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Acontias percivali.jpeg
Acontias percivali
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Subfamily: Acontinae
Genus: Acontias
Cuvier, 1817

See text.

Acontias is a genus of limbless skinks, the lance skinks, (family Scincidae) in the African subfamily Acontinae.[1] Most are small animals, but the largest member of the genus is Acontias plumbeus at approximately 40 cm (16 in) snout-vent length.[1] All members of this genus are live-bearing sandswimmers, with fused eyelids. A recent review [2] moved species that were formerly placed in the genera Typhlosaurus, Acontophiops, and Microacontias into this genus, as together these form a single branch in the tree of life. This new concept of Acontias is a sister lineage to Typhlosaurus, and these two genera are the only genera within the subfamily Acontinae.[2]


These 26 species are recognized:[3]

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates the species was originally described in a genus other than Acontias.



  1. ^ a b Branch 2004.
  2. ^ a b Lamb, Trip; Sayantan Biswas; Aaron M. Bauer (2010). "A phylogenetic reassessment of African fossorial skinks in the subfamily Acontinae (Squamata: Scincidae): evidence for parallelism and polyphyly". Zootaxa. 2657: 33–46. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.2657.1.3.
  3. ^ "Acontias ". The Reptile Database.

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA (1887). Catalogue of the Lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Second Edition. Volume III. ... Scincidæ ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 575 pp. + Plates I-XL. (Genus Acontias, p. 424).
  • Branch, Bill (2004). Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Third Revised Edition, Second impression. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 399 pp. ISBN 0-88359-042-5. (Genus Acontias, p. 132).
  • Cuvier G (1817). Le règne animale distribué d'après son organisation, pour servir de base a l'histoire naturelle des animaux et d'introduction a l'anatomie comparée. Tome II, contenant les reptiles, les poissons, les mollusques et les annélides. Paris: Déterville. xviii + 532 pp. (Acontias, new subgenus, p. 60). (in French).