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Scincella caudaequinae (SMITH, 1951)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Horsetail Falls Ground Skink, Horsehead Ground Skink
S: Salamanquesa de Cola Café 
SynonymLeiolopisma caudaequinae SMITH 1951
Scincella caudaequinae — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 158
Scincella silvicola caudaequinae — DARLING & SMITH 1954
Scincella caudaequinae — GREER 1974: 32
Scincella silvicola caudaequinae — LINER 1994
Scincella caudaequinae — SHEA & GREER 2002: 156
Scincella syvicola caudaequinae — LAZCANO VILLARREAL & DIXON 2002
Scincella caudaequinae — GARCIA-VÁZQUEZ & FERIA-ORTIZ 2006
Scincella silvicola caudaequinae — LINER & CASAS-ANDREU 2008: 88
Scincella silvicola caudaequinae — GARCÍA-VÁZQUEZ et al. 2010
Scincella caudaequinae — LINKEM et al. 2011
Scincella silvicola caudaequinae — LAZCANO et al. 2017 
DistributionMexico (S San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas).

Type locality: Salto Cola de Caballo, 25 miles south of Monterrey.  
TypesHolotype: INHS (= UIMNH) 10131 = Univ. Illinois Mus. Nat. Hist., paratypes: USNM (from 10 miles west of Naranjo, San Luis Potosi) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A member of the genus Leiolopisma similar and related to L. silvicolum, having a divided frontoparietal, 61-70 dorsals, a brown lateral stripe involving ear, 28-32 scale rows, and large, strong limbs overlapping in adults when adpressed and the fore-limb reaching eye; differing from silvicolum in having usually 1 pair of nuchals, 17-19 lamellae under the fourth toe, and a continuous, unbroken dorsolateral light stripe. (Smith 1951)

Comparisons. From forbesorum the present form differs chiefly in length of foreleg (reaching orbit) and extent of overlap of adpressed limbs (touching or overlapping as much as 7 scale lengths). In forbesorum the foreleg does not extend forward beyond a point halfway between eye and ear, and the adpressed limbs are separated by from 1 to 8 scales. The most conspicuous difference is in limb proportions, those of caudaequinae being conspicuously larger and longer than those of g. forbesorum. In addition the new species possesses a different curve of variation in scale row count around middle of body (28, four; 30, two; 32, one), although it overlaps that of g. forbesorum (26, two; 27, one; 28, seven) so greatly that it has no diagnostic value, and even its significance is questionable. L.gemmingeri, like forbesorum, has short limbs. L. silvicolum, the only other species in Mexico of this group, has long limbs as in caudaequinae, but the nuchals are usually in 2 rows, the lamellae under the 4th toe 20, the dorsolateral light stripe is broken, and the scale rows more regularly 30 or 32. (Smith 1951) 
CommentDistribution: Not listed for San Luis Potosí by Lemos-Espinal & Dixon 2013; not listed for Nuevo León by LEMOS-ESPINAL et al. 2016 (who consider caudaequinae as a subspecies of S. silvicola, Lemos-Espinal, pers. comm. 5 June 2016). Although the type locality has been said to be in Nuevo León, this species is not in Nuevo León fide Nevárez-de los Reyes et al. 2016. Not in Querétaro fide Tepos-Ramírez et al. (2023). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality, the Horsetail Falls. 
  • Darling, Donald, M. and Hobart M. Smith. 1954. A collection of reptiles and amphibians from eastern Mexico. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, 57(2): 180-195 - get paper here
  • García-Vázquez, Canseco-Márquez & Nieto-Montes de Oca 2010. A New Species of Scincella (Squamata: Scincidae) from the Cuatro Ciénegas Basin, Coahuila, Mexico. Copeia 2010 (3): 373-381 - get paper here
  • Garcia-Vázquez, U. & Feria-Ortiz, M. 2006. Scincidos de México. Reptilia (Spain) (62): 78-83
  • Garcia-Vázquez, U. & Feria-Ortiz, M. 2006. Skinks of Mexico. Reptilia (GB) (49): 74-79 - 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
  • Lazcano Villarreal, David & Dixon, J.R. 2002. Lista Preliminar de la Herpetofauna del Estado de Nuevo León. - get paper here
  • Lazcano, D., R. Quirino-Olvera, M. Nevárez de los Reyes and J. Banda-Leal 2017. Notes on Mexican Herpetofauna 29: Association of Herpetofauna with Sotols and Beargrasses in the State of Nuevo León, Mexico. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 52: 17 - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal JA, Smith GR, Woolrich-Piña GA 2018. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, with comparisons with adjoining states. ZooKeys 753: 83-106 - get paper here
  • Linkem, Charles W.; Arvin C. Diesmos, Rafe M. Brown 2011. Molecular systematics of the Philippine forest skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Sphenomorphus): testing morphological hypotheses of interspecific relationships. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 163: 1217–1243 - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M. & Taylor,E.H. 1950. An annotated checklist and key to the reptiles of Mexico exclusive of the snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 199: 1-253 - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M. 1951. A new species of Leiolopisma (Reptilia: Sauria) from Mexico. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 34 (3): 195-200 - get paper here
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