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Trachylepis wrightii (BOULENGER, 1887)

IUCN Red List - Trachylepis wrightii - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae (Mabuyini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesTrachylepis wrightii ilotensis (RENDAHL 1939)
Trachylepis wrightii wrightii (BOULENGER 1887) 
Common NamesE: Wright's Mabuya 
SynonymMabuya wrightii BOULENGER 1887
Mabuya wrightii — BRYGOO 1981
Mabuya wrightii — GREER et al. 2000
Trachylepis wrightii — HEDGES 2012 (pers. comm.)

Trachylepis wrightii ilotensis (RENDAHL 1939)
Mabuia wrightii ilotensis RENDAHL 1939: 294 
DistributionSeychelles (Cousin)

Type locality: Seychelles  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.8.3.72 (formerly, Seychelles, presented Dr E.P. Wright Designated by Brygoo (1981).
Holotype: NRM 4006, fide Rendahl 1939; paratype: NRM 8403, in online catalog; numbers after colons in the description by Rendahl are Rendahl’s personal IDs to distinguish specimens and are not part of the actual registration numbers [ilotensis] 
CommentMitochondrial DNA genealogy rendered a monophyletic T. wrightii nested within a paraphyletic T. sechellensis, whereas nuclear DNA sequences from five unlinked
markers reflected the accepted taxonomy (Rocha et al. 2016).

The most evident distinction between T. sechellensis and T. wrightii is their adult body size. Trachylepis wrightii is a ‘gigantic’ form; larger and heavy bodied, reaching 138 mm while T. sechellensis only reaches 107 mm (Gerlach, 2005, 2007). They also differ in several other morphometric and pholidotic characters (Gerlach, 2007), as well as in coloration pattern. The two species are therefore very easily distinguished in the field, even as juveniles. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Edward Perceval Wright (1834-1910), Professor of Zoology, Trinity College, Dublin. He was a physician, marine zoologist, botanist, and a naturalist who visited the Seychelles (1868). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Brygoo E. R., 1981. Systematique des Lezards Scincides de la region malgache VIII. Les Mabuya des iles de l'océan Indien occidental: Comores, Europa, Séchelles. Bull. Mus. natn. Hist. Nat. 3: 911–930
  • Gerlach J. 2005. Inter-island variation and taxonomy of Seychelles Trachylepis. African Journal of Herpetology 54: 31–42 - get paper here
  • Gerlach J. 2007. Terrestrial and Freshwater Vertebrates of the Seychelles Islands. Leiden, The Netherlands: Backhuys Publishers
  • Greer, A.E., Arnold, C. & Arnold, E.N. 2000. The systematic significance of the number of presacral vertebrae in the scincid lizard genus Mabuya. Amphibia-Reptilia 21 (1): 121-126 - get paper here
  • Hoesch, U. 1982. Herpetologische Beobachtungen auf den Seychellen. Herpetofauna 4 (17): 31-33 - get paper here
  • Krüger, B. 2018. Herpetologische Eindrücke von den Seychellen. Reptilia 23 (133): 72-78 - get paper here
  • PAWLOWSKI, S. 2015. Im Habitat des Wright Skinks Trachylepis wrightii (BOULENGER, 1887) auf Cousin. Sauria 37 (1): 16 - 19 - get paper here
  • PAWLOWSKI, S. 2016. Herpetological impressions from Aride Island, Seychelles. Sauria 38 (1): 48-53 - get paper here
  • PAWLOWSKI, S. 2019. Die Herpetologie von Aride Island, Seychellen Elaphe 2019 (5): 48-55
  • Pawlowski, S. & Krämer, C. 2006. Herpetologische Eindrücke von den zentralen Sychelleninseln Praslin, Curieuse, La Digue und Cousin. Elaphe 14 (3): 53-61
  • Rendahl, H. 1939. Zur Herpetologie der Seychellen. I. Reptilien. Zool. Jb. Syst. 72: 255-328.
  • Rocha, Sara; Anna Perera, Andreia Silva, David Posada and D. James Harris 2016. Evolutionary history of Trachylepis skinks in the Seychelles islands: introgressive hybridization, morphological evolution and geographic structure. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 119 (1): 15–36, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12803 - get paper here
  • Rocha, Sara; Carretero, Miguel A.; Harris, D. James 2010. Genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of Mabuya spp. (Squamata: Scincidae) from western Indian Ocean islands. Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 375-385 - get paper here
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