Skinks from Indonesia

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Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Jeff » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:23 pm

I tried to figure out a way to add my thoughts about the Indonesian/Merauke/Iran Jaya debate on another thread without writing a three page paper that no one would read anyway.  I couldn't really come up with a concise post, so I decided to ramble on about it over here instead.  No one will probably read it here either, but at least I can get it out without cluttering up the main forums.

I think it is important to remember that the "ID" issues that continue to come up over and over again are actually limited to three groups of skinks.  We don't have issues identifying skinks in Australia, with the occasional exception being T.s.s. and T.s.i.  The ranges of these two subspecies overlap in an integrade zone, so naturally occurring integrades occur, and these animals are usually the ones in question.  Other than that, it is really quite easy to distinguish the difference between all of the Australian species and sub-species.

Unfortunately, it is also common to see Australian scincoides mis-identified as skinks from Indonesia, and vice-versa, but the truth is that most people with some experience can easily tell the difference between these two groups when looking at a "pure" specimen from either group IN PERSON.  It can be more difficult from pictures at times, but should be pretty obvious with an examination in the flesh.  On top of that, the origins of these two groups are completely separate.  It is not nearly as hard to keep straight if a skink came from Australia or from Indonesia as it can be to know what PART of Indonesia an animal came from.  The only issues come up over skinks outside of Australia that do not have know full histories.  Again, it is still fairly easy to distinguish the two groups even when the history is not known as long as you are not looking at a hybrid.  In fact, it is probably fairly safe to identify an animal as a hybrid if it is NOT easy to tell in person if it is from Australia or Indonesia.

I think the point I am trying to make is that the only skinks that really cause any confusion are those that we feel need to fall into one of these three categories:

Indonesian
Merauke
Irian Jaya

I went back and re-read a lot of information on these skinks, and was actually surprised to see how much IS known about the three groups.  There a concrete scientific reasons for why these skinks are being classified the way they are currently.  While there is never 100% agreement on taxonomy, there really is a fairly strong consensus among the scientific community that T.g.g. and T.g.e. have significant enough differences to be classified as separate sub-species.  It is also pretty well established that there is a group of skinks that are commonly referred to as "Irian Jayas" that exist within the range of T.g.e. that are different enough to eventually be classified as an additional sub-species.  The problem is, not nearly enough research has been done to be able to set the equivalent of a "breed standard" used in the dog and cat world for Irian Jayas.  Until enough data is collected to be able to clearly define what an Irian Jaya is, it will not receive sub-species status.

Currrently, there is not even universal agreement on what SPECIES Irian Jayas are, only the recognition that they appear to clearly exhibit traits of both scincoides and gigas.  Based on overall appearance, most keepers and dealers tend to identify I.J.'s as a sub-species of scincoides, however based on scalation traits, Dr. Glenn Shea, who may be the most respected Tiliqua researcher in the world, came to the conclusion in 1992 that this group of skinks should be described as T. gigas evanescens.  My impression is that most of the scientific community agrees with this assessment.  I am vastly unqualified to offer an opinion based on anything other than the fact that I would tend to give more credibility to the likes of Dr. Shea than those like myself who have a much more superficial relationship with the Genus.

As far as what goes on here on the forum, I think we have gotten away from the true science of identification.  Many of us have kind of become "burned out" on the constant debate (although usually friendly).  We tend to add and subtract things from our own definitions of each species/sub-species over time based on things we see in pictures throughout the years.  By doing that we frequently overlook clear scientific differences between the groups.  There really should never be a debate about whether a skink is an indo or a merauke because there are some very clear differences between these two skinks that are easy to recognize.  For example, here are a few characteristics unique to T. gigas evanescens:

- They have no primary temporal scale.
- The last supralabial scale and lower secondary temporal scale is paired, resulting it five scales between the lip and the parietal
- They have two supraoculars in contact with the frontal

definitions:

primary temporal - one large scale on the center of the temple
secondary temporal - a scale in the second row of scales behind the eye
supralabial - scales covering the upper lip
supraocular - the row of scales immediately above the eye, "eye-lid" scales

Here is a picture from page 184 of the Bluey Bible that shows the difference in scalation  between an indo (on the left) and a merauke (on the right):

Image

When we ID meraukes on the forum, when was the last time these items were considered?  We get hung up on color/pattern etc., and forget that there are sometimes very easy ways to know for sure.  I could go on for quite awhile, but I know that no one has probably read even this far, so I'll stop.  Just sayin',  IDing these skinks probably shouldn't be as hard as we make it.  There is a ton more that I would like to say, especially about IJ's, but I'm falling asleep.


