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© Rune Midtgaard

Taxonomy of the family Scincidae
Bibliography of the genus Ablepharus
Biodiversity of the family Scincidae


Eurasian Snake-eyed Skinks, Eurasian Dwarf Skinks, Eurasian Lidless Skinks, (Ocellated Skinks)

Eurasische Natternaugen, Natternaugen-Skinke, Schlangenaugen-Skinke

Eurasiske Brilleskinker

1823 Ablepharus Lichtenstein (type species: Scincus pannonicus Lichtenstein 1823)
1843 Microblepharis Fitzinger (type species: Ablepharus menetriesii Dumeril & Bibron 1839; syn. Greer 1974)
1872 Blepharosteres Stoliczka (type species: Blepharosteres grayanus Stoliczka 1872; syn. Greer 1974)
Contents: 10 species, of which 2 (20.0%) are endemic.
Remarks: Previously included the species now assigned to Asymblepharus and Cryptoblepharus.
Distribution: SE. Europe, Middle East, SW. and C. Asia.
Reported from: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China (Xinjiang), Cyprus, Egypt (incl. Sinai), Georgia, Greece (incl. Aegean Islands, Crete, Ionian Islands), Hungary, India (Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan), Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey (incl. European Turkey), Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

Ablepharus anatolicus

Lycian Snake-eyed Skink

Lykisches Natternauge

Lykisk Brilleskink

1997 Ablepharus budaki anatolicus Schmidtler
Ablepharus anatolicus Skourtanioti, Kapli, Ilgaz, Kumlutas, Avci, Ahmadzadeh, Isailovic, Gherghel, Lymberakis & Poulakakis 2016

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of budaki. Regarded as a separate species by Skourtanioti, Kapli, Ilgaz, Kumlutas, Avci, Ahmadzadeh, Isailovic, Gherghel, Lymberakis & Poulakakis (2016).
Distribution: Greece (Aegean Islands: Dodecanese Islands: Kastellorizo), Turkey.

Ablepharus budaki

North Levant Snake-eyed Skink

Nordlevantisches Natternauge

Nordlevantisk Brilleskink

1996 Ablepharus kitaibelii budaki Göcmen, Kumlutas & Tosunoglu
Ablepharus budaki Schmidtler 1997

Remarks: Previously included anatolicus.
Distribution: Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey.

Ablepharus chernovi

Armenian Snake-eyed Skink, (Chernov's Snake-eyed Skink)

Armenisches Natternauge

Armensk Brilleskink

1953 Ablepharus chernovi Darevsky
Ablepharus kitaibelii chernovi Fuhn 1970
1997 Ablepharus chernovi eiselti Schmidtler
1997 Ablepharus chernovi isauriensis Schmidtler
1997 Ablepharus chernovi ressli Schmidtler

Remarks: Revalidated as a separate species by Eriomtschenko & Szczerbak (1986) and Schmidtler (1997).
Distribution: Armenia, Iran, Syria, Turkey.

Ablepharus darvazi

Tajik Snake-eyed Skink, Darvaz Snake-eyed Skink

Tadschikisches Natternauge

Tadsjikisk Brilleskink

1990 Ablepharus darvazi Yeriomchenko & Panfilov

Distribution: Tajikistan.

Ablepharus deserti

Desert Snake-eyed Skink



1868 Ablepharus deserti Strauch
1915 Ablepharus tenuis Nikolsky [not Ablepharus tenuis Broom 1896]
1925 Ablepharus turkestanicus Ahl [substitute name for Ablepharus tenuis Nikolsky 1915] (Fuhn 1969)

Distribution: China (Xinjiang), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

Ablepharus grayanus

Earless Snake-eyed Skink, Earless Dwarf Skink, Minor Snake-eyed Skink

Ohrenloses Natternauge

Øreløs Brilleskink

1872 Blepharosteres grayanus Stoliczka
Ablepharus grayanus Boulenger 1887
Ablepharus pannonicus grayanus Fuhn 1969

Remarks: Terentjev & Chernov (1949) included Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in the distribution of the species, but presumably based on other species. These countries were not included in Fuhn's (1969) revision. Records of grayanus from Iran were referred to pannonicus by Anderson (1999). However, both species are herein regarded as present in the country, based on Karamiani, Rastegar-Pouyani & Rastegar-Pouyani (2018).
Distribution: Afghanistan, India (Gujarat, Rajasthan), Iran, Pakistan.

