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Ablepharus bivittatus (MENETRIES, 1832)

IUCN Red List - Ablepharus bivittatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Twin-striped Skink, Two-Streaked Snake-Eyed Skink
G: Gestreiftes Natternauge 
SynonymScincus bivittatus MENETRIES 1832: 64
Ablepharus Menestriesii — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 811
Ablepharus bivittatus — STRAUCH 1868
Ablepharus bivittatus — GREER 1974: 9
Ablepharus bivittatus bivittatus — BISCHOFF 1978
Ablepharus bivittatus — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Ablepharus bivittatus — SZCZERBAK 2003
Ablepharus bivittatus — ŠMÍD et al. 2014
Asymblepharus bivittatus — BOZKURT et al. 2020 
DistributionE Turkey [Chernov 1949], NW/N Iran (and former USSR), Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Armenia

Type locality: “Perimbal sur les montagnes de Talyche” [= Talish Mountains, SE Azerbaijan]

elevation: between 2,300 and 3300 m.  
TypesLectotype: ZISP 565, designated by Eremchenko and Szczerbak, 1986:71), originally as syntypes ZISP (ZIL) 563-565.
Holotype: IBSP 5395 (Instituto Butantan, São Paulo) [triseriatus]
Holotype: MLS (Bogotá, Colombia) [striatus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Four longitudinal rows of scales on dorsum; 22-25 scales around midbody; palpebral circle complete, with three enlarged granules on upper border, separating supraoculars from eye; three supraoculars, two in contact with frontal; three temporal plates in first row behind eye; prefrontals large, usually forming median suture and separating frontal from frontonasal; two frontoparietals; nasal semidivided; four upper labials in front of subocular. (Fuhn, 1969: 27; Eremchenko and Szczerbak, 1986:70, Anderson 1999: 264).

Coloration: Body and tail bronze-olive above, in preservative, cinnamon brown in life, with darker spots with light central shaft, or each scale of back with two to three short dark marks; dark stripe, edged above and below with white, along entire body, through eye, from nostril; limbs same ground color as body with darker markings tending to form stripes; venter greenish white (Anderson 1999: 264). 
CommentSubspecies: Ablepharus bivittatus lindbergi WETTSTEIN 1960 is now considered as a valid species.

Distribution: see maps in SMID et al. 2014, Bozkurt et al. 2020: 135 (Fig. 1).

Generic allocation. A. bivittatus shares diagnostic characteristics with Asymblepharus, except the transversal series of dorsal scales at the midtrunk 22–24. Hence, A. bivittatus must be classified as Asymblepharus bivittatus comb. nov. based on the morphological and molecular analysis (Bozkurt et al. 2020). Note, however, that Bozkurt et al. did not include any samples from Asymblepharus in their phylogenetic analysis, hence their conclusion seems preliminary. See also Mirza et al. 2022 who synonymized Asymblepharus with Ablepharus (although bivittatus is not included in their analysis). 
EtymologyNamed after “bi-” = two or dual and Latin “vitta, -ae” = band or stripe. 
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