All of the information I am stating in this post can be found in the "Bluey Bible" which is formally, Blue Tongued Skinks, Contributions to Tiliqua and Cyclodomorphus, edited by Robert Hitz, Glenn Shea, Andree Hauschild, Klaus Henle & Heiko Werning. I am not claiming credit for anything offered here. I just feel that this information should be remembered every time we attempt to identify a skink on the forum.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby kenn » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:44 am

Nice topic!
Greetings
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Bluish » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:47 am

Good post Jeff!
Have there always been a lot of these inbetweeners coming into the market? I mean 10-20-30 years ago? It seems to me that most of the older pics I see are of pure looking animals, now I'm seeing a lot of hard to identify specimens.
If the inbetweeners is a new trend this is one of my (hairbrained) theories.
One thing that may be accelerating the inbetweener trend is the way these animals are collected. Jobbers will often go from one location to another buying animals that the locals have caught. These eventually make there way to the exporters that ship them out of the country. I'm sure that over the years many skinks escape by themselves or with the help of hurricanes etc. into foreign locales and breed with the local population.
I have seen photos of Indonesian "farms" where they will have different types in the same enclosure allowing interbreeding to occur.

Genetic dominance.

I'm seeing a lot of animals that look like hybrids.
Some of the recent "crosses" look predominantly like I.J. but with a Merauke face. If we use the pictures in Jeffs post it may be possible to key it out as Merauke even though the animal has a more I.J. appearance overall.
It's been noted that when I.J.'s are crossed to other types the offspring tend to look I.J. If we are presented with an animal that looks mostly I.J. but with a Merauke (non I.J.) face wouldn't it be more logical to consider it a cross than say it's a new undiscovered pure local?
Someone here (Canada) produced Merauke/ Northern hybrids. I didn't see them in person but saw several clear pictures and they looked very close to pure Northern. The Northern (scincoides) genes really dominated the appearance of the offspring. There was nothing about them that looked T.g.e.
Anyway I'm very tired and probably not very coherent at this point :noknow:
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Richard.C » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:53 am

There will be times where northern meurake hybridss would look predominantly meurake to ,i see more and more folk breeding hybrids,alot unknowingly,quite a few purposefully to

With the craze of morphs im sure we will see more of it to,thats why history is good,and one posative of wild caughts,as often you know what your getting generally,in saying that though theres an awful lot of mis identified wild caughts to,plus aussie ones being passed off as indos,eg the recent influx of black indos which are actually easterns
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Bluish » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:21 am

Richard.C wrote:There will be times where northern meurake hybridss would look predominantly meurake to


Is that based on personal experience or speculation?
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Lea » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:55 am

This is a great thread, Jeff. Perfect for the likes of myself, who has never laid eyes on the real thing and has to rely on pictures, which I have to leave to others to identify. I find myself constantly referring to old photographs, mostly on here, to help me ID, but it would be stupid of me to guess.

I also don't have the bluey bible, so having your version in a concise brief, is fantastic for us in the "Southern land".

Thanks, Jeff!
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Jeff » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:44 am

Hybrids are a group of skinks that in my opinion should have distinct status, almost like an additional species.  Definitely NOT an additional species, just a clear cut category to put any skink in that is not genetically "pure".  Which two species are involved in the cross should not matter.  If there are two species crossed, the resulting offspring should be clearly labeled hybrids.  It can be interesting to discuss what the makeup is, but at the end of the day, we shouldn't try to fit these animals into any species.  They should always be recognized as a hybrid.

Integrades are of course different because they are the result of two different sub-species of the SAME species.  I think it is fine to call an eastern x northern cross a "scincoides integrade".  It is still 100% scincoides even though it is no longer a pure sub-species.

I was falling asleep last night when I posted this thread.  I realized this morning that I really hadn't completed what I wanted to say.  I think we on the forum are too hesitant to label skinks from Indonesia hybrids/integrades.  Of course if you subscribe to the view of Dr. Shea and others, that Irian Jayas are a variant of gigas, then there really aren't any hybrids coming out of Indonesia.  I have never seen or heard of Tanimbars being crossed with anything, and they would be the only non-gigas Tiliqua in Indonesia.

