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Pygmy skinks
Pygmaeascincus - Couper & Hoskin, 2014

Pronunciation: pig-MEE-ah-SKINK-uss
 Etymology: "From the Latin pygmaea for pygmy. Referring to the very small size of the three species. These skinks, at SVL < 30 mm, are amongst the smallest skinks in the world".1

Taxonomic notes:

This genus was erected to accommodate three species that didn't really belong in Menetia.

 Notes: "Pygmaeascincus is a genus of small litter skinks that is distinguished from all other Australian skinks by the following character states: small size (SVL < 30 mm); limbs short and widely separated when adpressed; digital formula 4/5 (four fingers, five toes) with ≤ 10 supradigital scales on fourth toe; frontoparietals and interparietal fused into a single shield; eyelid preablepharine; supraoculars transverse, ≤ 3, squarish, with only the 1st contacting the frontal."1
Distinguished from Menetia in having the interparietal scale fused with the frontoparietal scales (versus a separate interparietal scale in Menetia).1
Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 3 out of 3 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: Magnetic Island dwarf skink (Pygmaeascincus sadlieri) at 2.2 cm
 Longest Australian species: dwarf litter-skink (Pygmaeascincus timlowi) at 2.9 cm
Number of Australian species: 3

fine-browed dwarf skink (Pygmaeascincus koshlandae)
McIvor River, Queensland
Photo © Michael Anthony
fine-browed dwarf skink (Pygmaeascincus koshlandae) distribution range map Pygmaeascincus koshlandae
Fine-browed dwarf skink
Year described
Greer 1991
Frontoparietal scales and interparietal scales fused; 2 pretemporal scales; small upper palpebral scales; 3 supraocular scales; 5 supraciliary scales; 56-60 paravertebral scales. Drab brown.

Magnetic Island dwarf skink (Pygmaeascincus sadlieri)
Magnetic Island, Queensland
Photo © Angus McNab
Magnetic Island dwarf skink (Pygmaeascincus sadlieri) distribution range map Pygmaeascincus sadlieri
Magnetic Island dwarf skink
Year described
Greer 1991
Frontoparietal scales and interparietal scales fused; 2 pretemporal scales; enlarged upper palpebral scales; 2 supraocular scales; 5 supraciliary scales, 3 of which contact the 1st supraocular scale; 55 paravertebral scales. Drab brown.

dwarf litter-skink (Pygmaeascincus timlowi)
Biggenden, Queensland
Photo © Mark Sanders
dwarf litter-skink (Pygmaeascincus timlowi) distribution range map Pygmaeascincus timlowi
Dwarf litter-skink
Year described
Ingram 1977

  1. Couper, Patrick J & Hoskin, Conrad J (2014). A new genus to accommodate three skinks currently assigned to Menetia (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Zootaxa, 3884(6):597-599.
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