Systematics and distribution of the genus Ablepharus Fitzinger, 1823 (Sauria, Scincidae): A review

Document Type : Research articles


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Hakim Sabzevari University, Sabzevar, Iran


A review of the Snake-eyed Skink Ablepharus Fitzinger, 1823 is presented. The specific character of Ablepharus involves a lack of movable eyelids, with the lower eyelid fused to the upper one, forming a transparent spectacle covering the eye. The genus Ablepharus occurs in southeastern Europe, southwest Asia, and Central Asian Republics (from the Mediterranean Sea coasts to northwest India), including 11 valid species: A. anatolicus Schmidtler, 1997, A. bivittatus (Ménétries, 1832), A. budaki Göçmen, Kumlutas & Tosunoglu, 1996, A. chernovi Darevsky, 1953, A. darvazi Eremchenko & Panfilov, 1990, A. deserti Strauch, 1868, A. grayanus (Stoliczka, 1872), A. kitaibelii Bibron & Bory St-Vincent, 1833, A. lindbergi Wettstein, 1960, A. pannonicus (Lichtenstein, 1823), and A. rueppellii (Gray, 1839). For identification of species of Ablepharus, we used additional scalation and molecular features, used anatomical survey (e.g. osteological and hemipenial characters), and species distribution models. Of the genus Ablepharus, A. bivittatus, A. chernovi, A. grayanus, and A. pannonicus occur in Iran.


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