A new genus for the New Caledonian scincid lizard Lygosoma euryotis Werner, 1909, and the description of a new species
The generic allocation and alpha systematics of the New Caledonian scincid lizard Lygosoma euryotis Werner are reviewed. The species was known only from the type specimen for most of the last century, and was most recently placed in the genus Marmorosphax in 1986 (type species Lygosoma tricolor Bavay). The recent acquisition of additional specimens from the type locality on the Isle of Pines and from the far north of the Grande Terre has provided additional information on scalation, osteology, and mode of reproduction. These data in combination with mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data indicate the current generic allocation for Lygosoma euryotis is inappropriate, and that it cannot be placed with confidence in any existing genus. A new genus is here proposed to accommodate the species. Further, L. euryotis is here recognized as comprising two widely allopatric species, euryotis from the Isle of Pines and a new species from the far north of the main island. Both species are regarded as threatened and categorized as Vulnerable, with the species from the north of the main island particularly at risk.