Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta, Hoskin & Couper, 2014

Hoskin, Conrad J. & Couper, Patrick J., 2014, Two new skinks (Scincidae: Glaphyromorphus) from rainforest habitats in north-eastern Australia, Zootaxa 3869 (1), pp. 1-16 : 10-11

publication ID

publication LSID


persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta

sp. nov.

Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta sp. nov.

McIlwraith Bar-lipped Skink

( Figs 3B View FIGURE 3 , 4B View FIGURE 4 , 5B View FIGURE 5 , 8 View FIGURE 8 , 9 View FIGURE 9 )

Material examined. Holotype: QMJ 85244 View Materials , mature male with turgid opaque testes, Peach Creek (13°44'12" S, 143°19'47" E, elevation 530 m a.s.l.), McIlwraith Range, north-east Queensland, collected 20 July 2007 by S. Williams & C. Moritz GoogleMaps . Paratypes: QMJ 38195 View Materials , adult female with developing follicles, 17 km ENE of Mt Croll (13º46' S, 143º19' E), McIlwraith Range, collected 2 June 1979, J. W. Winter & R. G. Atherton; GoogleMaps QMJ66642 View Materials , adult female with developing follicles, Peach Creek headwaters (13º44'15", S 143º20'20" E, 530 m a.s.l.), McIlwraith Range, collected 25 August 1998 by K. McDonald & J. Covacevich GoogleMaps ; QMJ 70609 View Materials , gravid adult female, McIlwraith Range (13º44'01" S, 143º20'09" E, 530 m a.s.l.), collected 16 August 1999, K. McDonald, A. Freeman & H. Hines GoogleMaps .

Diagnosis. Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta sp. nov. is diagnosed from all congeners in having: narrowly separated adpressed limbs (not separated by more than the length of the forelimb); more than 24 midbody scale rows; the prefontal separated from the preocular; small body size (max SVL ~ 54 mm); seven supralabials (with 5 th below centre of eye); fewer than 21 lamellae beneath 4 th toe; a strong barred body pattern extending to hindlimbs; dark supralabial scales with a central white dot; dark streaks typically present on throat.

Etymology. Nyanchupinta translates as: ‘nyanchu’ for ‘dead leaves or mulch’ and ‘pinta’ for ‘covered’, referring to the lizard being hidden in the leaf-litter. The species was named by Elders of the Kaantju clan, traditional owners of the McIlwraith Range where the species lives.

Measurements and scale counts of holotype QMJ85244 View Materials ( Figs 3B View FIGURE 3 , 4B View FIGURE 4 , 8 View FIGURE 8 , 9 View FIGURE 9 ). Mature male with turgid, opaque testes. SVL = 53.0 mm, AG = 26.4 mm, TL not measured due to partial tail loss, L1 = 10.5 mm, L2 = 17.0 mm, HL = 10.2 mm, HW = 7.4 mm, NL = 7.9 mm, midbody scale rows = 27, paravertebrals = 60, lamellae 4 th toe = 17, lamellae 4 th finger = 11, supralabials = 7 with 5 th below centre of eye, infralabials = 6, supraciliaries = 6 left/7 right.

