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Acontias rieppeli (LAMB, BISWAS & BAUER, 2010)

IUCN Red List - Acontias rieppeli - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Acontinae; Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Common NamesWood-bush Legless Skink 
SynonymAcontophiops lineatus STERNFELD 1911
Typhlosaurus rieppeli — WELCH 1982: 67 (replacement name)
Acontophiops lineatus — BRANCH 1988: 115
Acontophiops lineatus — BRANCH 1993: 65
Acontophiops lineatus — DANIELS et al. 2006
Acontias rieppeli — LAMB et al. 2010 (nom. nov.) 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (N Transvaal, from Woodbush to Wolkberg)  
TypesSyntype: ZMB 3471 
CommentWhile the paper is listed the species name is not mentioned in the Zoological Record of 1911.

Type species: Acontophiops lineatus STERNFELD 1911 is the type species of the genus Acontophiops STERNFELD 1911.

Acontophiops can be distinguished from Acontias by possessing two supraciliaries and with the external ear openings hidden, while Acontias possesses three to four supraciliaries and no external ear openings (DANIELS et al. 2006).

The genus Acontophiops has been synonymized with Acontias by LAMB et al. 2010. This would have resulted in Acontias lineatus which is pre-occupied by Acontias lineatus PETERS 1879.

Morphology: Limbless. 
EtymologyNamed after Olivier C. Rieppel, zoologist at the Field Museum, “ for his recognition of the close affinities of Acontophiops lineatus and Typhlosaurus cregoi”. 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Branch,W.R. 1988. Field Guide to the snakes and other reptiles of southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, 328 pp.
  • Daniels, Savel R.; Neil J. L. Heideman, Martin G. J. Hendricks, Keith A. Crandall 2006. Taxonomic subdivisions within the fossorial skink subfamily Acontinae (Squamata: Scincidae) reconsidered: a multilocus perspective. Zoologica Scripta 35 (4): 353
  • de Witte, G.F. & R. LAURENT 1943. Contribution à la systématique des formes dégradées de la famille des Scincidae apparentées au genre Scelotes Fitzinger. Mém. Mus. r. Hist. nat. Belg. (sér.2) 26: 44 pp.
  • FitzSimons, V.F. 1943. The lizards of South Africa. Transvaal Museum Memoir No.1 (Pretoria), 528 pp.
  • Huey, R. B.;Pianka, E. R. 1974. Ecological character displacement in a lizard. American Zoologist 14: 1127-1136 - get paper here
  • Lamb, T.; Biswas, S. & Bauer, A.M. 2010. A phylogenetic reassessment of African fossorial skinks in the subfamily Acontinae (Squamata: Scincidae): evidence for parallelism and polyphyly. Zootaxa 2657: 33–46 - get paper here
  • Sternfeld,R. 1911. Zur Reptilien-Fauna Deutsch-Ostafrikas. Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Freunde Berlin 1911: 244-251 - get paper here
  • Wagner, Philipp; Donald G. Broadley, and Aaron M. Bauer 2012. A New Acontine Skink from Zambia (Scincidae: Acontias Cuvier, 1817). Journal of Herpetology 46 (4): 494-502. - get paper here
  • Welch, K.R.G. 1982. Herpetology of the Old World 2. Preliminary comments on the classification of skinks (family Scincidae) with specific reference to those genera found in Africa, Europe and southwest Asia. Herptile 7 (4): 25
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