Based on morphological and genetic evidence we evaluated the taxonomic status of a newly discovered forest-dwelling population of skink (genus Scincella
) from the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia. From phylogenetic analysis of a 668-bp fragment of the mtDNA COI
and diagnostic morphological characters we allocate the newly discovered population to the Scincella reevesii
– S. rufocaudata
species complex and describe it as Scincella nigrofasciata sp. nov.
The new skink species can be distinguished from all other Southeast Asian congeners by the following combination of morphological characters: snout-vent length (SVL) 40.0–52.6 mm; relative tail length (TaL/SVL ratio) 1.25–1.94; prefrontals in broad contact; infralabials 6; primary temporals 2; relative forelimb length (FIL/SVL ratio) 0.20–0.22; relative hindlimb length (HIL/SVL ratio) 0.30–0.33; relative forearm length (FoL/SVL ratio) 0.14–0.16; adpressed forelimbs and hind limbs either overlapping (0.4–2.2 mm) or separated (1.9–2.3 mm); midbody scale rows 32–33, paravertebral scales 69–74, vertebral scales 65–69; dorsal scales between dorsolateral stripes 8; comparatively slender fingers and toes, subdigital lamellae under fourth toe 15–17; dark discontinuous regular dorsal stripes 5–7; distinct black dorsolateral stripes, narrowing to lateral sides and extending to 52%–86% of total tail length. We provide additional information on the holotype of Scincella rufocaudata
(Darevsky & Nguyen, 1983), and provide evidence for the species status of Scincella rupicola
. Our discovery brings the number of Scincella
species in Cambodia to five and emphasizes the incompleteness of knowledge on the herpetofaunal diversity of this country.