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Sphenomorphus microtympanum GREER, 1973

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymSphenomorphus microtympanus GREER 1973
Sphenomorphus microtympanum — GREER & SHEA 2004
Sphenomorphus microtympanum — CHAPPLE et al. 2021 
DistributionPapua New Guinea

Type locality: “Morobe district of the Territory of New Guinea at Garaina [...] at an elevation of approximately 2300 feet”  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 104076 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: S. microtympanus is a member of the fasciatus species group of Sphenomorphus and in that it lacks an ectopterygoid process to the palatine running along the outer edge of the palatal ramus of the pterygoid it is most similar to the fasciatus subgroup of that species group (Greer and Parker, 1967). It differs from all members of its species group, how ever, in having the tympanum both much reduced in size and decidedly more opaque (thickened?) (Greer 1973). 
CommentThe name calls attention to the relatively small size of the tympanic membrane of the species. 
EtymologyThe name microtympanus calls attention to the relatively small size of the tympanic membrane of the species. 
  • Chapple, David G; Roll, Uri; Böhm, Monika; Aguilar, Rocío Amey, Andrew P Austin, Chris C Baling, Marleen Barley, Anthony J Bates, Michael F Bauer, Aaron M Blackburn, Daniel G Bowles, Phil Brown, Rafe M Chandramouli, S R Chirio, Laurent Cogger, Hal Co 2021. Conservation Status of the World’s Skinks (Scincidae): Taxonomic and Geographic Patterns in Extinction Risk. Biological Conservation 257: 109101 - get paper here
  • Greer, A.E. 1973. Two new lygosomine skinks from New Guinea with comments on the loss of the external ear in lygosomines and observations on previously described species. Breviora (406): 1-25 - get paper here
  • Greer, A.E. & Shea, G. 2004. A new character within the taxonomically difficult Sphenomorphus group of Lygosomine skinks, with a description of a new species from New Guinea. Journal of Herpetology 38 (1): 79-87 - get paper here
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