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Sphenomorphus fragosus GREER & PARKER, 1967

IUCN Red List - Sphenomorphus fragosus - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymSphenomorphus fragosus GREER & PARKER 1967
Sphenomorphus fragosus — ADLER, AUSTIN & DUDLEY 1995 
DistributionSolomon Islands (Bougainville)

Type locality: “at Lake Loloru (elev. 4300 feet), Bougainville, Solomon Islands”  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MCZ 92265 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: S, fragosus is a member of the variegatus species group (Greer and Parker, 1967), which is characterized by the presence of a large or small supranasal, and/or a double anterior loreal (although some species lack supranasals and have only a single anterior loreal); usually 5 or more supraoculars of which usually 3 or more are in contact with the frontal; digits and limbs well developed and generally overlapping broadly when adpressed to the body; and the absence of transversely enlarged vertebral scales, i.e., the middorsal scales are subequal in size. The variegatus species group includes all the species previously referred to the genera Otosaurus, Parotosaurus and Insulasaurus as well as part of the genus Sphenomorphus. Those species of the variegatus species group with a supranasal and/or double anterior loreal are as follows: amblyplacodes, annectens, anomalopus, celebense, concinnatus, cumingi, curtirostris, cyanolaemus, darlingtoni, granulatus, haasi, jobiense, kinabaluensis, maculicollus, mimikanus, multisquamulatus, murudensis, nigrolabris, sabanus, sarasinorousy simus, stickeli, taylori, totocarinatus, tropidonotus, variegatus, wrighti. Those members of the variegatus species group lacking both a supranasal and double anterior loreal are: aignanus, arborens, boulengeri, dussumieri, florense, formosensis, indicus, kühnei, lineopunctulatus, maculatus, melanochlorus, milnense, misolense, sanctus, striolatus.S. fragosus can be easily distinguished from other species of its species group by means of the small symmetrical scales on the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the snout (Fig. 1). In this more or less symmetrical fragmentation of the scales of the snout, S. fragosus is unique among lygosomine skinks with the exception of the much larger S, taylori, also from Bougainville (for other differ ences between the two species, see Table 1; GREER & PARKER 1967).

Description: Body brownish above and in form tending toward stockiness; snout obtusely rounded and deep; limbs pentadactyl, well developed and overlapping when adpressed to the body (tip of 4th toe to forearm); snout-vent length of seven known speci mens from 31-73 mm. Rostral as deep as wide, projecting only slightly onto dorsal surface of snout; nostril in a single nasal; nasal bordered ventrally by the first supralabial, anteriorly by the rostral, dorsally by a thin supranasal, which touches the rostral, and posteriorly by 2 superposed anterior loreals, the upper of which contacts the supra-nasal; a small frontonasal is bordered anteriorly by the rostral and laterally by the supranasals; posteriorly the frontonasal is followed by a pair of small scales, and either a single small median scale and another pair of small scales, or simply by a single median scale; these small scales on the dorsal area of the snout separate the pre frontals (Fig. 1). Frontal scale contacts the last small scale or pair of scales of the snout; the 2 superposed anterior loreals are followed by a superposed pair of posterior loreals which are directly below the prefrontal; 5 supraoculars, the 3 anteriormost supraoculars in contact with the frontal; frontoparietals and interparietal distinct; parietals meet behind interparietal; no nuchals; lower eyelid scaly, separated from supralabials by a complete row of subocular scales; 5th and 6th supralabials, or, less frequently, just 6th supralabial below eye; ear opening vertically elliptic, without lobules, and ap proximately equal in size to eye opening. Scales in 42-46 longitudinal rows at midbody; dorsal body scales subequal, i.e., vertebral scales not transversely enlarged; a pair of enlarged preanal scales; 3 median series of subcaudal scales sub-equal in size; 4th (longest) toe with 18-21 laterally keeled sub-digital lamellae; upper surface of 4th toe covered by 1 or 2 scale rows distally, 3 scale rows along the mid-section and 4-5 scale rows basally (most similar to Group V of Brongersma, 1942) (GREER & PARKER 1967).

