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Type: Article
Published: 2022-06-08
Page range: 50–58
Abstract views: 361
PDF downloaded: 1

Lygosoma megalops Annandale, 1906 (Squamata, Scincidae): a junior synonym of Lankascincus fallax (Peters, 1860)

Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Indonesia, Kampus UI, Depok, 16424, Indonesia
Association of Asian Herpetology (Asosiasi Herpetologi Asia), Jl. BSD Bintaro No. 88, Pondok Aren 15228, Tangerang Selatan, Indonesia, Taprobanica Nature Conservation Society, No. 146, Kendalanda, Homagama 10200, Sri Lanka
Association of Asian Herpetology (Asosiasi Herpetologi Asia), Jl. BSD Bintaro No. 88, Pondok Aren 15228, Tangerang Selatan, Indonesia, Taprobanica Nature Conservation Society, No. 146, Kendalanda, Homagama 10200, Sri Lanka
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, England
Institut de Systématique, Évolution et Biodiversité (ISYEB), Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Sorbonne Université, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Université des Antilles, CNRS, CP 30, 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris, France
Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB), Zoologisches Museum Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Code neotype objective synonym Sphenomorphus Sri Lanka taxonomy


Annandale (1906) described Lygosoma megalops, now in the genus Lankascincus, based on two syntypes collected from Kitulgala and Puttalam in Sri Lanka. These syntypes have not been recognized since the original description. In 2019, Batuwita designated a neotype, WHT 6545, for Ly. megalops from Kitulgala. The number WHT ‘6545’ does not exist in the registers of either WHT or NMSL. The neotype designation also fails to conform to several Articles of the Code: 75.3.1, 75.3.3, 75.3.5 and 75.3.7. Given that it does not appear to exist, it makes the designation of ‘WHT 6545’ as the neotype of Ly. megalops void ab initio. Further, based on the description provided in Batuwita (2019), it is clear that the species he conceived as Ly. megalops was in fact morphologically similar to several other Lankascincus species. We show that, as characterized by Annandale (1906), Ly. megalops cannot be assigned to any scincid species in Sri Lanka. The locality data Annandale disclosed for Ly. megalops—Puttalam and Kitulagala—make it almost certain that the two syntypes belonged to different species or to La. fallax. Therefore, unless resolved, the nomen La. megalops will continue to threaten the nomenclatural stability in the genus Lankascincus, as well as in the genus Eutropis. In order to address this problem, we invalidate the neotype designated by Batuwita (2019) and show that Ly. megalops is a synonym of La. fallax.


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