The morphological and ecological characteristics are studied for the population of Plestiodon japonicus of the Danjo Islands, a group of small islands in the East China Sea, on the basis of field observations and data from museum specimens. The population density of the lizards in this island group was estimated to be higher than those in conspecific mainland populations. Also, P. japonicus of the Danjo islands were differentiated from the latter by the following combination of characters: larger number of mid-body scale rows and subdigital scales, blackish juvenile coloration with different stripe pattern, faded tail color, and delayed sexual maturity in males. The evolutionary implications of these findings are briefly discussed.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2