Color: In preserved specimens the upper surface of the head and body is brown with a series of more or less transversely con fluent dark brown to black spots on the body which may be con fined to the midline or, less frequently, extend the width of the brown dorsal area. The brown dorsum is bordered laterally by a black dorsolateral band, which is distinct but not sharply de marcated, and extends from the posterior corner of the eye to the base of the tail. The upper part of this black dorsolateral band is bordered by thin longitudinal streaks of white which tend to be more confluent and well defined in the area just above and posterior to the shoulder. Below the black dorsolateral band the sides of the neck and body are grayish brown and, in some specimens, sporadically spotted with whitish flecks. The gray-brown of the sides fades to gray-white on the venter. The venter from the chin onto the tail is grayish white (yellow in life) and may be spotted with black. The upper surfaces of the limbs are brown but heavily spotted with black, and the lower surfaces are white and lightly spotted with black. The color pattern of the tail vaguely reflects the body pattern, i.e., brown middorsally with a series of dark brown to black spots dorsolaterally below which a gray ground color gives way to a gray-white venter. The regenerated tail is light reddish brown and generally unpatterned. In juveniles the dorsum is a lighter golden brown which ac centuates the dark dorsal spots and the dark sides.Frontal scale contacts the last small scale or pair of scales of the snout; the 2 superposed anterior loreals are followed by a superposed pair of posterior loreals which are directly below the prefrontal; 5 supraoculars, the 3 anteriormost supraoculars in contact with the frontal; frontoparietals and interparietal distinct; parietals meet behind interparietal; no nuchals; lower eyelid scaly, separated from supralabials by a complete row of subocular scales; 5th and 6th supralabials, or, less frequently, just 6th supralabial below eye; ear opening vertically elliptic, without lobules, and ap proximately equal in size to eye opening. Scales in 42-46 longitudinal rows at midbody; dorsal body scales subequal, i.e., vertebral scales not transversely enlarged; a pair of enlarged preanal scales; 3 median series of subcaudal scales sub-equal in size; 4th (longest) toe with 18-21 laterally keeled sub-digital lamellae; upper surface of 4th toe covered by 1 or 2 scale rows distally, 3 scale rows along the mid-section and 4-5 scale rows basally (most similar to Group V of Brongersma, 1942). Color: In preserved specimens the upper surface of the head and body is brown with a series of more or less transversely con fluent dark brown to black spots on the body which may be con fined to the midline or, less frequently, extend the width of the brown dorsal area. The brown dorsum is bordered laterally by a black dorsolateral band, which is distinct but not sharply de marcated, and extends from the posterior corner of the eye to the base of the tail. The upper part of this black dorsolateral band is bordered by thin longitudinal streaks of white which tend to be more confluent and well defined in the area just above and posterior to the shoulder. Below the black dorsolateral band the sides of the neck and body are grayish brown and, in some specimens, sporadically spotted with whitish flecks. The gray-brown of the sides fades to gray-white on the venter. The venter from the chin onto the tail is grayish white (yellow in life) and may be spotted with black. The upper surfaces of the limbs are brown but heavily spotted with black, and the lower surfaces are white and lightly spotted with black. The color pattern of the tail vaguely reflects the body pattern, i.e., brown middorsally with a series of dark brown to black spots dorsolaterally below which a gray ground color gives way to a gray-white venter. The regenerated tail is light reddish brown and generally unpatterned. In juveniles the dorsum is a lighter golden brown which ac centuates the dark dorsal spots and the dark sides (GREER & PARKER 1967).

Comparisons: see GREER & PARKER 1967: 6. 
Comment 
References
  • Adler,G.H.; Austin,C.C. & Dudley,R. 1995. Dispersal and speciation of skinks among archipelagos in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Evolutionary Ecology 9: 529-541 - get paper here
  • Greer,A.E. & PARKER,F. 1967. A second skink with fragmented head scales from Bougainville, Solomon Islands. Breviora (279): 1-12 - get paper here
  • McCoy, M. 2006. Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Pensoft Series Faunistica 57, 212 pp.
  • McCoy, M. 2015. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of the Solomon Islands. Michael McCoy, Kuranda - get paper here
 
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