Here is a map, again from the Bluey Bible (page 185) showing the known ranges of the gigas sub-species.  Remember, Irian Jayas are considered T.g. evanescens here, so they are included in the range of evanescens on this map.

Image

What is interesting to me is that the ranges DO NOT overlap.  I think everyone involved in Tiliqua research in Indonesia/PNG would agree that the ranges on this map are not complete though.  The ranges shown include only the areas where these skinks have been physically observed and/or studied.  My guess (and only a guess) is that there is probably not many parts of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea that are not home to Tiliqua.  The various ranges most likely do overlap somewhere, BUT, if this map shows all of the areas where the various sub-species have been observed, is it a stretch to think that these are also most likely the only areas that skinks are collected from for the pet trade?  The reason that the skinks have been studied in the areas that they have is certainly affected by access to these areas.  These would be the places that researchers can get in and out of.  In turn, I would have to believe that they are also the areas that exporters would have the easiest access to.

If all the skinks coming out of Indonesia and PNG are coming from these areas, how can there be confusion about the identity of the skinks?  The clear scalation differences between T.g.g. and T.g.e. should be distinct on every animal.  That is why I say we are too reluctant to label integrades as such.  Shouldn't any animal that is not clearly an indonesian or merauke (the label merauke includes I.J.'s) from a scalation perspective, be considered an "gigas integrade"?

I would be very curious to see what percentage of these imports would fall into this category if we started ID'ing them using scalation differences rather than only the more obvious characteristics that we usually consider.  On a side note to that, the visual cues that we use to ID these sub-species ARE valid.  They are useful for ID'ing, but they are not as accurate as scalation.  As we see all the time, many animals do not fit clearly into one sub-species or the other based on markings alone.  There is variation in the markings that doesn't exist with scalation.

If my theory that the WC exports from Indonesia and PNG are truly collected from the areas on the map above, every single animal should be easy to identify as an indo or a merauke.  So are we still going to determine that some of these imports are integrades?  Probably so.

My theory on that, as was mentioned above, is that many of the integrades coming out of these countries are the result of breeding on reptile farms.  It still seems like all of the animals collected by the farms would be collected from areas in the distict ranges on the map, but even on this map you can see an area where the ranges of T.g.g and T.g.e. come very close.  A farm in that area could easily collect animals from both ranges, and the likely integrade zone between them.  It just happens that Madang PNG is located in that area and is one place these animals could be exported from.  I have no idea if there are reptile farms in this area, but it is VERY likely that there are many, many locations that would have easy access to both sub-species as well as naturally occurring integrades.

In the end though, if we accept that there are two legitimate sub-species, we have to be willing to call the integrades what they are - Tiliqua gigas integrades.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Karen » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:02 am

Great write up Jeff. I really need to get my hands on a copy of the Bluey Bible...

I think you're right, we should start using scalation to help ID. It's not as subjective, so it would be more consistent.
• 0.1.0 Merauke - Sylvia
• 0.0.1 Northern - Tiberi
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Jeff » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:06 am

The possibility that scincoides traits are dominant to gigas is very interesting.  The only way to truly prove that out would be to breed a lot of hybrids though.  I have no intention of ever doing that, but it is good to look at the results of known crosses to at least increase the anecdotal evidence to support the theory.

I do know that at least in some circumstances, there are certain traits of nigrolutea that are dominant over scincoides when crossed, even when the off-spring of the original nigrolutea x scincoides cross is then bred to strictly scincoides for multiple generations.  Certain blotched traits still remain.  It appears to be impossible to ever breed these traits out no matter how many generations you go breeding to only pure scincoides.

I assume that a lot of genes would prove to be dominant if anyone took the time to work on it.  I would just prefer to see people work within the individual species rather than crossing them.

If it could be proven that certain scincoides traits are in fact ALWAYS dominant over gigas, that may be a way to get I.J.'s an official classification. That could be the thing that separates them enough from evanescens, if I.J. traits dominate the way scincoides do rather than acting submissive like gigas. A lot of work would be required though.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Bluish » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:42 am

Years ago when I was working with other species I went to Florida and chatted with one of the big importers. He told me about how the animals are collected and shipped. I believe there may be a fair amount of genetic contamination going on in Indonesia as I mentioned in my previous post.
One reason I would be reluctant to go solely by scalation is that I recently saw an animal that had the body structure, tail, and patterning that was predominantly I.J. but the face looked like a Merauke. It looked much more I.J. than Merauke except for the face which is where the determining scalation is located. It might key out as Merauke but I certainly wouldn't pair it with any on my Meraukes.