Description of type series. Data presented as range followed by mean in brackets (n = 4, unless stated otherwise). Adult measurements (mm): SVL = 49.2–53.6 (51.8), AG = 25.4–29.5 (27.3), TL = 51.8 (n = 1), L1 = 10.1–11.3 (10.7), L2 = 14.3–17.0 (15.5), HL = 9.2–10.2 (9.5), HW = 6.6–7.4 (6.9), NL = 7.8–9.8 (8.5) (Table 1). Adult proportions (as % SVL): AG = 50–55 (53), TL = 100 (n = 1), L1 = 20–21 (21), L2 = 28–32 (30), HL = 18–19 (18), HW = 13–14 (13), NL = 15–18 (16) (Table 1). Body: elongate, tubiform. Neck broad and not well differentiated from back of head. Snout rounded in profile. Limbs short, pentadactyl, and separated by the about the length of the forelimb when adpressed. Scalation: Scales smooth with rounded posterior margins; 25–27 (mean = 26.5) rows at midbody; paravertebrals not transversely enlarged (except enlarged nuchals) and numbering 56–60 (mean = 58.5) in a line between the parietals and the posterior margin of the hindlimb. Nasals moderate, wellspaced, with a relatively large external naris; rostral and frontonasal in moderate contact; prefrontals large, moderately to very narrowly separated, and not contacting 1 st preocular; frontal contacting frontonasal, prefrontals, first two supraoculars, frontoparietals and usually in point contact with 1 st supraciliary; supraoculars 4, second the largest; supraciliaries 6–7 (mean = 6.5), first the largest; frontoparietals paired and distinct from interparietal; parietals in contact behind interparietal; 6–7 (mean = 6.3) nuchal scales; primary temporals 1; secondary temporals 2, upper largest and overlapping lower; loreals 2; preoculars 2; presuboculars 2; an enlarged subocular scale penetrating the suture between the 4 th and 5 th supralabials; supralabials 7, 5 th below centre of eye; infralabials 6; postmental contacting two infralabials on each side; lower eyelid scaly; ear opening round or vertically oval, without lobules and with tympanum moderately recessed; lamellae under 4 th finger 10–11 (mean = 10.8); lamellae under 4 th toe 17–20 (mean = 17.8); medial pair of preanal scales greatly enlarged. Colour pattern in preservative ( Fig. 3B View FIGURE 3 , 4B View FIGURE 4 , 9 View FIGURE 9 ): Dorsal ground colour mid brown with narrow, dark brown or dark grey wavy bars extending from vertebral zone to lower flanks. Pattern extends to hindlimbs but generally more prominent on anterior half of dorsum. Laterally the pattern breaks up, becoming increasingly mottled on the posterior third of the body and sides of tail. The temporal region and sides of neck marked with dark reticulations, where dark bars merge together, and the upper labials are predominantly dark, each bearing a pale central dot. Venter immaculate cream except at edge of jawline and chin, where there are dark markings around the scale edges. These are least prominent in QMJ66642 View Materials but extend to the throat in the rest of the type series. Limbs pale brown with a dark reticulated pattern.

Colour pattern in life ( Figs 5B View FIGURE 5 , 8 View FIGURE 8 ). As for spirit specimens but colours richer, particularly on body bars and face, and appearance generally more glossy.

Comparison with similar species. Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta sp. nov. can only be confused with G. othelarrni sp. nov., G. fuscicaudis and G. nigricaudis . It is readily distinguished from all three species by its small body size (max SVL = ~ 54 mm vs> 85 mm), less robust form (WT/SVL 0.04–0.06 vs> 0.09); number of subdigital lamellae beneath the 4 th toe (17–20 vs generally 20 or more) (Table 1); labial pattern (supralabials predominantly dark, enclosing a central white dot vs supralabials pale with dark barring along sutures) ( Fig. 4B View FIGURE 4 ), lateral head and neck pattern (dark reticulations vs dark bars or spots) ( Figs 3B View FIGURE 3 , 5B View FIGURE 5 ); the extent of the body pattern (dark dorsal and lateral bars extend posteriorly to hindlimb vs pattern generally strongest on anterior half of body and breaking up or absent beyond midbody) ( Figs 3B View FIGURE 3 , 5B View FIGURE 5 ); and dark streaks typically present on the throat ( Fig. 9 View FIGURE 9 ) vs throat typically unmarked. Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta sp. nov. is further distinguished from G. othelarrni sp. nov. in having a proportionately shorter tail (TL/SVL 1.00 vs 1.47–1.86); shorter limbs (L1/SVL: 0.20–0.21 vs 0.22–0.26; L2/SVL: 0.28–0.32 vs 0.33–0.41); fewer midbody scale rows (25–27 vs 28–30); fewer subdigital lamellae beneath the 4 th finger (10–11 vs 14–15); and fewer supralabial scales (7 with 5 th below centre of eye vs typically 8 with 6 th below centre of eye) (Table 1). It is further distinguished from G. fuscicaudis in having a proportionately larger head (HW/SVL: 0.13–0.14 vs 0.12–0.13; HL/SVL: 0.18–0.19 vs 0.16–0.17); fewer midbody scale rows (25–27 vs 28–30); and generally fewer paravertebral scales (mean 59 vs 64) (Table 1). It also lacks the series of yellow dorsolateral blotches that are prominent in G. fuscicaudis ( Figs 5B, 5C View FIGURE 5 ). It is further distinguished from G. nigricaudis in having fewer paravertebral scales (56–60 vs 51–56) (Table 1).

Distribution. Known only from the uplands of McIlwraith Range, north-east Australia ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 ). All individuals have been collected in the same area, at about 530 m elevation in the headwaters of Peach Ck. The McIlwraith Range is poorly explored and it is likely the species is more widespread in the uplands.

Habitat and habits. Found in upland rainforest ( Fig. 10 View FIGURE 10 ). Individuals have been collected from under logs in rainforest. A gravid female ( QMJ70609 View Materials ), with two fully-developed eggs, was collected in mid August.


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile