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Taxonomy, Distribution, and Conservation of Lankascincus dorsicatenatus (Deraniyagala, 1953) (Reptilia: Scincidae) with Designation of a Neotype

Dineth A. Danushka, Suneth A. Kanishka, Jakob Hallermann, Patrick D. Campbell, Ivan Ineich, Olivier S.G. Pauwels, A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe


Lankascincus dorsicatenatus is an endemic species of litter-skink distributed throughout the wet zone of Sri Lanka (elevations from 15 to 800 m a.s.l.). The recent resurrection of Lygosoma megalops by the recent description of its neotype designated by Batuwita (2019), presently lost, destabilized the taxonomic status of Lankascincus dorsicatenatus. Amarasinghe et al. (2022) synonymized Lygosoma megalops with Lankascincus fallax, and accepted Lankascincus dorsicatenatus as a valid taxon. Deraniyagala (1953) described Sphenomorphus dorsicatenatus based on a holotype and three paratypes. All the types are lost except one paratype at the National Museum of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka (NMSL), but it is in bad condition. Therefore, with a comparative discussion on the status of ‘Lankascincus megalops‘, here we designate a neotype for Lankascincus dorsicatenatus for clarification of the taxonomic status and stabilize the nomen. A discussion on the distribution and conservation of Lankascincus dorsicatenatus is also provided.


biogeography; dry zone; endemic; rainforest; Sri Lanka; wet zone

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