Tuesday, November 13, 2012

[Herpetology • 2012] Carlia decora & Carlia rubigo • Description of two new Carlia species (Squamata: Scincidae) from north-east Australia, elevation of Carlia pectoralis inconnexa Ingram & Covacevich 1989 to full species status, and redescription of Carlia pectoralis (de Vis 1884)



Abstract
Scincid lizards belonging to the genus Carlia are found in eastern and northern Australia and in New Guinea and associated islands. These skinks are a particularly diverse component of the reptile fauna of north-east Australia. Carlia pectoralis (de Vis 1884) was formerly regarded as occurring over much of eastern Queensland, in north-east Australia. Here we show that it consists of four species: Carlia pectoralis, Carlia decora sp. nov., Carlia rubigo sp. nov. and Carlia inconnexa Ingram & Covacevich 1989 (which was formerly described as a subspecies of C. pectoralis). 

Herein, we describe two new species, elevate C. p. inconnexa to full species status with a revised description, and redescribe C. pectoralis sensu stricto. The four species differ in aspects of scalation, morphology and colour pattern. 

Carlia decora sp. nov. occurs in vine thickets, rainforest margins and moist open forests in high rainfall coastal areas of mid-east and northeast Queensland. Carlia rubigo sp. nov. occurs in dry open forests of inland eastern Queensland and in some coastal areas of mid-eastern Queensland. Carlia pectoralis is distributed through open forests of south-east Queensland.  Carlia inconnexa is restricted to rocky open forests on islands of ‘the Whitsundays’ off mid-eastern Queensland. The addition of these three species brings the number of Australian Carlia to 22 species, 17 of which are found in Queensland.

Key words: Carlia decora, Carlia rubigo, Carlia inconnexa, reptile, lizard, skink, Queensland, Whitsunday islands



2012. Description of two new Carlia species (Reptilia: Scincidae) from north-east Australia, elevation of Carlia pectoralis inconnexa Ingram & Covacevich 1989 to full species status, and redescription of Carlia pectoralis (de Vis 1884). Zootaxa

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