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Ophisops microlepis BLANFORD, 1870

IUCN Red List - Ophisops microlepis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Small-scaled lacerta 
SynonymOphisops (Gymnops) microlepis BLANFORD 1870: 351
Gymnops microlepis — STOLICZKA 1872
Ophisops microlepis — SMITH 1935: 380
Ophisops microlepis — JOHN et al. 1993
Ophisops microlepis — DAS 1996: 49
Ophisops microlepis — MURTHY 2010 
DistributionC/NE India (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan), Bangladesh (?)

Type locality: ‘Korba in Biláspúr, the eastern part of Chhatisgarh division, Central Province’ (in Madhya Pradesh, central India).  
TypesHolotype: ZSI 2236; syntype: BMNH 1946.8.6.12 (?) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Ophisops microlepis can be distinguished from members of the small- bodied clade of Ophisops by its larger body size (SVL up to 61.5 mm versus SVL < 45 mm in O. beddomei, O. jerdonii and O. nictans), the higher number of scales in a transverse row around midbody (RBS 56–61 versus < 35 in O. beddomei, O. jerdonii and O. nictans) and the higher number of dorsal scales in a longitudinal series (DS > 120 versus < 52 in O. beddomei, O. jerdonii and O. nictans). Ophisops microlepis can be distinguished from the other large-bodied Indian congener, O. leschenaulti by the larger body size of the former (SVL up to 61.5 mm versus SVL ≤ 50 mm), higher number of scales around midbody (56–61 versus 42–50) and the lower eyelid fused with the upper eyelid (versus lower eyelid distinct from upper in O. leschenaulti). Ophisops microlepis is most closely related to the two new species described herein, and diagnoses against the new species are provided after their descriptions [from Agarwal et al. 2018]. 
CommentDistribution: see map in Agarwal & Ramakrishnan 2017 (Fig. 2) for 6 localities. Not in Gujarat where this species is replaced by O. kutchensis and O. pushkarensis (see Agarwal et al 2018).

Similar species: Eastern population of O. microlepis have been split off as O. kutchensis and O. pushkarensis. 
  • Aengals, R.; V.M. Sathish Kumar & Muhamed Jafer Palot 2013. Updated Checklist of Indian Reptiles. Privately published, 24 pp.
  • Agarwal, I. and Ramakrishnan, U. 2017. A phylogeny of open-habitat lizards (Squamata: Lacertidae: Ophisops) supports the antiquity of Indian grassy biomes. J. Biogeogr., doi:10.1111/jbi.12999 - get paper here
  • Agarwal, Ishan; Akshay Khandekar, Uma Ramakrishnan, Raju Vyas & Varad B. Giri 2018. Two new species of the Ophisops microlepis (Squamata: Lacertidae) complex from northwestern India with a key to Indian Ophisops. Journal of Natural History 52: 819-847; DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2018.1436203 - get paper here
  • Blanford, W.T. 1870. Notes on some Reptilia and Amphibia from Central India. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal 39: 335-376 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1887. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) III. Lacertidae, Gerrhosauridae, Scincidae, Anelytropsidae, Dibamidae, Chamaeleontidae. London: 575 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • John,S; Joshi B D; Soni V C 1993. Studies on morphometry, cephalic plates and body scales of Ophisops microlepis Blanford. JOURNAL OF ANIMAL MORPHOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY 38 (1-2), [June-December 1991]: 191-198
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Patel, H., & Vyas, R. 2020. Lost before being recognized? A new species of the genus Ophisops (Squamata: Lacertidae) from Gujarat, India. Ecologica Montenegrina 35: 31-44 - get paper here
  • Patel, Harshil; and Raju Vyas 2019. Reptiles of Gujarat, India: Updated Checklist, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Herpetology Notes 12: 765-777 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K.P. & H. MARX 1957. Results of the namru-3 southeastern Egypt Expedition, 1954. 2. Reptiles and amphibians. Bull. Zool. soc. Egypt, Cairo, 13: 16-27
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
  • Venugopal, P.D. 2010. An updated and annotated list of Indian lizards (Reptilia: Sauria) based on a review of distribution records and checklists of Indian reptiles. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2 (3): 725-738. - get paper here
  • Vyas, Raju 2007. Present conservation scenario of reptile fauna in Gujarat State, India. