Carlia quinquecarinata (Macleay)

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: 24-26

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.2227.1.1


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Carlia quinquecarinata (Macleay)


Carlia quinquecarinata (Macleay)  

Fig. 12 View FIGURE 12 , Tables 3 & 4

1877 Heteropus quinquecarinatus Macleay Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W.   2: 67. Darnley Island , north-eastern Queensland. Lectotype AMS R 31873 View Materials .  

Material examined: Lectotype: AMS R 31873 View Materials . Darnley Island , north-eastern Queensland (9°35'S, 143°46'E). GoogleMaps  

Paralectotypes: AMS R31871-2, AMS R31874-5, as for lectotype. AMS R 31872 View Materials excluded from measurements (see discussion below)   .

Other material: QM J68354, J68359 View Materials , Darnley Island (9°35'S, 143°46'E) GoogleMaps   . QMJ52427 View Materials , a specimen from Murray Island exhibits pattern characteristics similar to those of the Darnley Island specimens   .

Distribution: Darnley Island [= Erub Island] (9°35'S, 143°46'E) Torres Strait and probably also Murray Island (9°56'S, 144°04'E). This taxon may also occur in New Guinea (see comments below).

Diagnosis: A large, heavy-bodied member of the C. fusca   group usually possessing large, longitudinally aligned, dark- edged, pale dashes on the dorsum and a midlateral line (where present) broken into a series of dashes anterior to the forelimb - a pattern not seen in C. longipes   or C. sexdentata   .

Description: SVL (mm) 56.96–65.68, n = 4. Proportions as %SVL (mean ± standard deviation): not available; AG 42.80–50.54 (48.32 ± 3.71, n = 4); L1 32.13–36.73 (34.88 ± 1.95, n = 4); L2 49.43–50.05 (49.66 ± 0.27, n = 4); HL 21.09–22.26 (21.79 ± 0.50, n = 4); Eye – ear 7.23–7.89 (7.57 ± 0.27, n = 4); Snout 7.80– 8.71 (8.40 ± 0.42, n = 4). Body robust. Head barely distinct from neck. HW 65.92–70.65% HL (68.34 ± 1.97, n = 4). Limbs moderate. L1 64.19–74.29% L2 (70.26 ± 4.29, n = 4).

Raw measurements and scale counts of lectotype: AMS R31873 View Materials . SVL 60.91 mm; AG 30.19 mm; L1 22.37 mm; L2 30.11 mm; HL 13.56 mm; HW 9.58 mm; Eye – ear 4.60; Snout 5.14: midbody scale rows 38; paravertebral scale rows 47; supraciliaries 8 left, 7 right; supralabials 7; fifth supralabial below eye; infralabials 6; subdigital lamellae beneath 3 rd finger 23; subdigital lamellae beneath 4 th toe 32; enlarged nuchals 2; preoculars 2; presuboculars 1; postsupralabial divided; temporals – 1 primary, 2 secondary; ear vertical with sharp lobules on all edges—those along posterior margin small and deeply recessed ( Fig. 12b View FIGURE 12 ); palpebral disc larger than ear opening. The scales of the dorsal and lateral surfaces are weakly carinated and some have an indication of a smaller point at the lateral edges, producing five carinations. The scale characters of AMS R31871 View Materials , AMS R31874 View Materials -5 are less well preserved but suggest the same general effect. The scales of AMS R31872 View Materials are largely smooth.

Pattern: AMS R31871-5 are badly faded but still show traces of a dark upper lateral zone extending beyond the forelimb and bordered above by a narrow, pale dorsolateral stripe. AMS R 31874 View Materials shows traces of dark-edged dorsal dashes the full extent of this pattern is clearly seen in QM J86354 View Materials , a fresh specimen from Darnley Island , collected in November 2007 ( Fig. 12c View FIGURE 12 )   .

Comments: C. quinquecarinata   is a large, heavy-bodied Carlia   that is readily separated from the sympatric, slender-bodied H. variegatus   by both pattern and scalation differences. Specimen AMS R31872 View Materials is not considered as conspecific with the other specimens in the type series. Its colour pattern and scalation characters fit more closely with H. variegatus   . (Pale dorsolateral and mid lateral stripes present, midbody scale count = 33, lamellae under 3 rd finger = 19, lamellae under 4 th toe = 25). The scale characteristics of the other H. quinquecarinatus   types appear to be consistent with recently collected, genetically typed, specimens from Darnley Island (QM J68354 View Materials , J68359 View Materials ) that possess prominent longitudinally aligned, dark- edged, pale flecks on the dorsum and broken midlateral stripes. A similar pattern was observed in a specimen from Murray Island (QM J52427 View Materials ). The mitochondrial DNA phylogeny ( Fig. 2) places the Darnley Island specimens with AMS R122702, a specimen from Waro, Southern Highlands Province, PNG (6°32'S, 143°11'E) that Zug (2004) was not able to assign to any named taxon with confidence. AMS R122702 does not have the pattern of Darnley Island C. quinquecarinata   and for the present we do not include it in C. quinquecarinata   until the extent of morphological variation in C. quinquecarinata   is assessed across the region.


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Queensland Museum