A new ancient lineage of ablepharine skinks (Sauria: Scincidae) from eastern Himalayas with notes on origin and systematics of the group
|Title||A new ancient lineage of ablepharine skinks (Sauria: Scincidae) from eastern Himalayas with notes on origin and systematics of the group|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Mirza ZA, Bragin AM, Bhosale H, Gowande G, Patel H, Poyarkov NA|
The Himalayas represent a renowned biodiversity hotspot and an important biogeographic realm that has influenced origin and diversification of multiple taxa. A recent herpetological investigation of the eastern Himalayas of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh led to the discovery of a unique lineage of ablepharine skink, which is herein described as a new genus along with a new species. The findings are based an integrated taxonomic approach incorporating data from external morphology, microCT scans of the skull and molecular data. The molecular phylogeny of ablepharine skinks is also presented that suggests taxonomic amendments. Discovery of this unique lineage of skinks further highlights the biogeographic importance of the eastern Himalayas as a source for origin of several relic biota.