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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Anatolian Limbless Skink 
SynonymOphiomorus kardesi KORNILIOS, KUMLUTAS, LYMBERAKIS & ILGAZ 2018
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — EISELT 1965
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — ARLOND & OVENDEN 2004: 272
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — BARAN et al. 2012: 204
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — SINDACO & JEREMCENKO 2008
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — VALAKOS et al., 2008
Ophiomorus punctatissimus Clade B — POULAKAKIS et al. 2008
Ophiomorus kardesi — SPEYBROECK et al. 2020 
DistributionS Turkey

Type locality: Sıcak Yarımadası, Kas, Antalya, Turkey  
TypesHolotype: ZDEU 45/2009, male, leg. Y. Kumlutas, 27.04.2009. Paratypes: NHMC, ZDEU 
DiagnosisAn elongated limbless skink that can be identified from all other Ophiomorus species (except O. puncatissimus) by having a rounded snout, no limbs, 18 scale rows at midbody (sometimes 20), small pre-frontals separated from supralabials, frontonasal half or less than half as long as the frontal (Anderson & Leviton, 1966; Greer & Wilson, 2001).

Differential diagnosis: It can be distinguished from O. punctatissimus on the basis of geographic distribution and unique nucleotide composition of the mitochondrial gene CO1 (barcode segment) and three nuclear loci PRLR, C-MOS, and NT3. Specifically, all O. kardesi sp. nov. individuals are exclusively distributed in southwest Turkey and adjoining Turkish and Greek islands (see Distribution below), with the closest related species O. punctatissimus and O. latastii found, respectively, in south Greece (>500 km air distance in the west) and the Levant (>500 km air distance in the southeast). Ophiomorus kardesi sp. nov. corresponds to the East clade of the current study (Figures 2 and 3) and the mtDNA clade B of Poulakakis et al. (2008). The consensus DNA barcode sequence (CO1) for O. kardesi sp. nov. is found in Table S4, together with the respective sequence for the sister species O. punctatissimus. In this Table, the forty-eight simple nucleotide diagnostic characters between the two consensus sequences are highlighted. 
CommentDistribution: also on the islands of Kastellorizo ​​and possibly on the neighboring islands of Ro and Strongyli (off the Turkish coast but belonging to Greece). 
EtymologyThe species epithet is a genitive noun of the Turkish word “kardes” which means sibling, brother, sister, or best friend. As a word, it is used in both Turkey and Greece with the same meaning. It is used here to highlight the sibling-species relationship between the new species and O. punctatissimus, to emphasize the past and contemporary role of the Aegean Sea as cradle of speciation and to mark a decade of collaboration and friendship among the authors. 
  • Arlond, E. N., & Ovenden, D. 2004. A field guide to the reptiles and amphibians of Britain and Europe. London, UK: Collins
  • Baran, _I., Ilgaz, C"., Avcı, A., Kumluta"s, Y., & Olgun, K. 2012. Türkiye Amfibi ve Sürüngenleri [The amphibians and reptiles of Turkey, in Turkish] Ankara, Turkey: TÜBITAK Popüler Bilim Kitapları
  • Eiselt, J. 1965. Bericht über eine zoologische Sammelreise nach Südwest-Anatolien im April/Mai 1964. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 68: 401- 406 - get paper here
  • Kornilios P, Kumlutaş Y, Lymberakis P, Ilgaz Ç. 2018. Cryptic diversity and molecular systematics of the Aegean Ophiomorus skinks (Reptilia: Squamata), with the description of a new species. J Zool Syst Evol Res. 00:1–18 - get paper here
  • Poulakakis, N.; V. Pakaki, M. Mylonas and P. Lymberakis 2008. Molecular phylogeny of the Greek legless skink Ophiomorus punctatissimus (Squamata: Scincidae): The impact of the Mid-Aegean trench in its phylogeography. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 47 (1): 396-402 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Speybroeck, Jeroen; Wouter Beukema, Christophe Dufresnes, Uwe Fritz, Daniel Jablonski, Petros Lymberakis, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Edoardo Razzetti, Melita Vamberger, Miguel Vences, Judit Vörös0, Pierre-André Crochet 2020. Species list of the European herpetofauna – 2020 update by the Taxonomic Committee of the Societas Europaea Herpetologica.. Amphibia-Reptilia 41: 139-189 - get paper here
  • Valakos, E.D.; Pafilis, P.; Sotiropoulos, K.; Lymberakis, P.; Maragou, P. & Foufopoulos, J. 2008. The amphibians and reptiles of Greece. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 463 pp.
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