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Trachylepis striata edit.jpg
Trachylepis striata
Trachylepis maculilabris mating.jpg
Trachylepis maculilabris mating
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Subfamily: Lygosominae
Genus: Trachylepis
Fitzinger, 1843

About 80, see text

Trachylepis striata, African striped skink, Kruger Park
Trachylepis albilabris, white-lipped skink, Gabon

Trachylepis is a skink genus in the subfamily Lygosominae found mainly in Africa. Its members were formerly included in the "wastebin taxon" Mabuya, and for some time in Euprepis. As defined today, Trachylepis contains the clade of Afro-Malagasy mabuyas. The genus also contains a species from the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha, T. atlantica, and may occur in mainland South America with Trachylepis tschudii and Trachylepis maculata, both poorly known and enigmatic.[1] The ancestors of T. atlantica are believed to have rafted across the Atlantic from Africa during the last 9 million years.[2]

The generic name Trachylepis literally means "rough-scaled", referring to the fact that most of the species, though superficially smooth-scaled, have three or more slight longitudinal keels on their dorsal scales.[3]


The following species are recognized as being valid (listed alphabetically by specific name).[4]

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


The species Mabouya punctatissima O'Shaughnessy, 1874 (non A. Smith, 1849) also belongs in this genus, but its exact identity remains unclear.[6]


  1. ^ Miralles A, Chaparro JC, Harvey MB (2009). "Three rare and enigmatic South American skinks". Zootaxa 2012: 47–68.
  2. ^ Carranza, S.; Arnold, E.N. (2003). "Investigating the origin of transoceanic distributions: mtDNA shows Mabuya lizards (Reptilia, Scincidae) crossed the Atlantic twice". Systematics and Biodiversity. 1 (2): 275–282. doi:10.1017/S1477200003001099. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
  3. ^ Jaeger, Edmund Carroll (1959). A Source-Book of Biological Names and Terms. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. 360 pp. ISBN 0-398-06179-3.
  4. ^ Trachylepis. The Reptile Database.
  5. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Mabuya gravenhorstii, p. 106).
  6. ^ Mausfeld P, Vrcibradic D (2002). "On the nomenclature of the skink (Mabuya) endemic to the western Atlantic archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil". Journal of Herpetology 36 (2): 292–295. (subscription required to view).

Further reading[edit]

  • Fitzinger L (1843). Systema Reptilium, Fasciculus Primus, Amblyglossae. Vienna: Braumüller & Seidel. 106 pp. + indices. (Trachylepis, new genus, p. 22). (in Latin).