I.J.'s
This is pure speculation but as Jeff mentioned nigrolutea's appearance tends to dominate when bred with scincoides even for many generations. My amateur feeling is that this is what has happened with I.J.'s. They look very scincoides and many have mentioned that when cross bred the I.J. appearance dominates. IF a scincoides was to have landed on PNG and bred with local gigas that would have been many generations ago. Even though they still look very scincoides they should carry more gigas genes so they may key out on scalation closer to gigas than scincoides. :blah: :blah:
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Richard.C » Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:49 am

Not speculation,its fact,can have alot to do with what the female is as to what juvies appear like,but even thats not a given

Blotched eastern crosses,sometimes u cant even see the blotch in them,other times u can,the bluey bible shows some blotched eastern hybrids,some u can clearly see both in them,some just look eastern and ive seen a juvie that apeared mostly blotched,it had very faint eastern banding on its flank as the only give away

There would be some that look pure to,main thing being it varies

With indo importers,they collect them from all over,house them in mass,then ship when there numbers are u to a shippable level,animals can come from all over the place,usually with out accurate records of where,so its hard to know for sure,alot could hybridise whilst being housed before importation,then u have the so called farm raisers,which is pretty much the same thing though the ship babies of wild caughts

There are scincoides in indonesia,tannies

There was a time in the 90s folk assumed indo imports were actually cross bred aussie species,to legally get them in
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Bluish » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:34 am

Jeff wrote:
I was falling asleep last night when I posted this thread.  I realized this morning that I really hadn't completed what I wanted to say.  I think we on the forum are too hesitant to label skinks from Indonesia hybrids/integrades.  Of course if you subscribe to the view of Dr. Shea and others, that Irian Jayas are a variant of gigas, then there really aren't any hybrids coming out of Indonesia.  I have never seen or heard of Tanimbars being crossed with anything, and they would be the only non-gigas Tiliqua in Indonesia. .


Again I'm totally un qualified to debate I.J.'s classification but I would be VERY surprised if it was definitively proven the they are pure T.g. which is why I refer to the I.J. crosses as hybrids. I've been seeing a fair amount of Meraukes, Indo's, and I.J.'s in the flesh (not photos) and the I.J.'s always strike me as being scincoides :noknow: It would be great if some DNA work could be done on them.

I agree I think the forum is too hesitant to label some animals as crosses. I don' t think it serves us well and by only muddies the waters when very questionable/obviously mixed animals are labelled one way or the other. What's wrong with calling them a cross? They're still beautiful animals either way.
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Jeff » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:23 pm

Bluish wrote:
...Again I'm totally un qualified to debate I.J.'s classification but I would be VERY surprised if it was definitively proven the they are pure T.g. which is why I refer to the I.J. crosses as hybrids. I've been seeing a fair amount of Meraukes, Indo's, and I.J.'s in the flesh (not photos) and the I.J.'s always strike me as being scincoides :noknow: It would be great if some DNA work could be done on them...



I may not have been clear in what I was saying about IJ's.  I'm trying to not speculate on what they might be classified as in the future.  The extremely intelligent people who have studied Tiliqua for years have still not been able to determine what species they are, so I know that simply looking at them on the outside is not enough to say one way or another.

I am certainly not qualified to even offer a useful opinion regarding species classifications.  That is why I choose to accept the verdict of the scientific community on these labels.  It is frustrating when they are continually changing classifications and moving animals around from one species, or even Genus, to another, but I think it's better to update things when new information becomes available, than it would be to leave things classified incorrectly.

My point with IJ's is that we have pretty much all accepted that IJ's are a distinct group separate from all others.  Some people in the scientific community even feel this way, and that is why we see them labeled as T. ssp at times.  This is a correct label because all it says is that IJ's are a sub-species of Tiliqua.  

