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Scincella potanini (GÜNTHER, 1896)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesChinese: 康定滑蜥 
SynonymLygosoma potanini GÜNTHER 1896: 204
Scincella potanini MITTLEMAN 1952
Scincella potanini — GREER 1974: 7
Scincella potanini — WANG & ZHAO 1986
Scincella potanini — SHEA & GREER 2002
Scincella potanini — LINKEM et al. 2011 
DistributionChina (Kansu, Sichuan, Guizhou)

Type locality: “town of Ta-tsien-Iu” (= Kangding Co.), Sichuan Prov., China  
TypesHolotype: ZISP 8576 (considered “unlocated” by SHEA & GREER 2002), but not found in the ZISP collection in January 2017 fide Barabanov & Milto 2017. 
CommentSHEA & GREER 2002 could not locate the holotype of this species. 
Etymologynamed after the collector of the types, Mr. Potanin. Grigory Nikolayaevich Potanin (1835-1920) was a Russian explorer of Inner Asia. He served in a Cossack regiment in Siberia (1850s) and began support for Siberian separatism. He studied Physics in St Petersburg (1858-1861). He was arrested and imprisoned (1861) for participating in a student demonstration. Expelled from the University, on release, he returned to Siberia to work as a publisher. Arrested again (1867) for political activities he was sentenced to 3 years prison followed by 5 years hard labour. He led expeditions (1876-1877) to Mongolia and Northern China (1884-1886). He was a founder of Tomsk State University (1889). He supported the 1905 Revolution and was arrested. He was chairman of Siberia's short-lived Provisional Council (1917-1918). He wrote The Tangut-Tibetan Borderlands of China and Central Mongolia (1893). An asteroid is named after him [from Michal Watkins, pers. comm.]. 
  • 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
  • Günther, A. 1896. Report on the collections of reptiles, batrachians and fishes made by Messrs Potanin and Berezowski in the Chinese provinces Kansu and Sze-chuen. Ann. Mus. Zool. Acad. Sci. St. Petersbourg 1: 199-219 - 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
  • Meng Yuan, Dao-Hong Li & Long Zhang 2009. Scincella potanini: A New Genus and a New Species Record to Guizhou. Sichuan Journal of Zoology 28 (3): 427-427 - get paper here
  • Mittleman, M.B. 1952. A generic synopsis of the Lizards of the Subfamily Lygosominae. Smithson. misc. Collns, 117: 1-35. - get paper here
  • Shea, Glenn M. and Allen E. Greer 2002. From Sphenomorphus to Lipinia: Generic reassignment of two poorly known New Guinea skinks. Journal of Herpetology 36 (2): 148-156 - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Wang, YUE-ZHAO 1986. Studies on Chinese species of Scincella (Scincidae, Sauria) [in Chinese]. Acta Herpetol. Sinica, Chengdu, [new ser.], 5 (4): 267-277 - get paper here
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