Abstract

The tricarinate skink Scincus multifasciatus was described by Kuhl in 1820, without the subsequent designation of a type specimen or specific type locality. In 1930, Mertens assigned the type locality as Java, Indonesia, but still with no type specimen. Therefore, in order to stabilize the name with a recognized type specimen, we designate a neotype for Eutropis multifasciata from western Java, and we accept Merten's type locality assignment. We examined all the available synonym type voucher specimens of E. multifasciata and associated subspecies deposited in museum collections throughout Europe, Indonesia, and India. Examination of the types of E. m. balinensis and E. m. tjendikianensis show nearly identical to the forma typica. Hence, we synonymize both subspecies to E. multifasciata. We compared the holotypes of E. macrophthalma (type locality: Java) and E. grandis (type locality: Sulawesi). Interestingly, the two species are morphologically and genetically nearly identical, and there are no diagnostic characters for their separation. Thus, we synonymize E. grandis with E. macrophthalma. The two type specimens of E. macrophthalma reached Europe from Java, through commercial animal trade, hence their type locality “Java” is suspicious. Eutropis macrophthalma has never been recorded from Java and the two type specimens probably originated in Sulawesi, from which museum vouchered specimens with precise locality are known. We consider E. macrophthalma to be a Sulawesi endemic, and conclude that the recorded type locality, Java, is erroneous.

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