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Ophiomorus nuchalis NILSON & ANDREN, 1978

IUCN Red List - Ophiomorus nuchalis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Nilson's Snake Skink, Plateau Snake Skink 
SynonymOphiomorus nuchalis NILSON & ANDREN 1978
Ophiomorus nuchalis — NILSON & ANDREN 1981: 139
Ophiomorus nuchalis — ANDERSON 1999: 282
Ophiomorus nuchalis — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Ophiomorus nuchalis — GHOLAMIFARD 2011
Ophiomorus nuchalis — NASRABADI et al. 2017 
DistributionIran (Kavir desert)

Type locality: Siah Kuh, 34º44'N, 52º11'E, Kavir Protected region, about 150 km S Tehran, Iran.  
TypesHolotype: GNM (originally NHMG, Göteborg Natural History Museum) Re. ex. 4418 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Fingers four, toes three, 22 scale rows at midbody, nuchals about 2.5 times larger than dorsals (Anderson 1999: 282).

Color pattern: "Cream or pale brown above, each scale of the two median dorsal rows with a central longitudinal black line, forming two distinct lines along body and tail. Scattered dark spots on some of the scales on the scale rows immediately lateral to the median rows. Next three lateral rows with a dark marking on each scale forming three distinct lateral stripes along body and tail. White below, with small black spots immediately posterior to vent. A dark line from nostril through eye and temporal region, in contact with lateral stripes on the body. A single line on frontonasal and frontal, divided on posterior portion offrontal but reuniting on posterior portion of interparietal." (Nilson and Andren, 1978:559, cited in Anderson 1999: 282). 
CommentHabitat: under stones on sparesly vegetated, almost bare gravel ground devoid of loose sand; hills with rocky ground, near dry river beds with clay topsoil, at agricultural farms and on sand dunes (Hosseinzadeh et al. 2016).

Distribution: See map in SMID et al. 2014 for distribution in Iran. 
EtymologyEtymology not given in original description, but most probably referring to the "distinctly enlarged nuchals", which is mentioned as being diagnostic for the species. 
  • Anderson, Steven C 1999. The lizards of Iran. Contributions to Herpetology Volume 15, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Saint Louis, Missouri: i-vii, 1-442 [review in Copeia 2000 (4): 1144] - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Greer, Allen E. and George D. F. Wilson 2001. Comments on the scincid lizard genus Ophiomorus, with a cladistic analysis of the species. Hamadryad 26 (2): 261-271 [2002] - get paper here
  • HOSSEINZADEH, Mahboubeh Sadat; Masood FARHADI QOMI, Babak NAIMI, Dennis RÖDDER, Seyed Mahdi KAZEMI, 2017. Habitat suitability and modelling the potential distribution of Ophiomorus nuchalis (Sauria: Scincidae) on the Iranian Plateau. North-Western Journal of Zoology 2017: 14 (1): 60-63 - get paper here
  • Hosseinzadeh, Mahboubeh Sadat, Masood Farhadi Qomi and Seyed Mahdi Kazemi. 2016. Distribution of Ophiomorus nuchalis NILSON & ANDRÉN, 1978: Current status of knowledge. Herpetozoa 29 (1/2): 92-95 - get paper here
  • Kamali, Kamran 2020. A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Iran. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany ( 574 pp.
  • KAZEMI, SEYED MAHDI; MASOOD FARHADI QOMI, HAJI GHOLI KAMI AND STEVEN CLEMENT ANDERSON 2011. A new species of Ophiomorus (Squamata: Scincidae) from Maranjab Desert, Isfahan Province, Iran, with a revised key to the genus. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 5 (1): 23-33. - get paper here
  • NASRABADI, REZA; NASRULLAH RASTEGAR-POUYANI, ESKANDAR RASTEGAR-POUYANI, AHMAD GHARZI 2017. A revised key to the lizards of Iran (Reptilia: Squamata: Lacertilia). Zootaxa 4227 (3): 431–443 - get paper here
  • Nilson,G. & Andren,C. 1978. A new species of Ophiomorus (Sauna: Scincidae) from Kavir Desert, Iran. Copeia 1978 (3): 559-564 - get paper here
  • Nilson,G. & Andren,C. 1981. Die Herpetofauna des Kavir-Schutzgebietes, Kavir-Wüste, Iran. Salamandra 17 (3-4): 130-146 - get paper here
  • Qomi, M Farhadi; HG Kami, H Shajii, SM Kazemi 2011. Further Records of the Plateau Snake Skink Ophiomorus nuchalis Nilson and Andren, 1978 (Sauria: Scincidae) from Isfahan Province, Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 7 (2) - get paper here
  • RASTEGAR-POUYANI, NASRULLAH; HAJI GHOLI KAMI, MEHDI RAJABZADEH, SOHEILA SHAFIEI AND STEVEN CLEMENT ANDERSON 2008. Annotated Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 4 (1): 7-30
  • Sami, Soheil; Barbod Safaei-Mahroo, Hanyeh Ghaffari 2017. Range Extensions of Three Endemic Snake-Skinks (Scincidae: Ophiomorus) in Iran. Russ. J. Herpetol. 24 (4): 329-332<br /> - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • ŠMÍD, JIŘÍ; JIŘÍ MORAVEC, PETR KODYM, LUKÁŠ KRATOCHVÍL, SEYYED SAEED HOSSEINIAN YOUSEFKHANI, ESKANDAR RASTEGAR-POUYANI & DANIEL FRYNTA 2014. Annotated checklist and distribution of the lizards of Iran. Zootaxa 3855 (1): 001–097 - get paper here
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