The fact of the matter though, is that it is not currently an established fact that an IJ is anything more than a variant of T.g.evanescens.  Here is a quote From page 199-200 from the Bluey Bible that is talking about the skinks we are referring to as IJ's:

"...Based on appearance both keepers and dealers identify these skinks as a subspecies of T. scincoides (WALLS 1996, WEIS 1998, YUWONO 1998).  In his dissertation SHEA (1992) also examined some of these specimens.  Based on scalation traits he opted in favor of their inclusion in the subsequently described taxon T.g. evanescens although he had recognized their intermediary character between T. gigas and T. scincoides. (pers. comm. to senior author 1998).  The present authors tend to support SHEA's point of view.  Besides scalation traits, the formation of cross bands and the coloration of the legs point towards T.g.evanescens..."

My interpretation of this and other things I have read is that the scientific end of the Tiliqua community leans toward classifying IJ's as gigas.  For the time being, not only gigas, but specifically T.g.evanescens.  Everyone believes that IJ's MAY receive their own classification down the road when more studies have been conducted, but I personally feel that it is a mistake for us as hobbyists to decide where we think they should be.  I am in favor of sticking with the thoughts of the scientists when there seems to be a fairly clear consensus among them.

For that reason, I am going to start thinking of IJ's as one varient of meraukes the same way that an "alpine" blotched is one varient of nigrolutea. I am not denying that there is a difference between IJ's and the other meraukes, I am just not going to assign subspecies like value to the differences until the scientists do that officially.

By the way, meraukes only received official status as a subspecies in 2000.  It was Dr. Shea that made the formal description, and he is obviously very aware of the IJ issue.  My guess is that we will be seeing something more definite regarding IJ's in the not too distant future.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Bluish » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:15 pm

Jeff wrote: 

1.The extremely intelligent people who have studied Tiliqua for years have still not been able to determine what species they are.

2. My point with IJ's is that we have pretty much all accepted that IJ's are a distinct group separate from all others.  Some people in the scientific community even feel this way.

3. "...Based on appearance both keepers and dealers identify these skinks as a subspecies of T. scincoides (WALLS 1996, WEIS 1998, YUWONO 1998).  In his dissertation SHEA (1992) also examined some of these specimens.  Based on scalation traits he opted in favor of their inclusion in the subsequently described taxon T.g. evanescens although he had recognized their intermediary character between T. gigas and T. scincoides. (pers. comm. to senior author 1998).  The present authors tend to support SHEA's point of view.  Besides scalation traits, the formation of cross bands and the coloration of the legs point towards T.g.evanescens..."


1. This is what I'm saying. If they fit neatly into gigas they would have been placed there already.
2. This is why I consider I.J. crosses to be hybrids and not intergrades because the are not at the present time a sub species of T. gigas.
3. As I stated before many of the "crosses" I've seen look very I.J. but have Merauke faces. If the Merauke facial characteristics (and scalation) are one the the things that come through (genetically dominate) instead of being blended out then I would be easy to call them "Merauke" when they clearly have I.J. blood in them.
If I were to post pics of some of these questionable ones that are being labelled as Merauke on these forums mating with a "true " Merauke I'm sure there would be quite a backlash. :wink:
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Jeff » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:59 pm

Bluish wrote:
Jeff wrote: 

1.The extremely intelligent people who have studied Tiliqua for years have still not been able to determine what species they are.

2. My point with IJ's is that we have pretty much all accepted that IJ's are a distinct group separate from all others.  Some people in the scientific community even feel this way.

3. "...Based on appearance both keepers and dealers identify these skinks as a subspecies of T. scincoides (WALLS 1996, WEIS 1998, YUWONO 1998).  In his dissertation SHEA (1992) also examined some of these specimens.  Based on scalation traits he opted in favor of their inclusion in the subsequently described taxon T.g. evanescens although he had recognized their intermediary character between T. gigas and T. scincoides. (pers. comm. to senior author 1998).  The present authors tend to support SHEA's point of view.  Besides scalation traits, the formation of cross bands and the coloration of the legs point towards T.g.evanescens..."


