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Tytthoscincus hallieri (LIDTH DE JEUDE, 1905)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Sphenomorphinae (Sphenomorphini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymLygosoma hallieri LIDTH DE JEUDE 1905: 197
Lygosoma hallieri — DE ROOIJ 1915: 210
Lygosoma (Sphenomorphus) hallieri — BRONGERSMA 1942: 129
Sphenomorphus hallieri — BACON 1967: 72
Sphenomorphus hallieri — INGER et al. 2001
Sphenomorphus hallieri — LINKEM et al. 2010
Tytthoscincus hallieri — LINKEM et al. 2011
Tytthoscincus hallieri — GRISMER et al. 2016 
DistributionIndonesia (Borneo), Malaysia (Sabah)

Type locality: Putus Sibau, Kalimantan Barat (Borneo), Indonesia.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: RMNH (Leiden) 4456 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (species). Prefrontals juxtaposed; parietals small, separated from supraoculars; tympanum slightly sunken, without auricular lobules; 4 supraoculars; 36-39 scale rows; limbs moderately developed, hind limbs longer than distance between anterior corner of eye and the forelimb; 2 pairs of chin shields (from BACON 1967).

Description. “Habitus slender; tail round (slightly compressed in type), head scarcely distinct from neck; snout blunt; limbs and digits not greatly reduced. All scales except those of palms, soles and lamellae smooth and polished; rostral hexagonal, breadth equals 3 times height, suture with frontonasal straight, roughly equal to two-thirds width of frontonasal; latter nearly trapezoidal, length equals one-half width, meets anterior loreal and nasal laterally; prefrontal juxtaposed, suture length more than half scale length, meet anterior and posterior loreals laterally; frontal width 0.60-0.67 (0.60) times its length, posterior apex blunt, length roughly equals length of frontoparietal and interparietal together, but greater than interparietal and parietal together; 4 supraoculars (to suture between frontoparietal and scale separating parietals from the supraoculars); 2 frontoparietals; interparietal 4 sided, width roughly 0.8 length; parietals small, meet behind interparietal, diagonal length equals 1.5-2.1 times greatest width, diagonal length less than diagonal length of frontoparietals; a slightly enlarged scale separates the parietal from the fourth supraocular; one specimen (FMNH 161485) has one nuchal, the others have none. Nostril in single nasal; no supranasal; two loreals, both taller than long, posterior slightly longer than anterior; 5-6 (5) supralabials, fourth or fourth and fifth below lens of eye; 9-10 (9/10) supraciliaries; 3-4 small preoculars; 2 slightly enlarged presuboculars precede a complete subocular ring of small scales which separates the supralabials from the lower eyelid; no enlarged temporals; tympanum definitely but not deeply sunken, height is slightly more than half the length of the eye opening and more than three-fourths the distance between the nostril and the anterior corner of the eye. Posterior border of mental nearly straight, meets first supralabial near its anterior edge; 5 infralabials, second longest, fifth shortest; azygous postmental, length 0.57-0.71 width; 2 pairs of enlarged chin shields, first juxtaposed anteriorly, second and posterior portion of first separated by a single scale; elongate postgenials follow 6 of 7 undamaged chin shields series, contact infralabials, roughly one-third width of and equal to length of second chin shield. Scales of the body are in 36-39 (36) rows, smooth, polished (iridescent in Sarawak specimens); ventrals 66-76 (76) mental to pre-anal inclusively, slightly larger than dorsals; 68-70 (70) dorsal scales between parietal and the level of the posterior surfaces of the thigh; 2 scales which precede the vent are slightly larger than adjoining scales. Scales of the anterior surface of the hind limb larger than those of posterior surface; palms and soles covered with polygonal, juxtaposed scales, each with a blunt, low, distally directed elevation; 12-14 (14) broad, smooth lamellae beneath fourth toe, distal ends slightly elevated; 8 lamellae beneath fourth finger; claws neither strong nor long. Proximal two-thirds of tail without any enlarged subcaudals, distal one-third with enlarged subcaudals.” (Bacon 1967)

Coloration in life of FMNH 161485: “medium dark brown above, anterior part of body reddish-brown; flanks white, some scales brown, side of head posterior to eye intensely pink, fading toward forelimb; white spot on each supralabial; lower parts white, throat pinkish; infralabials margined with dark brown. The pink has faded in all preserved specimens; each dorsal scale is light brown with irregular concentrations of dark pigmented spots, on the neck these concentrations give the appearance of fine irregular lines in FMNH 161485; the other Sarawak specimens are more uniform, each dorsal scale is outlined by dark pigment; holotype much faded but retains a dark band behind the eye, interrupted by white spots and gradually fading on thorax.” (Bacon 1967)

Another detailed description in LIDTH DE JEUDE 1905: 197. 
CommentHabitat: terrestrial.

