Carlia longipes ( Macleay, 1877 )

Donnellan, S. C., Couper, P. J., Saint, K. M. & Wheaton, L., 2009, Systematics of the Carlia ‘ fusca’ complex (Reptilia: Scincidae) from northern Australia, Zootaxa 2227 (1), pp. 1-31 : 13-17

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.2227.1.1

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Carlia longipes ( Macleay, 1877 )


Carlia longipes ( Macleay, 1877)

( Figs 6 View FIGURE 6 , 7 View FIGURE 7 & 8 View FIGURE 8 ; Tables 3 & 4)

1877 Heteropus longipes Macleay. Proc Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 2: 66. Endeavour River , north-eastern Queensland. Holotype AMS R 31878.

1877 Heteropus cheverti Macleay. Ibid. 2: 67. Barrow Island , north-eastern Queensland. Lectotype AMS R 31877.

Material examined: Holotype: AMS R 31878, Endeavour River , north-eastern Queensland (approx. 15°27'S, 145°14'E). GoogleMaps

Other material: Queensland - QM J20508 View Materials -9 , QM J2051-2 , Melville Range (14°16'S, 144°30'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J20596 View Materials , Melville Range (14°16'S, 144°30'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J60602 View Materials , Rocky Peak , 6 km ENE Saddle Hill (14°43'59"S, 144°46'52”E) GoogleMaps ; QM J60609 View Materials , Rocky Peak , 6 km ENE Saddle Hill (14°43'59"S, 144°46'28”E) GoogleMaps ; QM J51112 View Materials , 13 km NW Cape Flattery (14°55'3”S, 145°13'3”E) GoogleMaps ; QM J53107 View Materials , Cape Flattery, Barracks 14°58'S, 145°21'E GoogleMaps ); QM J53138 View Materials , Cape Flattery (14°58'S, 145°21'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J20606 View Materials -8 , McIvor River crossing, Starcke Station- Cooktown Road (15°06'S, 145°09'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J20597 View Materials , McIvor River (15°09'S, 145°14'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J32361 View Materials , McIvor River crossing, near Hopevale Mission (15°09'S, 145°5'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J87039 View Materials , QM J87050 View Materials , Mary Vale, Endeavour Valley road, Cooktown (15°25'48"S, 145°07'07"E) GoogleMaps ; QM J87057 View Materials , Jensen's Crossing, Endeavour River, Cooktown (15°25'49"S; 145°07'06"E) GoogleMaps ; QM J24396 View Materials , QM J24531 View Materials Cooktown (15°28'S, 145°15'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J27086 View Materials , Mt Cook, S Cooktown (15°30'S, 145°16'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J87008 View Materials , QM J87049 View Materials , Black Mountain (15°38'54"S, 145°13'08"E) GoogleMaps ; QM J25163 View Materials , Home Rule Camp site, S of Cooktown (15°44'S, 145°17'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J25188 View Materials , Wallaby Creek, Home Rule , (15°44'S, 145°15'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J25292 View Materials near Home Rule Falls (15°44'S, 145°18'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J25133 View Materials , Mt Hartley, near Home Rule , S of Cooktown (15°46'S, 145°19'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J27142 View Materials , near site 36, Shipton’s Flat (15°48'S, 145°16'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J75262 View Materials , Daintree River (16°17’S, 145°27’E) GoogleMaps ; QM J75264 View Materials /7, Daintree River (16°17'S, 145°27'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J41348 View Materials -9 , QM J41351 View Materials -4 7km N Ellis Beach, via Cairns (16°42'S, 145°36'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J24193 View Materials /5 , QM J29955 View Materials 24km N Cairns , (16°45'S, 145°39'E) GoogleMaps ; QM J47551 View Materials , 24 km S Mt Carbine , 16°50'S, 145°09'E GoogleMaps ); QM J27312 View Materials , Bessie Point, Cairns (16°54'S, 145°49'E) GoogleMaps .

Distribution: Coastal areas of eastern Queensland between Cape Melville (14°10'S, 144°30'E) and Gordonvale (17°06'S, 145°47'E).

Diagnosis: Carlia longipes most closely resembles C. sexdentata from which it is here separated. The two species are most readily distinguished by the colour pattern of adult males (compare Figs 6a, c & d View FIGURE 6 with Figs 9a, d & f View FIGURE 9 ) and the nature of the ear lobules ( Figs 7a–d View FIGURE 7 & Figs 10a–d View FIGURE 10 ). (in C. longipes the dark midlateral zone between the ear and shoulder is well-defined and contrasting sharply with the lower neck colouration vs not contrasting sharply with lower neck colour; in C. longipes the ear aperture is completely surrounded by sharply pointed lobules vs usually a series of well-developed lobules on anterior margin often producing a distinctive comb-like effect, lobules poorly to moderately developed on other surfaces of ear). Carlia longipes lacks the dorsal and lateral pattern seen in C. quinquecarinata (large, longitudinally aligned, dark-edged, pale dashes on the dorsum and a broken midlateral line). Carlia longipes need only be distinguished from other species of Carlia with a smoothly rounded posterior edge to the midbody scales. It is distinguished from C. munda and C. tetradactyla by the nature of its ear lobules (sharply pointed on all surfaces of the ear aperture vs small and rounded); from C. rimula by its greater midbody scale count and larger size (32–36 vs ≤ 30; max SVL = 68.8mm vs 39mm); from C. rhomboidalis and C. rubrigularis by the state of the interparietal scale (free vs fused); from C. rostralis by its ear lobules and male breeding colours (sharply pointed lobules on all surfaces of the ear aperture vs well-developed lobules only present on anterior margin; males with pale throat vs black throat). Of the above listed species, its broad distribution only overlaps with C. munda , C. rostralis and C. rubrigularis . Whether it overlaps with C. sexdentata remains unclear. The two species may be mutually exclusive but, if so, the northern limit for C. longipes is in close proximity to the southern limit for C. sexdentata .