1. This is what I'm saying. If they fit neatly into gigas they would have been placed there already.
2. This is why I consider I.J. crosses to be hybrids and not intergrades because the are not at the present time a sub species of T. gigas.
3. As I stated before many of the "crosses" I've seen look very I.J. but have Merauke faces. If the Merauke facial characteristics (and scalation) are one the the things that come through (genetically dominate) instead of being blended out then I would be easy to call them "Merauke" when they clearly have I.J. blood in them.
If I were to post pics of some of these questionable ones that are being labelled as Merauke on these forums mating with a "true " Merauke I'm sure there would be quite a backlash. :wink:



1. I guess I really don't understand your logic here. By calling a so called IJ x merauke cross a hybrid, you are claiming that IJ's are definitely NOT gigas even though the scientific community has stated that at this time, they are most closely related to gigas. There are basically two current schools of thought among the people who are qualified to make such decisions; either the IJ's are gigas, or we don't have enough information to determine which species they are. Everyone sees the scincoides-like traits, but I have not read one paper stating that they should be classified as scincoides. You seem to be saying that because they don't look 100% gigas, it's fine to consider them scincoides? They certainly don't look 100% scincoides either, so why would you choose to ignore the expert opinions that are currently leaning toward gigas?

2. Some people claim to not know what species they are, and others including Dr. Shea and other authors of the most respected book on the genus, say they are gigas. I don't understaand how you can feel comfortable discounting these opinions. I have still not seen a respected scientist determine that they should be considered scincoides.

3. I don't get the hang up about animals that you have said look odd. That has nothing to do with species classification. There are MANY pairs of skinks that are absolutely the same species, but look nothing alike. I wouldn't breed any two skinks that did not look similar whether they are the same species or not. The exception would be when working on morphs.

Have you seen the variances in T.s.scincoides? Or nigrolutea? Think about breeding a kimberly northern to one from the eastern edge of the range. When you breed dissimilar looking animals together, you never know what you will get. I agree, I wouldn't breed a "classic" merauke to an IJ. The off-spring will be a crap shoot. The off-spring would be worthless as breeding stock to me as well. At the same time, I would say the exact same thing about a lowland blotched and an alpine. In neither case would I consider the off-spring hybrids though.

I'm not trying to be argumentative at all, and I appreciate the discussion. I realize that the "big boys" might eventually come around to the way you are thinking, and if they do, I will be on board. I just get real nervous about ignoring the conclusions of the experts that has access to tons more data and information than you and I combined.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
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Jeff
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Jeff » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:02 pm

Also, Dr. Shea acknowledged that the "IJ's" have both gigas-like and scincoides-like traits. His CONCLUSION is that they should be classified as Tiliqua gigas evanescens. Doesn't his opinion deserve more credibility than ours?
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Bluish » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:49 pm

I'm not trying to be argumentative or claiming to know anything either.
I'm saying that they are not classified as gigas as this point. Since they are not classified as gigas then when crossed with Merauke that would be a hybrid at this point in time. If they are classified as T.g.e in the future then we'll have no reason to keep our I.J.'s and Meraukes separated in the future.
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Katrina » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:52 pm

Great info Jeff. I totally agree with what you said about people getting 'burned out' and sick of this debate. It definitely tends to get muddied by people opinions on what each subspecies 'should' look like.

I find it very interesting when studying the bluey bible that MANY of the pictures of T. gigas evanescens would be classified by this forum as 'newer Meraukes' and not true, classic ones. But the bluey bible IDs lots of looks as Meraukes, not just the 'perfect, classic' ones which a certain number of bands, a certain, pale background color etc.

Nice to see your thoughts on this!
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Jeff » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:05 pm

Bluish wrote:I'm not trying to be argumentative or claiming to know anything either.
I'm saying that they are not classified as gigas as this point. Since they are not classified as gigas then when crossed with Merauke that would be a hybrid at this point in time. If they are classified as T.g.e in the future then we'll have no reason to keep our I.J.'s and Meraukes separated in the future.


In the friendliest possible way :P , I disagree. Technically, there is no such thing as an Irian Jaya bts right now. It is an imaginary label that some people use to describe a certain percentage of the T.g.evanescens population that has a unique look. Just because some people have chosen to believe this is a separate group from T.g.e., doesn't mean that it is. It may be some day, but currently these skinks are all T.g.evanescens. They will remain that way until they are formally described as something else. You can't just say, "these are different", and treat them as a different species.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
http://www.btskinks.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bluetong ... 846297977#
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Re: Skinks from Indonesia

Postby Bluish » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:22 pm

Time will tell what the real story is with them.
Thanks for this thread and your input Jeff. :cheers:
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