Australian Museum Journal A phylogenetic subdivision of Australian skinks

Shortform:
Greer, 1979, Rec. Aust. Mus. 32(8): 339–371
Author(s):
Greer, Allen E.
Year published:
1979
Title:
A phylogenetic subdivision of Australian skinks
Serial title:
Records of the Australian Museum
Volume:
32
Issue:
8
Start page:
339
End page:
371
DOI:
10.3853/j.0067-1975.32.1979.459
Language:
English
Date published:
30 September 1979
Cover date:
30 September 1979
ISSN:
0067-1975
CODEN:
RAUMAJ
Publisher:
The Australian Museum
Place published:
Sydney, Australia
Subjects:
REPTILIA; TAXONOMY
Digitized:
19 January 2009
Available online:
03 March 2009
Reference number:
459
EndNote package:
EndNote file
Title page:
Title page (98kb PDF)
Complete work:
Complete work (2310kb PDF)

Abstract

Skinks are the largest and most diverse of the five families of lizards in Australia. The most recent review of the lizard fauna, for example, recognizes 193 species (54 percent of the total; Cogger 1975), but as a result of recent work by several collectors, we now know of at least 242 species. Furthermore, new species are being discovered at a faster rate than in any other family of Australian reptiles (pers. obs.).

Quite justifiably, Australian skinks are receiving considerable attention from researchers whose interests range from cytogenetics (e.g., King 1973 a and band Donnellan 1977) and ecology (e.g., Barwick 1965, Bustard 1970, Pengilley1972, Pianka 1969, Robertson 1976, Smyth 1968, Smyth and Smith 1968 and Spellerberg 1972 a-d) to systematics (e.g., the many papers of Storr cited at the end of this paper) and zoogeography (e.g., Horton 1972, Pianka 1972 and Rawlinson 1974a).

Given the numbers and diversity of Australian skinks and the interest in them, it may be useful to present a subdivision of this fauna that reflects major phylogenetic lineages. Hopefully, such a subdivision will provide a broad conceptual framework for synthesizing both old and new information about these animals.