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Color

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For more detailed description of color (often from preserved specimens), see Brown and Alcala (1980).

(Coloration in preservative; Brown and Alcala, 1980)
Dorsal Coloration: dark grayish-tan to olive, scattered dark brown-olive spots almost arranged as longitudinal rows
Ventral Coloration: head and throat grayish to slate, body grayish to bluish white

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Description

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There are three species in the genus Emoia recognized to occur in the Philippines. One of these species, E. ruficauda, is recognized to be endemic to the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. The two other species, E. atrocostata and E. caeruleocauda, are considered widely distributed species complexes (Brown and Alcala, 1980). These two species likely include multiple, unique evolutionary lineages in need of recognition.

Species of Emoia are often observed around streams and bodies of water, with some species commonly found in mangrove swamps or coastal habitat (E. atrocostata) and other species observed in grass-dominated habitat near rivers (Emoia ruficauda) or rocky habitat near the coast (E. caeruleocauda) (Brown and Alcala, 1980).

Of the three species found in the Philippines, only E. atrocostata is considered a moderate-sized species, with E. ruficauda and E. caeruleocauda possessing smaller body sizes.

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Diagnostic Description

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This species can be distinguished from congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) Snout-vent length at maturity greater than 70 mm; (2) midbody scale rows 36-40; (3) 73-75 scale rows between parietals and base of tail; (4) 4th toe lamellae (rounded) 31-42; (5) interparietal relatively long and narrow; and (6) prefrontals large, in contact or narrowly separated. (Brown and Alcala, 1980)

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Distribution

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This widespread species occurs throughout the East Indies and Pacific Basin, and is widely distributed in the Philippines, where it has been documented to occur on the islands of the Babuyan Island Group, Mindoro, Tablas, Negros, Caluya, Ponson, Pan de Azucar, Lapinig Chico, guimaras, Samar, Mindanao, Dinagat, Basilan, Bantayan, Bancoran, Palawan, and Poilllo.

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Faunal Affinity

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In the Philippines, this species is associated with the Luzon, Mindanao, Mindoro, Visayan (Central), and Palawan Pleistocene Aggregate Island Complexes (PAIC; Brown and Diesmos, 2002). Additionally, this species has been observed on many small isolated islands and island groups, including the islands of the Romblon Island Group and the Babuyan Island Group (Brown and Alcala, 1980).

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Habitat

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This species is commonly observed in mangrove swamps, active above ground in mangrove trees, or bank rocks (Brown and Alcala, 1980). This species has also been observed along low brush and coastal habitat near the ocean (Siler et al., 2010).

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Reproduction

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Females have been observed to lay 2 eggs in tree holes or rotting stumps, with the egg shell whitish in color (Brown and Alcala, 1980). The eggs are roughly 20 mm in length, with newly hatched individuals measuring 33-39 mm snout-vent length (Brown and Alcala, 1980).

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Size

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SVL 79.9-94.0 mm (Brown and Alcala, 1980)

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Type Locality

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Scincus atrocostatus, Lesson, 1830, Oualan (= Kusaie) Island, Caroline Island Archipelago, Micronesia; repository of type not known (Brown and Alcala, 1980). Mocoa cumingi, Gray, 1845, "Philippines," type in the British Museum of Natural History (BMNH 1946.8.6.86 (Brown and Alcala, 1980).

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Distribution

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Continent: Asia
Distribution: New Guinea
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Emoia atrocostata

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Emoia atrocostata, commonly known as the littoral whiptail-skink, mangrove skink, or littoral skink, is a species of lizard in the family Scincidae. It inhabits mangroves, back-beach vegetation and rocky shorelines.[1] It is semi-aquatic and forages in tidal pools.[2][3]

Description

The species can be distinguished from the similar many-lined sun skink by the lack of keeled scales on the dorsal surface of the Mangrove Skink. Its colour is grey or brown-grey, flecked with black. There is a faint black band along each side. The throat is often bluish, and the belly greenish or yellow to orange.[4]

Distribution

E. atrocostata can be found on the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and in Queensland, Australia.

Notes

  1. ^ Cox, Merel; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Nabhitabhat, Jaruji (1998). A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. New Holland Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-1853684388.
  2. ^ Naish, Darren (10 October 2014). "Skinks skinks skinks". Tetrapod Zoology. Scientific American. Retrieved 18 October 2014.
  3. ^ Brown (1991). "'Lizards of the genus Emoia (Scincidae) with observations on their evolution and biogeography". Memoirs of the California Academy of Sciences. 15: 1–94. ISSN 0885-4629. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 March 2001.
  4. ^ Grossman, Wolfgang; Manthey, Ulrich (1997). Amphibien und Reptilien Südostasiens (in German). NTV Natur und Tier-Verlag. ISBN 978-3931587123.

References

  • Duméril & Bibron, 1839 : Erpétologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. vol. 5, Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, p. 1-871 (full text).
  • Lesson, 1830 : Description de quelques reptiles nouveaux ou peu connus. Voyage Autour du Monde Execute par Ordre du Roi, sur la Corvette de La Majeste, La Coquille, exécuté Pendant les Annees 1822, 1823, 1824 et 1825, vol. 2, p. 1-65, Arthur Bertrand, Paris.
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Emoia atrocostata: Brief Summary

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Emoia atrocostata, commonly known as the littoral whiptail-skink, mangrove skink, or littoral skink, is a species of lizard in the family Scincidae. It inhabits mangroves, back-beach vegetation and rocky shorelines. It is semi-aquatic and forages in tidal pools.

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