Ablepharus kitaibelii

European Snake-eyed Skink, Balkan Skink, European Copper Skink, Hungarian Skink, Juniper Skink, Addereye



1824 Ablepharus pannonicus Fitzinger [not Scincus pannonicus Lichtenstein 1823] (Mertens & Wermuth 1960)
1833 Ablepharus kitaibelii Bibron & Bory St. Vincent
1938 Ablepharus pannonicus fabichi Stepanek (Böhme (ed.) 1981)
Ablepharus kitaibelii fabichi Mertens & Müller 1940
1952 Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri Mertens (Böhme (ed.) 1981)
1970 Ablepharus kitaibelii stepaneki Fuhn (Böhme (ed.) 1981)

Remarks: Before Mertens & Müller (1928) mostly referred to as pannonicus (see synonymy above). Records of kitaibelii from Cyprus, Armenia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and some records from Turkey, dated before Schmidtler's (1997) revision of the kitaibelii complex, refer to other species of the complex (anatolicus, budaki, chernovi, rueppellii). Reported from Iraq (e.g., Khalaf 1959; Welch 1983; Eremchenko & Szczerbak 1986), but without documentation. According to Leviton, Anderson, Adler & Minton (1992), the species may occur in the extreme western part of the country, however, following Schmidtler's (1997) revision it would probably refer to another species of the kitaibelii complex if confirmed for Iraq.
Distribution: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece (incl. Aegean Islands [incl. Cyclades Islands, Dodecanese Islands (incl. Rhodes), Sporades Islands], Crete), Hungary, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey (incl. European Turkey).

Ablepharus lindbergi

Afghan Snake-eyed Skink

Afghanisches Natternauge

Afghansk Brilleskink

1960 Ablepharus bivittatus lindbergi Wettstein
Ablepharus alaicus lindbergi Fuhn 1969
Ablepharus lindbergi Eremchenko & Szczerbak 1980

Remarks: Leviton & Anderson (1970) listed Iran and Turkmenistan as part of the range of lindbergi, however, Anderson (1999) did not include these countries.
Distribution: Afghanistan.

Ablepharus pannonicus

Southwest Asian Snake-eyed Skink, (Asian Snake-eyed Skink, Mediterranean Snake-eyed Skink, Mediterranean Dwarf Skink, Red-tailed Snake-eyed Skink)

Südwestasiatisches Natternauge

Sydvestasiatisk Brilleskink

1823 Scincus pannonicus Lichtenstein
Ablepharus pannonicus Mittleman 1952
1868 Ablepharus brandti Strauch (Fuhn 1969)
1872 Blepharosteres agilis Stoliczka (Smith 1935)
1874 Ablepharus pusillus Blanford (Fuhn 1969)
1907 Ablepharus brandti brevipes Nikolsky (Fuhn 1969)
1907 Ablepharus persicus Nikolsky (Fuhn 1969)

Remarks: Presence in Syria needs confirmation (Sindaco & Jeremchenko 2008).
Distribution: Azerbaijan, Georgia, India (Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir), Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

Ablepharus rueppellii

South Levant Snake-eyed Skink, (Rüppell's Snake-eyed Skink, Festa's Skink, Juniper Skink)

Südlevantisches Natternauge

Sydlevantisk Brilleskink

1839 Riopa ruppellii Gray
Ablepharus rueppellii Schmidtler 1997 [emendation]
Ablepharus kitaibelii rueppellii Bar & Haimovitch 2011
1894 Ablepharus festae Peracca (Schmidtler 1997)
Ablepharus brandti festae Schmidt 1939
Ablepharus rueppellii festae Schmidtler 1997
Ablepharus kitaibelii fastae [lapsus] Bar & Haimovitch 2011

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of kitaibelii (e.g., Mertens & Wermuth 1960; Fuhn 1970; Böhme (ed.) 1981; Eriomtschenko & Szczerbak 1986; Werner 1995) or pannonicus (e.g., Boettger 1880). Revalidated by Schmidtler (1997). Presence in Lebanon is based on a few individuals from the Beirut area, but it seems likely that the species occurs in the areas bordering the Golan Heights in Israel and Syria (Roll, Tallowin, Berkowic, Maza, Ostrometzky, Slavenko, Shacham, Tamar & Meiri 2013). Presence in Syria has been questioned (e.g., Werner, Disi, Mousa, Crochet & Baha el Din 2006), however, Lymberakis & Kalionzopoulou (2003) published records from the northwestern part of the country. The only verified record from Sinai, Egypt, seems to be one close to the Israeli border. Presence in southern Sinai (e.g., Werner, Disi, Mousa, Crochet & Baha el Din 2006) was rejected by Roll, Tallowin, Berkowic, Maza, Ostrometzky, Slavenko, Shacham, Tamar & Meiri (2013).
Distribution: Egypt (Sinai), Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria.