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Plestiodon finitimus OKAMOTO & HIKIDA, 2012

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Far Eastern Skink
Japanese: Higashi-Nihon-Tokage 
SynonymPlestiodon finitimus OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012
Scincus quinquelineatus — TEMMINCK & SCHLEGEL 1838: 99, 139 (in part)
Plestiodon quinquelineatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 707 (in part)
Plestiodon quinquelineatum — GRAY 1845: 91
Plestiodon quinquelineatum — BLEEKER 1858: 205 (in part)
Eumeces (Plestiodon) japonicus — BÖTTGER 1878, p. 4 (in part)
Eumeces japonicus — BOCOURT 1879: 423 (in part)
Eumeces japonicus — GORIS & MAEDA 2004, p. 162 (in part)
Eumeces quinquelineatus — HILGENDORF 1880: 113
Eumeces quinquelineatus — FRITZE 1891: 239 (in part)
Eumeces marginatus — BOULENGER 1887: 371 (in part)
Eumeces marginatus — OKADA 1891: 70 (in part)
Eumeces marginatus — BÖTTGER 1893: 111 (in part)
Eumeces marginatus — FRITZE 1894: 860 (in part)
Eumeces marginatus — ELPAJEWSKY & SABANEJEW 1906: 255
Eumeces latiscutatus latiscutatus — STEJNEGER 1907:195 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus latiscutatus — VAN DENBURGH 1912: 213 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus latiscutatus — OKADA 1939: 162 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus — BARBOUR 1909: 63 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus — HATTA 1914: 31 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus — NIKOLSKI 1915: 508
Eumeces latiscutatus — TERENTJEV 1923: 76
Eumeces latiscutatus — PAVLOV 1932: 8
Eumeces latiscutatus — TAYLOR 1936: 276 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus — NAKAMURA & UÉNO 1963: 106 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus — HIKIDA 1979: 38 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus — HIKIDA 1993: 2 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus — HIKIDA 1996: 80 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus — HIKIDA & Motokawa, 1999: 235 (in part)
Eumeces latiscutatus — MOTOKAWA & HIKIDA 2003: 97 ("eastern group")
Eumeces latiscutatus — SCHMITZ et al. 2004 (in part)
Eumeces pekinensis — STEJNEGER 1925: 51 (in part, Ussuri coast population)
Eumeces xanthi — TAYLOR 1936, p. 245 (in part, Ussuri coast population)
Plestiodon japonicus — OKAMOTO et al., 2006: 419 (in part)
Plestiodon japonicus — OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2009: 183 (‘northeastern lineage’ and ‘central lineage’)
Plestiodon japonicus — BRANDLEY et al., 2011: 7
Plestiodon japonicus — BRANDLEY et al., 2012: 166 (in part) 
DistributionJapan (Honshu, Hokkaido), Russia (Kuril Archipelago)

Type locality: Ikegami, Ota Ward, Tokyo Metropolis, eastern Japan (site 11, Fig. 1, N35°35', E139°42' [WGS84 coordinate], 20 m elevation)  
TypesHolotype: KUZ R65128, an adult male, Kyoto University Museum Zoological Collection (KUZ). Collected on June 16, 2008 by Taku Okamoto. Paratypes. All collected from the type locality by Taku Okamoto, KUZ R64911–14 collected on April 14, 2008; KUZ R65125–27, 65129, and 65130 collected on June 16, 2008; KUZ R66059–63 collected on April 9, 2009. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A moderate-sized Plestiodon (ca. 60–90 mm SVL for adults). This species, together with P. japonicus and P. latiscutatus, is distinguished from the congeners other than the P. latiscutatus species-group members by having synapomorphies of the group (Hikida, 1993): fan-shaped upper secondary temporal with emarginated posterior margin overlapped by lower secondary temporal, a pair of keeled postanal scales, and a single postmental. They differ from P. elegans (Boulenger) in lacking an enlarged irregular scale patch on the postfemoral region, from P. stimpsonii (Thompson) in always having five instead of seven yellowish stripe patterns on the dorsal to lateral surface of juveniles and a lateral line passing the level of the ear opening instead above the ear opening, and from P. elegans, P. marginatus, and P. stimpsonii in usually having postnasal and vivid orange coloring on the ventral surface of the head (and sometimes trunk) of adult males in the breeding season (late March to May). This species differs from P. barbouri (van Denburgh) in having 24–29 MSRs, from the Izu Insular populations of P. latiscutatus in having a bifurcating dorsal yellowish stripe pattern on juvenile heads, and from the Izu Peninsular population of P. latiscutatus in usually having a small postnasal and large anterior loreal contacting the supralabials (Fig. 2A). This species, except for the Mt. Hakkoda population (site 2 in Fig. 1), differs from P. japonicus in having a pair of prefrontals usually separated from each other by a frontal and frontonasal. The Mt. Hakkoda population differs from P. japonicus in having a larger number (26–29) of MSRs and one or two postlabial(s) in comparable frequencies (Fig. 4A, B in OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012). 
CommentSimilar species: P. japonicus, P. latiscutatus.

Synonymy: after OKAMOTO & HIKIDA 2012 (where all references can be found).

Juveniles of this species have blue tails as in many other Plestiodon. 
EtymologyThe Latin epithet finitimus means ‘adjacent’ or ‘neighboring’ and refers to the parapatric geographic range of this species with the two congeners P. latiscutatus and P. japonicus. The epithet also means ‘related to’ or ‘similar to’ and refers to the morphological similarity to P. latiscutatus and P. japonicus owing to their close kinship. 
  • Dunaev E.A., Orlova V.F. 2017. Amphibians and reptiles of Russia. Atlas and determination. 2nd. ed. Moscow: Phyton XXI, 328 p
  • Okamoto, T., Tsukamoto, S., Kuro-o, M., Kuriyama, T., & Motokawa, M. 2021. Complex Historical Biogeography of the Eastern Japanese Skink, Plestiodon finitimus (Scincidae, Squamata), Revealed by Geographic Variation in Molecular and Morphological Characters. Zoological Science, 38 (2): 148-161 - get paper here
  • Okamoto, Taku 2016. Historical Biogeography of the Terrestrial Reptiles of Japan: A Comparative Analysis of Geographic Ranges and Molecular Phylogenies. Species Diversity of Animals in Japan, pp 135-163; DOI<br />10.1007/978-4-431-56432-4_5 - get paper here
  • OKAMOTO, TAKU & TSUTOMU HIKIDA 2012. A new cryptic species allied to Plestiodon japonicus (Peters, 1864) (Squamata: Scincidae) from eastern Japan, and diagnoses of the new species and two parapatric congeners based on morphology and DNA barcode. Zootaxa 3436: 1–23 - get paper here
  • Orlov, Nikolai L.; Yuri N. Sundukov, Larissa A. Sundukova 2018. Record of a New Locality and General Distribution of the Far Eastern Skink (Plestiodon finitimus) on the Island of Kunashir (Kuril Archipelago, Far East of Russia). Russ. J. Herpetol. 25 (3): 227-235 - get paper here
  • Sundukov, Yuri N.; Larissa A. Sundukova, Nikolai L. Orlov 2020. Food Composition of the Far Eastern Skinks (Plestiodon finitimus) on the Kunashir Island (Kuril Islands, Russian Far East). Russian Journal of Herpetology 27 (5): 303-306 - get paper here
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