Ablepharus rueppellii

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Rüppell's snake-eyed skink
Ablepharus Rueppellii.JPG
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Genus: Ablepharus
Species: A. rueppellii
Binomial name
Ablepharus rueppellii
Gray, 1839
Ablepharus rueppellii distribution (gray).png

Ablepharus rueppellii, or Rüppell's snake-eyed skink, is a species of skink found in the Middle East. It was formerly considered a subspecies of Ablepharus kitaibelii, but has since been distinguished. It is possible that what is currently recognized as this species is actually two distinct species.

Range[edit]

It is found throughout north and central Israel, western Jordan, and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. There has also been one unconfirmed sighting in southern Lebanon. It is also possible that it lives in Syria, though this is also unconfirmed. In the areas where it can be found, it is generally uncommon. It is found in the leaf litter of forested or shrubby areas, and in Egypt it is usually found near oases. It is highly localized in densely vegetated areas.

In Israel the species is common and can be found in cities. It is one of the few reptiles capable of living in areas afforested with Aleppo pine (these are very widespread in Israel).

Rüppell's snake-eyed skink (young), Judaean Mountains 2014

Possible threats[edit]

There are few threats to the species as a whole, though deforestation and loss of traditionally farmed orchards may affect specific populations. The species is protected by legislation in Israel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Werner, Y., Disi, M., Mousa Disi, A.M., Crochet, P-A. & El Din, S.B. (2008). Ablepharus rueppellii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  • Gray, J.E. 1839. Catalogue of the slender-tongued saurians, with descriptions of many new genera and species. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (1)2: 331–337 (287–293)
  • Lymberakis, P. and Kalionzopoulou, A. 2003. Additions to the herpetofauna of Syria. Zoology in the Middle East 29: 33–39.
  • Schmidtler, J.F. 1997. Die Ablepharus kitaibelii - Gruppe in Süd-Anatolien und benachbarten Gebieten (Squamata: Sauria: Scinidae). Herpetozoa 10(1/2):35-63