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1 January 2019 Kuniesaurus albiauris, a New Genus and Species of Scincid Lizard from the Île des Pins, New Caledonia, with Comments on the Diversity and Affinities of the Region's Lizard Fauna
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Abstract

A new genus and species of skink, Kuniesaurus albiauris, is here described from the Île des Pins off southern New Caledonia. This new taxon possesses a unique suite of morphological apomorphies (scalation) that does not allow it to be placed in any existing Australasian eugongylid genus. It is known only from a single area in dense coastal forest on limestone, on the main island of the Île des Pins. The species area of occupancy is restricted, and the habitat occupied under threat from the spread of the highly invasive Little Red Fire Ant Wasmannia auropunctata. These factors place this new skink at a level of risk sufficient for it to be listed as Critically Endangered under IUCN Red List criteria. The affinities of the lizard fauna of the Île des Pins with respect to that present on southern New Caledonia are also discussed, most notably the absence from the Ile des Pins of taxa typically restricted to ultramafic surfaces.

© 2019 by University of Hawai‘i Press. All rights reserved.
Ross A. Sadlier, Matthias Deuss, Aaron M. Bauer;, and Hervé Jourdan "Kuniesaurus albiauris, a New Genus and Species of Scincid Lizard from the Île des Pins, New Caledonia, with Comments on the Diversity and Affinities of the Region's Lizard Fauna," Pacific Science 73(1), 123-141, (1 January 2019). https://doi.org/10.2984/73.1.6
Accepted: 7 February 2018; Published: 1 January 2019
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