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


Sand Fish, Sand Skinks, True Skinks, Typical Skinks

Afro-Arabische Sandskinke, Sandfische


1764 Scincus Garsault (type species: Scincus officinalis var. laterimaculata Werner 1914; by subsequent designation: Dubois & Bour 2010)
1837 Pedorychus Wiegmann (type species: Scincus hemprichii Wiegmann 1837; syn. Arnold & Leviton 1977)
Contents: 5 species, none of which are endemic.
Remarks: Previously about a dozen different species of this genus were recognized, but Arnold & Leviton (1977) restricted it to three species, however, one of them (scincus) being highly variable (se remarks below). Two of these (albifasciatus, conirostris) are regarded as valid species herein, following an number of recent publications. Dubois & Bour (2010) corrected the authorship of Scincus to Garsault (1764). It had previously been attributed to Laurenti (1968).
Distribution: N. and W. Africa, Middle East.
Reported from: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt (incl. Sinai), Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman (incl. Masirah), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, Yemen.

Scincus albifasciatus

White-banded Sand Fish, Senegal Sand Fish

Weißbändiger Sandfisch*

Hvidbåndet Sandfisk*

1890 Scincus albifasciatus Boulenger
Scincus scincus albifasciatus Arnold & Leviton 1977
1914 Scincus officinalis var. laterimaculata Werner (Carranza, Arnold, Geniez, Roca & Mateo 2007 ["2008"])
Scincus scincus laterimaculatus Mertens 1972
Scincus albifasciatus laterimaculatus Joger 1998

Remarks: See remarks under scincus.
Distribution: Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Western Sahara.

Scincus conirostris

Persian Sand Fish*, (Iranian Sand Skink, Blanford's Sand Fish)

Persischer Sandfisch*

Persisk Sandfisk*

1881 Scincus conirostris Blanford
Scincus scincus conirostris Arnold & Leviton 1977
1957 Scincus gasperettii Haas (Arnold & Leviton 1977)

Remarks: Sometimes included in scincus (e.g., Gardner 2013), but regarded as a separate species by Carranza, Arnold, Geniez, Roca & Mateo (2007 ["2008"]). According to Gardner (2013), conirostris has not been reported from Oman, although he plots a locality in the country on the distribution map, presumably in error. The species has, however, subsequently been recorded in the country (Zwanzig, Hölzer & Grossmann 2015). Not mentioned for Saudi Arabia by Aloufi, Amr, Baker & Hamidan (2019).
Distribution: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

Scincus hemprichii

Western Arabian Sand Fish*

Westarabischer Sandfisch*

Vestarabisk Sandfisk*

1837 Scincus hemprichii Wiegmann

Remarks: The type locality ("Ethiopia") is regarded as erroneous. The species occurs only in southwestern Arabia (Arnold 1986; Schätti & Gasperetti 1994).
Distribution: Saudi Arabia, Yemen.

Scincus mitranus

Eastern Arabian Sand Fish*

Ostarabischer Sandfisch*

Østarabisk Sandfisk*

1871 Scincus mitranus Anderson
Scincus scincus mitranus Cunningham 2010
1884 Scincus arenarius Murray (Arnold & Leviton 1977)
1886 Scincus muscatensis Murray (Arnold & Leviton 1977)
Scincus mitranus muscatensis Carranza, Arnold, Geniez, Roca & Mateo 2007 ["2008"]
1939 Scincus arabicus Schmidt (Arnold & Leviton 1977)
1941 Scincus philbyi Schmidt (Arnold & Leviton 1977)
1961 Scincus richmondi Haas (Arnold & Leviton 1977)

Remarks: Cunningham (2010) treated mitranus as a subspecies of scincus, but with no discussion or references.
Distribution: Iran, Kuwait, Oman (incl. Masirah), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

Scincus scincus

Common Sand Fish



1758 Lacerta stincus [sic] Linnaeus
Scincus stincus [sic] Flower 1933
Scincus scincus Kauffeld 1937*
1768 Scincus officinalis Laurenti [substitute name for Lacerta stincus [scincus] Linnaeus 1758] (Arnold & Leviton 1977)
1837 Scincus meccensis Wiegmann (Arnold & Leviton 1977)
Scincus scincus meccensis Arnold & Leviton 1977
1914 Scincus officinalis var. cucullata Werner (Arnold & Leviton 1977)
Scincus scincus cucullata Mertens 1972
1914 Scincus officinalis var. lineolata Werner (Arnold & Leviton 1977)
1957 Scincus deserti Haas (Arnold & Leviton 1977)

Remarks: Previously included albifasciatus and conirostris (e.g., Arnold & Leviton 1977, who did not formally recognise albifasciatus as a separate species, although suggesting that it might deserve species recognition). Taxonomic status of the two forms is still unresolved (Kalboussi, Aprea, Splendiani, Giovannotti & Caputo 2006), however, they have been treated as separate species in many subsequent publications (e.g., Geniez, Mateo, Geniez & Pether 2004; Padial 2006; Carranza, Arnold, Geniez, Roca & Mateo 2007 ["2008"]; Sindaco & Jeremchenko 2008).
Distribution: Algeria, Egypt (incl. Sinai), Israel, Jordan, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia.