Saturday, March 19, 2016

[Herpetology • 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; Tytthoscincus panchorensis


Bukit Panchor Forest Skink |  Tytthoscincus panchorensis 
 Grismer, Muin, Wood, Anuar & Linkem, 2016

Holotype of Tytthoscincus panchorensis sp. nov. (LSUHC 12511) from the Bukit Panchor State Park, Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia.
Photo by M.A. Muin  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4092.2.6 

Abstract

Phylogenetic analyses based on the mitochondrial gene ND2 and its flanking tRNAs indicate the diminutive upland and insular species Sphenomorphus bukitensisSbutleri, S. langkawiensisSperhentianensis, and S. temengorensis form a monophyletic group that is phylogenetically embedded within the Southeast Asian genus Tytthoscincus. The analyses also indicate that a new swamp-dwelling skink from the Bukit Panchor State Park, Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia is the sister species to the swamp-dwelling species S. sibuensis from Pulau Sibu, Johor and Singapore and that these two are also embedded in the genus Tytthoscincus. By transferring the two Peninsular Malaysian clades of Sphenomorphus into the genus Tytthoscincus, the monophyly of the latter is maintained. The new species Tytthoscincus panchorensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other species of Tytthoscincus by having a unique combination of morphological and color pattern characteristics.

Keywords: Reptilia, new species, Peninsular Malaysia, Philippines, Tytthoscincus, Sphenomorphus



Tytthoscincus panchorensis sp. nov.
Bukit Panchor Forest Skink

Distribution. Tytthoscincus panchorensis sp. nov. is known only from the type locality at the Bukit Panchor State Park, Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia. 

Natural history. Tytthoscincus panchorensis sp. nov. is a forest floor species inhabiting the swampy area and adjacent hillsides of the Bukit Panchor State Park.

Etymology. The specific epithet panchorensis is in reference to the type locality of the Bukit Panchor State Park, Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia. The suffix -ensis is from the Latin word for “from, of” or “from a place” and renders the specific epithet an adjective.


L. Lee Grismer, Mohd Abdul Muin, Perry L. Wood, Shahrul Anuar and 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. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4092.2.6 

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