco, L. M. P., Marques, M. P., de Sousa, A. C. A., Veríssimo, J., Beja, P., & Ferreira, S. 2023. Illustrated keys and a DNA barcode reference library of the amphibians and terrestrial reptiles (Amphibia, Reptilia) of São Tomé and Príncipe (Gulf of Guinea, West Africa). ZooKeys, 1168, 41-75
  • Chapple, David G; Roll, Uri; Böhm, Monika; Aguilar, Rocío Amey, Andrew P Austin, Chris C Baling, Marleen Barley, Anthony J Bates, Michael F Bauer, Aaron M Blackburn, Daniel G Bowles, Phil Brown, Rafe M Chandramouli, S R Chirio, Laurent Cogger, Hal Co 2021. Conservation Status of the World’s Skinks (Scincidae): Taxonomic and Geographic Patterns in Extinction Risk. Biological Conservation 257: 109101 - 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
  • Haft J. 1993. Ein Beitrag zur Biologie der Echsen der Insel Sao Tome (Golf von Guinea), mit näherer Betrachtung zur Systematik von Leptosiaphos africana (Gray) (Reptilia: Sauria: Geckonidae et Scincidae). FAUNISTISCHE ABHANDLUNGEN (DRESDEN) 19 (1-16): 59-70.
  • Jesus, José; D. James Harris and António Brehm 2007. Relationships of Afroablepharus Greer, 1974 skinks from the Gulf of Guinea islands based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA: Patterns of colonization and comments on taxonomy. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45 (3): 904-914 - get paper here
  • Medina, Maria F.; Aaron M. Bauer, William R. Branch, Andreas Schmitz, Werner Conradie, Zoltan T. Nagy, Toby J. Hibbitts, Raffael Ernst, Daniel M. Portik, Stuart V. Nielsen, Timothy J. Colston, Chifundera Kusamba, Mathias Behangana, Mark-Oliver Rödel, 2016. Molecular phylogeny of Panaspis and Afroablepharus skinks (Squamata: Scincidae) in the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 100: 409–423, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.04.026 - get paper here
  • Perret J L 1973. Contribution à l'étude des Panaspis (Reptilia, Scincidae) d'Afrique occidentale avec la description de deux espèces nouvelles. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 80 (2): 595-630 - get paper here
  • Pollo, César J. 2017. Guide of Amphibians and Reptiles of São Tomé and Príncipe. Smashwords / César J. Pollo, 156 pp. - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1937. A review of the genus Lygosoma (Scincidae: Reptilia) and its allies. Records of the Indian Museum 39 (3): 213-234
  • Soares, Leonor B.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco, Mariana P. Marques, Cristiane Bastos-Silveira, Lauren A. Scheinberg, D. James Harris, António Brehm & José Jesus 2018. Review of the leaf-litter skinks (Scincidae: Panaspis) from the Gulf of Guinea Oceanic Islands, with the description of a new species,. African Journal of Herpetology 67 (2): 132-159, DOI: 10.1080/21564574.2017.1413015 - get paper here
  • Sternfeld, R. 1917. Reptilia und Amphibia. In: Schubotz, H. (Hrsg.): Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Zweiten Deutschen Zentral-Afrika-Expedition, 1910-1911 unter Führung Adolph Friedrichs, Herzog zu Mecklenburg. Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, [Band] 1, Zoologie, Lieferung 11; S. 407-510. - get paper here
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