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Phasmasaurus tillieri (INEICH & SADLIER, 1991)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLeiolopisma tillieri INEICH & SADLIER 1991
Lioscincus tillieri — BAUER & SADLIER 1993
Leiolopisma trilloni — FRANK & RAMUS 1995 (in error)
Lioscincus tillieri — BAUER 1999
Phasmasaurus tillieri — SADLIER et al. 2015 
DistributionS New Caledonia

Type locality: Riviere Bleue, maquis along the crestline,
166°40'06" E, 22°06'05" S, 310 m elevation, Malaise trap.  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1989.0026 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Moderately large in size, maximum SVL 61 mm (maruia) and 64 mm (tillieri), with a moderately elongate body, well developed limbs and digits, and very long tail* (maximum tail length range c. 250–300% of SVL respectively). 
CommentIn appearance it most closely resembles species of the endemic New Caledonian genus Tropidoscincus Bocage, 1873 but lacks the key diagnostic features for inclusion in that or any other monophyletic New Caledonian genus.

Abundance: Rare.

Leiolopisma tillieri Ineich & Sadlier, 1991 is the type species of the genus Phasmasaurus SADLIER et al. 2015. 
EtymologyFrom the Greek Phasma, a spectre, in the sense of the insect genus Phasma Lichtenstein, type genus for the family Phasmatidae, and for the order Phasmatodea in general, alluding to the phasmid-like appearance and behaviour of species in the group. Gender of the generic name based on the Greek sauros (masculine). 
  • Bauer, A. M. & SADLIER, R. A. (eds.) 2000. The herpetofauna of New Caledonia. Contributions to Herpetology, 17; Society for Study Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Bauer, A.M. 1999. The terrestrial reptiles of New Caledonia: The origin and evolution of a highly endemic herpetofauna. In: Ota,H. (ed) Tropical Island herpetofauna..., Elsevier, pp. 3-25 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. & Sadlier,R.A. 1993. Systematics, biogeography and conservation of the lizards of New Caledonia. Biodiv. Lett. 1: 107-122 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Ineich I. & SADLIER R A. 1991. A new species of scincid lizard from New Caledonia, South Pacific Ocean (Reptilia: Lacertilia: Scincidae). MEMOIRES DU MUSEUM NATIONAL D'HISTOIRE NATURELLE SERIE A ZOOLOGIE 149: 343-348.
  • Sadlier, R.A. & Bauer, A. M. 1999. The scincid lizard Lioscincus tillieri (Reptilia: Scincidae) from New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific: new information on the species’ biology, distribution and morphology. Rec. Austral. Mus. 51 (1): 93-98 - get paper here
  • Sadlier, Ross A., AARon M. BAueR, Glenn M. sheA, and sARAh A. sMith. 2015. Taxonomic resolution to the problem of polyphyly in the New Caledonian scincid lizard genus Lioscincus (Squamata: Scincidae). Records of the Australian Museum 67(7): 207–224 - get paper here
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