Abstract

We redescribe the exceedingly rare, tetradactyl Philippine scincid lizards of the genus Brachymeles. Before the recent discovery of a second museum specimen of Brachymeles wrighti, and the rediscovery of B. elerae in the wild, these two species were known from a combined three museum specimens, all collected in the early 1900s. Since that time, biotic surveys in the region, including recent efforts focused at the recognized type localities for both species, resulted in the rediscovery of extant populations of B. elerae. Based on re-examination of type material, complete mensural and meristic data for a recently recovered museum specimen, as well as our recently collected material, we redescribe these two rare species, providing the first, complete diagnostic illustrations of head scalation and hand and foot morphology, and we comment on their taxonomic and phenotypic affinities, and conservation status.

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