Peninsular Malaysia’s first limbless lizard: a new species of skink of the genus Larutia (Bohme) from Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia with a phylogeny of the genus
A new species of the scincid genus Larutia, L. penangensis sp. nov., from Pulau Pinang, Peninsular Malaysia is separated from all other congeners by having the unique characteristics of the complete absence of limbs, four supralabials, large body scales, and no banding or striping pattern. Additionally, it has the following unique combination of characters that further separates it from all congeners: a single presubocular; separated nasals; paired frontoparietals; small, widely separated prefrontals; no supranasals or postnasal; two postsupralabials; and large, posterior chinshields that contact the infralabials. A molecular phylogeny based on one mitochondrial and two nuclear genes from all species of Larutia from Peninsular Malaysia indicates L. penangensis sp. nov. is most basal and that L. seribuatensis is the sister lineage to a clade containing L. miodactyla and the sister species L. trifasciata and L. larutensis. Consistencies and inconsistencies between this phylogeny and a previously proposed morphological phylogeny are discussed.