Type species: Lygosoma hallieri LIDTH DE JEUDE 1905 is the type species of the genus Tytthoscincus LINKEM, DIESMOS & BROWN 2011.

Description (genus): Tytthoscincus can be identified by the following characters: (1) body size diminutive, usually less than 45 mm SVL; (2) temporal scales small, same size and shape as lateral body scales (Fig. 5); and (3) digits small, toe IV slightly longer than, or equal to, toe III. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Johann Gottfried "Hans" Hallier (1868-1932) a botanist who studied in Munich and Jena and later worked at the universities of Göttingen, Munich, Hamburg, and Leiden. Hewas on the first Dutch scientific expedition to Borneo (1893-1894) and traveled and collected in the Philippines (1903-1904). 
  • Bacon, J. P. 1967. Systematic status of three scincid lizards (genus Sphenomorphus) from Borneo. Fieldiana: Zoology 51: 63-76. - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Brongersma,L.D. 1942. Notes on scincid lizards. Zoologische Mededelingen 24: 125-152 - get paper here
  • Das , I. 2004. Lizards of Borneo. Natural History Publications, Kota Kinabalu, Borneo
  • Das, I. & Yaakob, N. 2007. Status of knowledge of the Malaysian herpetofauna. In Status of biological diversity in Malaysia & threat assessment of plant species in Malaysia. in: L. S. L. Chua, L. G. Kirton & L. G. Saw (eds.), Status of biological diversity in Malaysia & threat assessment of plant species in Malaysia. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, pp. 31-81
  • de Rooij, N. de 1915. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. I. Lacertilia, Chelonia, Emydosauria. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 384 pp. - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee 2006. Two new species of skinks (Genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger 1843) from the Seribuat Archipelago, West Malaysia. Herpetological Natural History 9 (2): 151-162.
  • Grismer, L. Lee. 2008. A new species of insular skink (Genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger 1843) from the Langkawi Archipelago, Kedah, West Malaysia with the first report of the herpetofauna of Pulau Singa Besar and an updated checklist of the herpetofauna of Pulau Langkawi. Zootaxa 1691: 53-66 - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; MOHD ABDUL MUIN, PERRY L. WOOD, JR., SHAHRUL ANUAR, & CHARLES W. LINKEM 2016. The transfer of two clades of Malaysian Sphenomorphus Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) into the genus Tytthoscincus Linkem, Diesmos, & Brown and the description of a new Malaysian swamp-dwelling species. Zootaxa 4092 (2): 231–242 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L.L. 2007. A new species of small montane forest floor skink (genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger 1843) form Southern peninsular Malaysia. Herpetologica 63 (4): 544-551 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L.L.; Ahmad, N. & Kin Onn, C. 2009. A new, diminutive, upland Sphenomorphus Fitzinger 1843 (Squamata: Scincidae) from the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex, Peninsular Malaysia. Zootaxa 2312: 27–38 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L.L.; Wood Jr., P.L. & Grismer, J.L. 2009. A New Insular Species of Skink of the Genus Sphenomorphus Strauch 1887 (Squamata: Scincidae) from Pulau Perhentian Besar, Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia. Tropical Life Sciences Research, 20(1): 51–69 - get paper here
  • Inger, R.F.; Lian, R.F.; Lakim, M. & Yambun, P. 2001. New species of the lizard genus Sphenomorphus (Lacertilia: Scincidae), with notes on ecological and geographic distribution of species in Sabah, Malaysia. Raffles Bull. Zool. 49 (2): 181-189 - get paper here
  • Lidth DE JEUDE, T.W. VAN 1905. Zoological results of the Dutch Scientific Expedition to Central-Borneo. The reptiles. Notes from the Leyden Museum 25 (4): 187-202. - get paper here
  • Linkem, C.W.; Diesmos, A.C.; Brown, R.M. 2010. A NEW SPECIES OF SCINCID LIZARD (GENUS SPHENOMORPHUS) FROM PALAWAN ISLAND, PHILIPPINES. Herpetologica 66 (1): 67–79 - get paper here
  • Linkem, Charles W.; Arvin C. Diesmos, Rafe M. Brown 2011. Molecular systematics of the Philippine forest skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Sphenomorphus): testing morphological hypotheses of interspecific relationships. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 163: 1217–1243 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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