Description: SVL (mm) 35.91–68.77, n = 41. Proportions as %SVL(mean ± standard deviation): TL 168.91–209.42 (188.44 ± 10.93, n = 11); AG 43.0–52.80 (48.20 ± 2.33, n = 40); L1 31.88–41.65 (35.51 ± 2.61, n = 41); L2 45.0–61.56 (53.00 ± 3.65, n = 41); HL 20.31–26.38 (22.23 ± 1.24, n = 41); Eye-ear 6.60– 8.60 (7.66± 0.44, n = 41); Snout 7.32–10.36 (8.93± 0.60, n = 41). Body robust. Head barely distinct from neck. HW 60.72–74.39% HL (68.32 ± 3.35, n = 41). Limbs moderate. L1 59.35–74.86% L2 (67.14 ± 3.49, n = 41).

Scalation: Rostral in broad contact with frontonasal. Prefrontals large, narrowly (61% of specimens) to moderately (39% of specimens) separated. Supraoculars 4, 1 and 2 in contact with frontal, 2, 3 and 4 in contact with frontoparietal. Frontoparietals fused, forming a single shield. Interparietal free. Enlarged nuchal scales 1–3 (mode = 2, n = 42). Snout rounded in profile. Loreals 2. Preoculars 2. Presubocular single. Supraciliaries 5–8 (mode = 7, n = 42). Lower eyelid moveable with clear window; palpebral disc small, occupying about half of lower eyelid. Ear aperture subequal or larger than palpebral disc; usually round (59% of specimens) but sometimes vertical (32% of specimens) or slightly horizontal (9% of specimens), with enlarged, sharp lobules on all margins ( Figs 7a–d View FIGURE 7 ). Supralabials 7–8 (7.05±0.22, mode = 7, n = 42), with fifth or sixth below centre of eye (5.05±0.22, mode = 5, n = 42) eye. Infralabials 6–7 (6.05±0.21, mode = 6, n = 42). Dorsal scalation smooth to weakly tricarinate; posterior edge smoothly curved. Midbody scale rows 32–36 (34.82±1.18, mode = 34, n = 38). Paravertebral scale rows 44–54 (48.95±1.89, mode = 49, n = 38). Lamellae beneath 3 rd finger 18–25 (21.87±1.49, mode = 22, n = 38). Lamellae beneath 4 th toe 27–36 (32.47±2.45, mode = 31, n = 38).

Colour pattern in spirit: Mid-olive brown dorsally; uniform or lightly marked with dark specks. Tail often with a longitudinal series of dark-edged pale flecks. Venter off-white.

Colour pattern in life: adult males in breeding colours ( Figs 6a, c & d View FIGURE 6 ): with a distinct, white dorsolateral stripe (commencing behind the supraciliaries, running through upper secondary temporal and terminating just behind forelimb). This is bordered below by a broad, dark, well-defined upper lateral zone (encompassing 2–3 scales rows and extending from eye to just behind forelimb) which contrasts sharply with the scales of the lower neck and is continuous with the metallic pink flank coloration (rich orange in life). Limbs and sides of tail orange brown. Females ( Fig. 6b View FIGURE 6 ): with a narrow, pale facial stripe that begins beneath the eye and terminates near the dorsal margin of the ear aperture. The dark upper lateral is enclosed between narrow, white dorsolateral and midlateral stripes which are most prominent anterior to the forelimb (the former commencing behind the eye, the latter behind the ear). This pattern extends varying distances along the flanks but becomes increasingly diffuse. The upper lateral zone is broken by one or more, obscure vertical, white bars in front of forelimb and has irregular white dashes along its full length. Dorsum often with pale flecking. Juveniles: similar to females with obscure pale flecking on dorsum and flanks.

Raw measurements and scale counts of Holotype: ( Fig. 8a View FIGURE 8 ): AMS R31878. SVL 63.07 mm; AG 30.03 mm; L1 23.44 mm; L2 52.23 mm; HL 13.58 mm; HW 10.01 mm; Eye – ear 4.82; Snout 5.87; midbody scale rows 36; paravertebral scale rows 48; supraciliaries 7; supralabials 7; fifth supralabial below centre eye; infralabials 6; subdigital lamellae beneath 3 rd finger 23; subdigital lamellae beneath 4 th toe 33; enlarged nuchals 2; preoculars 2; presuboculars 1; postsupralabial divided; temporals – 1 primary, 2 secondary; ear round – surrounded by sharp lobules ( Fig. 8b View FIGURE 8 ); palpebral disc subequal to ear opening. The scales of the dorsal surface are largely smooth but those of the lateral surfaces are faintly tricarinate. Pattern of holotype: AMS R31878 is badly faded but a slight darkening of the upper lateral zone is evident from behind the ear aperture to the posterior margin of the forelimb; the fine, pale dorsolateral and midlateral stripes that enclose this zone can still be detected.

Comments: Our data are in agreement with Ingram and Covacevich (1989) that H. cheverti is a junior synonym of C. longipes .


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


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