Ablepharus kitaibelii

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European copper skink
Ablepharus kitaibelii 01.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Ablepharus
Species: A. kitaibelii
Binomial name
Ablepharus kitaibelii
Bibron & Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1833
  • Ablepharus kitaibelii fabichi
  • Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri
  • Ablepharus kitaibelii kitaibelii
  • Ablepharus kitaibelii spepaneki
Ablepharus kitaibelii range map.svg
  • Riopa rupellii

Ablepharus kitaibelii, the European copper skink, juniper skink or European snake-eyed skink, is a species of lizards from the skink family (Scincidae).

This small, slender lizard grows up to 15 centimetres (5.9 in) long, and lives in Eastern Europe and southwestern Asia. It is native to Greece (including the Aegean Islands), Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia, Hungary, Albania, Slovakia, the Caucasus, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt and possibly Iraq. The fitzingeri subspecies is known from Slovakia, Hungary, Greece and the island of Corfu. The stepaneki subspecies is known from Bulgaria and Romania.

It is a shy species, which lives under stones and leaves in dry places, such as south slopes, fields, and meadows. The skin is bronze coloured, with dark sides. The eyelids are immovable, in contrast to many other skinks.

A. kitaibelii is active during twilight, and hunts for insects and small snails. It is a typical ground dweller, and dislikes climbing. The species is protected. Many former subspecies have been promoted to categorization as species, such as Ablepharus rueppellii and Ablepharus budaki.


  1. ^ Böhme, W., et al. 2009. Ablepharus kitaibelii. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 21 August 2013.

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