- "Circumorbital" redirects here. This may also refer to the area surrounding the eye sockets in other animals.
In scaled reptiles, the ocular scales are those forming the margin of the eye. The name originates from the term oculus which is Latin for "eye" and, in the broadest sense, refers to a scale associated with the eye. The numbers of these scales present, and sometimes the shapes and sizes, are some of many characteristics used to differentiate species from one another.
- Preocular scales, or preoculars, are those lying directly in front of and in contact with the eye.
- Postocular scales, or postoculars, are those lying directly behind and in contact with the eye.
- Supraocular scales, or supraoculars, are enlarged scales on the crown immediately above the eye.
- Subocular scales, or suboculars, are those lying directly below and in contact with the eye.
Collectively these scales are referred to as circumorbital scales, circumorbitals, or a circumorbital ring.
Occasionally, the term ocular scale is used without a prefix, in which case it specifically refers to the brille, also known as the spectacle or eyecap. This is a transparent scale that covers and protects the eye. It is formed in embryonic snakes when the transparent upper and lower eyelids fuse together. Once hatched, a snake does not possess eyelids and the brille carries out some of these functions.
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