|Rüppell's snake-eyed skink|
Ablepharus rueppellii, known commonly as 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. What is currently recognized as this species is possibly two distinct species.
It is found throughout north and central Israel, western Jordan, and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. Also, one unconfirmed sighting has been reported in southern Lebanon. It also possibly 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.
Few threats exist 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.
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- 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