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Prasinohaema parkeri (SMITH, 1937)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Parker's Green Tree Skink 
SynonymLygosoma parkeri SMITH 1937: 234
Prasinohaema parkeri — GREER 1974: 12
Prasinohaema parkeri — SLAVENKO et al. 2021 (incertae sedis) 
DistributionPapua New Guinea

Type locality: Utakwa River, Dutch New Guinea.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.3.42 (formerly 1913.11.1.57) 
CommentListed as “Prasinohaema parkeri SMITH 1849” in FRANK & RAMUS 1995.

Abundance: only known from the type locality (Meiri et al. 2017). This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024.

Synonymy: Prasinohaema parkeri (Smith, 1937) was originally placed in Prasinohaema by Greer (1974), seemingly based on having basally enlarged subdigital lamellae and transverse cross-bands on the dorsum, a coloration pattern it shares with Pr. prehensicauda and Pr. flavipes, but also with Pr. semoni which is phylogenetically distant from the former two species. However, no information was given in Smith (1937) regarding the condition of its tail or the colour of its blood serum or tissues, data for the latter of which would not have been available for Greer in his revision (Greer, 1974) since the species was never collected after its original description. Furthermore, Pr. parkeri lacks lobules on the anterior edge of the ear opening and has a unique arrangement of the frontal (contacting the three vs. two anteriormost supraoculars) and prefrontals (fused with the anterior loreals). Pr. parkeri is only known from its type specimen (Meiri et al., 2018) collected in the Utakwa River (Smith, 1937), presumably along the southern slopes of the Sudirman Range (Wollaston, 1914). Although the presence of basally expanded subdigital lamellae and cross-bands may suggest an affinity with Pr. prehensicauda and Pr. flavipes, these traits are also common in at least some other New Guinean skinks (e.g. basally expanded subdigital lamellae in Li. longiceps, cross-bands and basally expanded subdigital lamellae in Pr. semoni), and therefore its placement in Prasinohaema is uncertain. Similarly, the presence of green blood serum and tissues alone would not be enough to place it in Prasinohaema, as both Pr. semoni and Pr. virens possess this trait but are otherwise morphologically and phylogenetically distant from Pr. prehensicada and Pr. flavipes (Slavenko et al. 2021). 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Hampton Wildman Parker (1897-1968), an English zoologist who studied in Cambridge. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - 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
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