Wednesday, August 16, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] On The Taxonomic Status of Eurylepis poonaensis (Squamata: Scincidae): Resolving A Long-standing Conundrum

Eurylepis poonaensis (Sharma, 1970) 



 The scincid genus Eurylepis was split off from the cosmopolitan genus Eumeces sensu lato, with Eurylepis taeniolatus being the type species, which is taxonomically poorly understood. The other nominate species in this genus is Eurylepis poonaensis, which was known only from its type locality and original description, and is the only known member of the subfamily Scincinae from near the Western Ghats. However, earlier studies raised doubts about its specific validity, often without examining type or other specimens. We collected fresh samples of this species from the type locality and nearby areas. Based on the examination of the holotype and the new material, we provide a detailed redescription of E. poonaensis, additional data on its skeletal structure, habitat, and natural history. We also provide a detailed redescription of E. taeniolatus based on the holotype to avoid further taxonomic ambiguity. 

Key words. Taxonomic resolution, species redescription, Eurylepis taeniolatus, India. 

Eurylepis Blyth, 1854
Eumeces Wiegmann, 1834 (in part).
Eurylepis Blyth, 1854. Type-species: E. taeniolatus Blyth, 1854.
Plestiodon Theobald, 1866, by synonymy of E. taeniolatus
Mabouia Anderson, 1871 (in part), by synonymy of E. taeniolatus

Figure 4. Eurylepis poonaensis (BNHS 2283) in life. Photograph by V. Giri. 

Redescription of Eurylepis poonaensis (Sharma, 1970) 
Eurylepis poonaensis (Sharma, 1970) 

Eumeces poonaensis Sharma, 1970 
Eurylepis poonaensis Griffith et al. 2000 
Eurylepis poonaensis Schmitz et al. 2004 

Holotype: ZSIK 21159. Type locality: Katrajghat, Poona (= Pune), Maharashtra, India.

Redescription of Eurylepis taeniolatus Blyth, 1854 
Eurylepis taeniolatus Blyth, 1854 

Eumeces taeniolatus Stoliczka, 1872 
Mabouia taeniolata Anderson, 1871 
Plestiodon scutatus Theobald, 1868 
Eumeces scutatus Boulenger, 1887 
Eumeces taeniolatus Smith 1935 
Eumeces taeniolatus Taylor 1936 
Eurylepis taeniolatus Griffith et al. 2000 
Eurylepis taeniolatus Schmitz et al. 2004 

Holotype: ZSI 2382. Type locality ‘Alpine Punjab’

Aniruddha Datta-Roy, Veerappan Deepak, R. Chaitanya, Channakeshva Murthy, Harshal Bhosale, Aparna Lajmi, Praveen Karanth, Krushnamegh Kunte and Varad Giri. 2017.   On The Taxonomic Status of Eurylepis poonaensis (Squamata: Scincidae): Resolving A Long-standing Conundrum.  SALAMANDRA. 53(3); 389–397.