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Type: Article
Published: 2024-03-12
Page range: 99-115
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Systematics and distribution of Lankascincus fallax (Peters, 1860) (Reptilia, Scincidae), an endemic litter-skink from Sri Lanka

Taprobanica Nature Conservation Society; No. 146; Kendalanda; Homagama; Sri Lanka
Taprobanica Nature Conservation Society; No. 146; Kendalanda; Homagama; Sri Lanka
Zoologisches Museum Hamburg; Leibniz-Institute for Analyses of Biodiversity Change (LIB); Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3; 20146 Hamburg; Germany
Science Department; Darwin Centre; Natural History Museum; Cromwell Road; South Kensington; London SW7 5BD; England
The Field Museum; 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.; IL 60605; Chicago; USA
Research Center for Biosystematics and Evolution; National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN; Government of Indonesia); Cibinong 16911; Indonesia
Reptilia biogeography dry zone endemic rainforest Sri Lanka wet zone

Abstract

Lankascincus fallax is an endemic, but widespread species of skink distributed throughout Sri Lanka, including all bioclimatic zones (elevations from 0 to 1,200 m a.s.l.). After thoroughly comparing morphology and morphometry between populations in different bioclimatic zones, we recognize it as a single morphospecies. We revise the systematics of Lankascincus fallax based on molecular and morphological data providing a comprehensive re-description of the adult syntype collected from either Ratnapura or Trinkomalee (sic), Sri Lanka. We provide the first-ever constructed phylogeny of Lankascincus representing five species (out of nine) based on GenBank data. In addition, we examined all the type specimens of the two synonymized species, Sphenomorphus rufogulus and Lankascincus deraniyagalae. We also provide a comprehensive discussion on the distribution of L. fallax.

 

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