Holotype left dentary of Plestiodon hixsonorum  MSU-VP 779. From Holman (1975).
REPTILIA (Reptiles) SQUAMATA (PART) (Other Lizards) SCINCIDAE (Skinks)

Hixson's Skink
Plestiodon hixsonorum (Holman 1975)

Conservation Status:


A large Plestiodon that may be distinguished from living species of the genus on the basis of the following characters: (1) large size, (2) teeth very low-crowned, (3) teeth closely-spaced, their crowns blunt and unswollen, but a slight neck between the crown and the base of the tooth, (4) lingual shelf thick, and (5) Meckelian groove open.

WaKeeney local fauna (Lower Pliocene: Clarendionian) of Trego County, Kansas.
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  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 2
  • 2
    Museum Vouchers 
  • 0
    Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Trego (2);

Fossil History:
Known only from the type locality.

Natural History:

The species is named for Mr. and Mrs. Larry Hixson of WaKeeney, Kansas, who were helpful to the MSU field parties in numerous ways.
Tooth counts of Plestiodon hixsonorum compared with some Recent Eumeces species are as follows: P. hixsonorum, 25-27 (26.3) N4; P. anthracinus, 21 ; P. brevilineatus, 24; P. inexpectatus, 24-28 (26.0) N2; P. laticeps, 23-24 (23.5) N2; P. obsoletus, 20-23 (22.3) N7; P. septentrionalis, 22.
Plestiodon hixsonorum
differs from the larger skinks of the genus Plestiodon as follows. It differs from P. obsoletus in (1) having less teeth, (2) lower-crowned teeth, (3) more closely spaced teeth, and (4) lacking the swollen crowns of P. obsoletus. It differs from P. laticeps in (1) having less teeth, (2) lower-crowned teeth, and (3) less closely spaced teeth. It differs from P. inexpectatus in (1) being larger and (2) in having lower-crowned teeth.

1975 Holman, J. Alan. Herpetofauna of the WaKeeney local fauna (Lower Pliocene: Clarendionian) of Trego County, Kansas. Pages 49-66 in Studies on Cenozoic Paleontology and Stratigraphy in honor of Claude W. Hibbard. Museum of Paleontology, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan. pp.
2005 Smith, Hobart M. Plestiodon: A replacement name for most members of the genus Eumeces in North America. Journal of Kansas Herpetology (14):15-16
2005 Brandley, Matthew C., Andreas Schmitz, and Todd W. Reeder. Partitioned Bayesian analyses, partition choice, and the phylogenetic relationships of Scincid Lizards. Systematic Biology 54(3):373–390
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Travis W. Taggart © 1999-2024 — w/ Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Fort Hays State University