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Ablepharus kitaibelii BIBRON & BORY ST-VINCENT, 1833

IUCN Red List - Ablepharus kitaibelii - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesAblepharus kitaibelii kitaibelii (BIBRON & BORY 1833)
Ablepharus kitaibelii fabichi STEPANEK 1937
Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri MERTENS 1952
Ablepharus kitaibelii stepaneki FUHN 1970 
Common NamesE: Juniper Skink, Snake-eyed skink
G: Johanniseidechse
Croatian: ivanjski rovaš 
SynonymAblepharis Kitaibelii BIBRON & BORY ST-VINCENT 1833: 69
Ablepharus Kitaibelii — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 809
Ablepharus Kitaibelii — GRAVENHORST 1851: 358
Ablepharus kitaibeli — WERNER 1935: 107
Ablepharus pannonicus kitaibelii — STEPÁNEK 1944: 141
Ablepharus kitaibelii — GREER 1974: 9
Ablepharus kitaibeli — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Ablepharus kitaibelii — SCHMIDTLER 1997
Ablepharus kitaibelii — SKOURTANIOTI et al. 2016
Ablepharus kitaibelii kitaibelii — BOZKURT et al. 2020

Ablepharus kitaibelii stepaneki FUHN 1970
Ablepharus kitaibelii stepaneki — SCHLÜTER 2005
Ablepharus kitaibelii stepaneki — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Ablepharus kitaibelii stepaneki — BOZKURT et al. 2020

Ablepharus kitaibelii fabichi STEPANEK 1937
Ablepharus pannonicus fabichii STEPANEK 1937
Ablepharus pannonicus fabichii — STEPÁNEK 1944: 143
Ablepharus kitaibelii fabichi — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008

Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri MERTENS 1952
Ablepharus pannonicus FITZINGER 1824 (part.)
Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri MERTENS 1952: 49 (nom. nov.)
Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Ablepharus kitaibelii fitzingeri — TOTH et al. 2020 
DistributionGreece (Aegean islands: Paros, Antiparos, Despotiko, Strongylo, Tourlos, Preza, Glaropunta, Panteronisi, Cyprus, Rhodos, Peloponnes, Syphnos, Corfu, Lesbos, Samos, Samothraki, Milos: Kimolos, Tinos, Astypalea), Romania, Bulgaria, former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Hungary, Albania, Czechoslovakia,
European Soviet Union (Caucasus)
Turkey [Fuhn 1970, Okan 1996],
Syria, Iraq ?, Egypt (Sinai), Jordan

fabichi: Mikronisi, Karpathos, Kasos, and Armathia islands)(the latter in some texts erroneously referred to as “Amathia ”); Type locality: “Insel Mikronisi von der Inselgruppe Hag.
Nikolaos an der Ostküste Kretas”.

kitaibelii: Greece and Aegean islands, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Transjordania, Irak, and Sinai; Type locality: vicinity of Pilos, Peoloponnese, Greece (fide Gemel 2020); restricted to “Ruinen von Pylos, Messenien” by MERTENS & MÜLLER 1928.

fitzingeri: Slovakia, N Serbia, Hungary, Greece (Corfu = Corfou)

stepaneki: Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 5392
Holotype: NMP P6V-005303 (also given as MNHP 5375/36; Nat. Mus. Prag), paratype: NMW [fabichi]
Syntypes: ZMB 1346 (2 specimens); Bucharei [= Bukhoro, Uzbekistan]; coll. Eduard Eversmann. 1821, cited as lost by Fuhn 1970 [fitzingeri]
Holotype: MGAB (given as MIN G. Antipa Bukarest Nr. 150), Paratypes: ISBB (also as IBTS, Bukarest) [stepaneki] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “Körnchenreihe um das Auge unvollständig; darüber nur zwei Supraocularia. Tympanalöffnung klein (0,2-0,3 mm im Mittel). 2. Supraciliare kurz und breit (B/L im Mittel 50-60 %). Interparietale im Mittel so breit wie lang. Rumpfschuppen 20 (seltener 18 oder 19). Halsseiten weißlich / dunkel gestreift. Rückenmitte oftmals mit bis zu sechs Reihen dunkler, meist unterbrochener Längsstriche (manchmal weißlich gesäumt). Ventralia oft fein dunkel gerandet. Bauch des Männchens weißlich.” (Schmidtler 1997: 38).

Preserved specimens from the border area of kitaibelii and chernovi may be hard to distinguish (Schmidtler 1997). 
CommentDistribution: based on previous entry before splitting off A. kitaibeli chernovi as separate species. Not listed by SCHLEICH, KÄSTLE & KABISCH 1996. Not in Israel (and probably nearby countries) where it is replaced by A. rueppellii. Not in Lebanon fide D. Jablonski, pers. comm. (10 July 2020). For a map in Turkey see Bozkurt et al. 2020.

Subspecies after ENGELMANN et al. 1993. SCHMIDTLER 1997 does not discuss any subspecies of this species. Mentioned as synonym of A. pannonicus by Mertens (1931: 67) and others.

Nomenclature. Ablepharus pannonicus FITZINGER 1824 is a homonym of A. pannonicus Lichtenstein 1823, hence a new name, A. kitaibelii fitzingeri MERTENS 1952 (nom. nov.) was necessary. See als Gemel & Vergilov 2020 for details.

A. kitaibelii appears paraphyletic with respect to A.budaki and A. chernovi (Poulakakis et al. 2005, Karamiani et al. 2021). The European subspecies of A. kitaibelii intergrade from north to south (A. k. fitzingeri to A. k. stepaneki to A. k. kitaibelii; Ljubisavljevic et al. 2002). SCHMIDTLER (1997) restricted the species A. kitaibelii to populations from the Balkan Peninsula, and western and central Anatolia, but not reaching the southern coast of Turkey. A. k. fabichi does not seem to be clearly separated genetically from A. k. kitaibelii (Poulakakis et al. 2005). Ablepharus kitaibelii budaki GÖCMEN, KUMLUTAP & TOPUNODLU 1996 has been raised to full species status by SCHMIDTLER (1997).

Types: Fuhn (1969b) also listed BMNH 1946.8.18.47 as a syntype and Darevsky in Fuhn (1969b) indicatcd that a holotype (lost) was prcesent in the collection of the Zoological Institute in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). 
EtymologyNamed after Pal Kitaibel (1757-1817), Hungarian botanist. Hungary has celebrated him, and the skink, on a postage stamp. 
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