Sunday, April 3, 2016

Greater Windward Skink, Copeoglossum aurae (Family Scincidae)

Copeoglossum aurae Hedges & Conn 2012: 72
Mabuia agilis — Boulenger, 1887:191 (part)
Mabuia aenea — Garman, 1887:53 (part)
Mabuya aenea — Barbour, 1914:322 (part)
Mabuya mabouia — Barbour, 1935:129 (part)
Mabuya mabouya mabouya — Dunn, 1936:544 (part)
Mabuya bistriata — Powell et al., 1996:82 (part)
Mabuya sloanii — Mayer & Lazell, 2000:883 (part)
Mabuya nigropunctata — Miralles et al., 2005:833 (part)
Note. Pinto-Sanchez et al. (2015) proposed to maintain the genus Mabuya as a diverse taxon widely distributed throughout Central America, South America, and several Caribbean islands. According to their appraisal of species delimitation and diversity, there are 58 species within Mabuya including four candidate species revealed in the present study plus one candidate species proposed by Miralles et al. (2010). Of these, 23 named species do not have molecular data and were not evaluated here, suggesting the total number of species could be higher still.

Pinto-Sánchez NR, Calderón-Espinosa ML, Miralles A, Crawford AJ, Ramírez-Pinilla MP. 2015. Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Neotropical skink genus Mabuya Fitzinger (Squamata: Scincidae) with emphasis on Colombian populations. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution. 93:188-211.

Size.  98.5 mm SVL in males; 109 mm SVL in females. Diagnosis. Differs from all T&T lizards in having five digits on each hand and foot, overlapping head scales, 28-32 mid-body scale rows, the only exception is the Lesser Windward skink. This species differs from Lesser Windward skink, Marisora aurulae by not having the parietal in contact, or rarely just touching, (in M. aurulae they are in contact); Copeoglossum has no chin scales in contact with infralabials between postmental and first sublabial, Marisora aurulae has  2–4 inches.  In coloration, Copeoglossum usually has a distinctly spotted dorsum and dark lateral stripes that extend to the hindlimbs and onto the tail. Marisora aurulae’s pattern is faded with smaller dorsal spots and dark lateral stripes that fade posteriorly into ground color. Distribution. Copeoglossum is known from Grenada, St. Vincent, the Grenadines (Bequia, Carriacou, Mustique, Petit Martinique, and Union Islands), Trinidad (including Huevos Island), and Tobago. Life History. This lizard is mostly arboreal, it has been reported from 0.5 to 3 m off the ground, it has been observed mating on a tree trunk, and preyed upon by the arboreal vine snake Oxybelis aeneus. Two females (93.0 and 95.3 mm SVL) collected in May and March contained one and three developing young.

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