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Paracontias brocchii MOCQUARD, 1894

IUCN Red List - Paracontias brocchii - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Stone Skink 
SynonymParacontias brocchii MOCQUARD 1894
Paracontias brocchii — ANGEL 1942: 145
Paracontias brocchii — BRYGOO 1980: 910
Paracontias brocchii — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 320
Paracontias brocchii — SCHMITZ et al. 2005 
DistributionN Madagascar

Type locality: montagne d’Ambre  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1893.0207 (holotype by monotypy) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): The genus Paracontias as currently conceived (Brygoo, 1980b) has the following derived character states: supranasals absent; prefrontals absent; pretemporal single; nasal greatly reduced; loreal single (P. holomelas may occasionally have two); preocular single; presubocular single; supralabials five, third subocular; postsupralabial single; infralabials contacted by postmental one; external ear opening absent; limbs absent without external trace of their former position; presacral vertebrae >= 46; sternal ribs <= 2; mesosternum absent; complete inscriptional chevrons >= 19.
An interesting retained primitive character in Paracontias, especially vis-aÁ -vis many Amphiglossus, including the strongly limb-reduced A. stylus, is the contact between the first supraocular and the frontonasal which thereby excludes the first supraciliary from contacting the frontal.
Three subgenera have been recognized within Paracontias: Angelias (Brygoo, 1980b), Malacontias (Greer, 1970) and Paracontias (Mocquard, 1894). We have not used these taxonomic groups because the two characters used to diagnose them as subgenera ± the position of the nasal opening in relationship to the rostral scale and first supralabial scale, and the number of presacral vertebrae ± do not result in monophyletic groups in all cases. Angelias (two species) is diagnosed on the basis of the primitive state in each character; Paracontias (one species) has as its only derived character the highest number of presacral vertebrae, and Malacontias (two species) is diagnosed on a derived scale arrangement and an intermediate number of presacral vertebrae. Hence only Malacontias or a group combining Malacontias + Paracontias (intermediate to high number of presacral vertebrae) is likely to be a true lineage on these characters (Andreone et al. 2002: 164).
 
CommentLimb morphology: Limbless;

Morphology: no ear openings visible.

Type Species: Paracontias brocchii MOCQUARD 1894 is the type species of the genus Paracontias MOCQUARD 1894.

Key: Andreone et al. 2002: 164 provided a key to the species of Paracontias. 
EtymologyProbably named after Paul Louis Antoine Brocchi (1838-1898), a herpetologist who worked at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, with Milne-Edwards (Mocquard didn’t explain the name but Brocchi is the most likely candidate). 
References
  • Andreone, F. & Greer, A.E. 2002. Malagasy scincid lizards: descriptions of nine new species, with notes on the morphology, reproduction and taxonomy of some previously described species (Reptilia, Squamata: Scincidae). Journal of Zoology 258, 139-181 - get paper here
  • Angel, F. 1942. Les Lézards de Madagascar. Mem. Acad. Malagache, Tananarive XXXVI: 193 pp.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Brygoo, E.R. 1985. Les types des scincidés (Reptiles, Sauriens) du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, catalogue critique. Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. (4e sér.) 7 (sect. A 3), suppl.: 1-126
  • Brygoo,E.R. 1980. Systématique des lézards scincides de la région malgache. III. les ‘Acontias’ de Madagascar. Pseudacontias BARBOZA DU BOCAGE, 1899, Paracontias, MOCQUARD 1894, Pseudacontias, HEWITT 1929, et Malacontias, GREER 1970. IV. Amphiglossus reticulatus (KAUD Bull. Mus. natl. Hist. nat. Paris, 4th ser., Sect. A., 2 (3): 905-918
  • Crottini, Angelica; Janina Dordel, Jörn Köhler, Frank Glaw, Andreas Schmitz, Miguel Vences 2009. A multilocus phylogeny of Malagasy scincid lizards elucidates the relationships of the fossorial genera Androngo and Cryptoscincus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53 (1): 345-350 - get paper here
  • D’Cruze, N.; Köhler, J.; Franzen, M & Glaw, F. 2008. A conservation assessment of the amphibians and reptiles of the Forêt d’Ambre Special Reserve, north Madagascar. MADAGASCAR CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT 3 (1): 44-54 - get paper here
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln (ISBN 3-929449-01-3)
  • Köhler, J.; Vieites, D.R.; Glaw, F.; Kaffenberger, N. & Vences, M. 2009. A further new species of limbless skink, genus Paracontias, from eastern Madagascar. African Journal of Herpetology 58 (2): 98-105 - get paper here
  • Mocquard, F. 1894. Reptiles nouveaux ou insuffisamment connus de Madagascar. C. R. sommaire Séances Soc. philomath. Paris17: 1-10
  • Schmitz, A.; M.C. Brandley; P. Mausfeld; M. Vences; F. Glaw; R.A. Nussbaum and T.W. Reeder 2005. Opening the black box: phylogenetics and morphological evolution of the Malagasy fossorial lizards of the subfamily “Scincinae”. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34: 118–133 (published online 2004) - get paper here
  • Whiting, A.S.; Jack W. Sites, Jr. & Aaron M. Bauer 2004. Molecular phylogenetics of Malagasy skinks (Squamata: Scincidae). African Journal of Herpetology 53(2): 135-146 - get paper here
 
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