Tetradactylus seps (LINNAEUS, 1758)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Tetradactylus seps?
|Higher Taxa||Gerrhosauridae (Gerrhosaurinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)|
|Common Names||E: Short-legged Seps, Five-toed Whip Lizard|
|Synonym||Lacerta seps LINNAEUS 1758: 204|
Ameiva meridionalis — MEYER 1795: 28
Stincus sepiformis — MEYER 1795: 30
Sincus [sic!] sepiformis SCHNEIDER 1801: 191
Gerrhosaurus sepiformis — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 384
Gerrhosaurus sepiformis — GRAVENHORST 1851: 300
Tetradactylus laevicauda HEWITT 1915
Tetradactylus laevicauda — ESSEX 1925
Tetradactylus seps laevicauda — LOVERIDGE 1942
Tetradactylus seps seps — FITZSIMONS 1943: 289
Tetradactylus seps laevicauda — FITZSIMONS 1943: 290
Tetradactylus seps laevicauda — FITZSIMONS 1947: 113
Tetradactylus seps — BRANCH 1990
Tetradactylus seps — BATES et al. 2014: 234
|Distribution||Republic of South Africa|
Type locality: “in Meridionalibus”
laevicauda: Type locality: Tabamhlope, Drakensberg, Natal.
|Types||Holotype: UUZM (= ZMUU) 37 (Uppsala University Museum of Zoology); additional specimens: PEM|
|Diagnosis||Description: This is the most 'lizard-like' seps with reduced, but fully formed, limbs.|
Variation: Hewitt (1915) distinguished T. laevicauda by (1) the carination of the dorsal scales and (2) the number of femoral pores (7 in the single type)
However, FitzSimons (1943) noted 7-12 (usually 8-10 fermoral pores in typical T. seps. The main features distinguishing laevicauda from seps noted by Hewitt (1915) include: (1) Dorsal scales ·on the neck are only very feebly striated and none are keeled. (2) The head shield are quite smooth with trace of ribbing. (3) The caudal shields over the greater portion of the tail are quite smooth (hence his choice of the specific name). Analysis of these 'diagnostic' characters in the PEM Cape material reveals that there is a clinal increase in femoral pore number (details in Branch 1990).
Scale ornamentation is also very variable. The head shields are smooth (or almost so) in all specimens from the Katberg and Camferspoort. The only specimen with obviously striated head shields is from Prince Alfred's Pass, whilst faint striations occur in one of two specimens from Robinson's Pass, and specimens from the Kammanasieberg and Tsitsikama Coastal National Park. Caudal scalation is more constant; dorsal scales in the middle of the tail are strongly keeled in Western Cape populations (Cedarberg, Porterville), obviously keeled in most specimens from the Southern Cape (Robinson's Pass, Prince Alfred's Pass, Tsitsikama, Kammanasieberg), but only faintly keeled in Camferspoort lizards. Most Katberg specimens have smooth dorsal caudal scales (see pI. 51(4) in Branch, 1988) and thus conform closest to Hewitt's concept of laevicauda. However, the caudal scales of the smallest Katberg seps (R 3057; SV 45mm) are faintly keeled, and in a large adult (R3056) the dorsal caudal scales are smooth except for the regenerated section in which all the caudals are heavily keeled (from Branch 1990). Because of these small differences, Branch 1990 synonymized laevicauda with seps.
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