Leiolopisma ceciliae Arnold & Bour

Arnold’s Skink (Leiolopisma ceciliae)

Arnold’s Skink was described in 2008 based on subfossil remains that had been recovered from deposits of the Grotte au Sable in Saint-Paul, the second-largest commune of Réunion.

The species was closely related to Telfair-Skink (Leiolopisma telfairii (Desjardins)) (see photo below) from Mauritius, but was even larger; in life, this species must have had a size of over 40 cm (including the tail).

In contrast to many other animals that formerly inhabited the Mascarene islands, no written accounts exist that could be assigned to this species. [1]

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References:

[1] E. Nicholas Arnold; Roger Bour: A new Nactus gecko (Gekkonidae) and a new Leiolopisma skin (Scincidae) from La Réunion, Indian Ocean, based on recent fossil remains and ancient DNA sequence. Zootaxa 1705: 40-50. 2008
[2] Anthony Cheke; Julian P. Hume: Lost Land of the Dodo: The ecological history of Mauritius, Réunion, and Redrigues. Yale University Press 2008

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Telfair-Skink (Leiolopisma telfairii)

Photo: Wouter Van Landuyt

(public domain)

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edited: 04.05.2022