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n African Journal of Herpetology - Review of the leaf-litter skinks (Scincidae: Panaspis) from the Gulf of Guinea Oceanic Islands, with the description of a new species

Volume 67 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2156-4574
  • E-ISSN: 2153-3660
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Abstract

Leaf-litter skinks of the genus Panaspis are currently represented in the oceanic islands of the Gulf of Guinea by two species, Panaspis africana and P. annobonensis. Here we describe a third species, Panaspis thomensis sp. nov., endemic to São Tomé Island. Data from previous studies and a new phylogenetic analysis using the mitochondrial 16S gene shows that the new species is genetically divergent and reciprocally monophyletic with respect to P. africana. Morphological data (scalation and morphometry) identify consistent, yet subtle, phenotypic differences between the two island populations. We also confirm that P. annobonensis represents a valid species, sister to the species pair P. africana + P. thomensis sp. nov., based on both molecular and morphological evidence. This description raises the number of known Panaspis species in the Gulf of Guinea oceanic islands to three, with consequences for the interpretation of local endemicity.

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/content/journal/10520/EJC-12bc30c075
2018-12-01
2019-07-15

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