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Tropidophorus davaoensis BACON, 1980

IUCN Red List - Tropidophorus davaoensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymTropidophorus davaoensis BACON in BROWN & ALCALA 1980: 229
Tropidophorus davaoensis— GREER & BISWAS 2004 
DistributionPhilippines (SC Mindanao; reported from Zamboanga Peninsula, but not confirmed)

Type locality: “near sea level in a quiet stream in the environs of the smal hamlet of Malabutuan, Caburan Municipality, Davao, Mindanao Island, Philippines”.  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 52677 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This species differs from the other Philippine species of the genus in the following combination of characters: (1) prefrontaIs usually separated distinguishes it from all but some examples of T. grayi; (2) single preanal distinguishes it from all T. grayi; (3) two anterior loreals superimposed also distinguishes it from Philippine congeners; (4) 56-60 scale rows between the parietals and the base of the tail; and (5) 34 to 41 midbody scale rows.

DESCRIPTION. A moderately large, heavy-bodied Tropidophorus, maximum snout-vent length observed 97 mm (male). 92 mm (female); snout pyramidal, blunt, its length 32-33% of head length and 42-47% of head breadth; head breadth 65-77% of head length and 16-19% of snout-vent length; eye moderate, its diameter 75-95ro of snout length, 38-42% of head breadth; tympanum superficial, vertically ovate, height about 68-80% of eye diameter; head scales weakly rugose, polished; rostral rectangular; frontonasal divided by s-shaped suture in all but one specimen; prefrontals well developed, separated middorsally by an azygous shield (69 % ), separated by frontonasal-frontal contact (9%), in contact (22%); frontal length 1.5 times greatest width, contacts 2 or 3 supraoculars; 4 supraoculars followed by a 5th small scale; frontoparietals small, not fused; interparietal length 2.5 times greatest width; parietals large, in contact posteriorly (93% of specimens), separated by azygous shield (7%); large nuchals rarely present; nostril pierced near center of single nasal; 2 small superimposed shields in position of anterior loreal (97%), single anterior loreal at least on one side (3%); single posterior loreal; distinct diagonal preocular groove separates posterior loreal from 1st supraciliary; 5-7 supralabials, 5th beneath center of eye, separated from it by a row of small scales, no diagonal groove crossing 5th supralabial; scales of chin and throat smooth; mental trapezoidal, equal to or wider than rostral; 3-5 lower labials, 3rd longest: ventral scales of mandible smooth; ventral scales of neck smooth midventrally and weakly keeled laterally: 3 pairs of chin shields follow postmental, 1st pair in contact (70% of specimens), 1st and 2nd pairs in contact (30%), 3rd pair separated by 3 rows of scales; dorsal and lateral scales with low keels, pointed but not forming spines; ventral scales of bellv smooth; midbody scale rows 34-40; 55-62 transverse rows along vertebral line between parietals and base of tail; 1 large preanal, 1.5-2 times broader than long; postanal glands present though weakly developed in females; 3 rows of small scales posterior to vent precede enlarged subcaudals; broader subcaudals slightly less to slightly more than 1/2 width of preanal, less than twice width of adjacent rows; subcaudals and adjacent row smooth, all other rows with keels developed to same degree as on body; lateral caudal scale rows oblique; limbs well developed; scales keeled on anterior, dorsal, and posterior surfaces, weakly keeled to smooth on ventral surfaces; scales of forelimb subequal; scales of posterior surface of hind limb smaller than those of anterior and dorsal surfaces; palms and soles with small, flat, polygonal to ovoid, juxtaposed scales; subdigital lamellae broad, smooth: 18-25 lamellae under 4th toe; small paralarnel1ar scales present on 1st to 4th toes though weakly developed; rank of adpressed toes from longest to shortest 4, 3, 2, 5, 1 (Brown & Alcala 1980: 229). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Brown, WC. & A.C. ALCALA 1980. Philippine Lizards of the family Scincidae. Silliman Univ. Nat. Sci., Dumaguete City, Mon., Ser. 2: i-xi + 1-246.
  • Greer, A.E. & Biswas, S. 2004. A Generic Diagnosis for the Southeast Asian Scincid Lizard Genus Tropidophorus Dumeéril and Bibron, 1839 with Some Additional Comments on Its Morphology and Distribution. Journal of Herpetology 38 (3): 426-430 - get paper here
  • Klemmer K. & GAULKE M. 1993. Zur Kenntnis von Brachymeles und Tropidophorus (Sauria: Scincidae). Salamandra 29 (1): 55-64 - get paper here
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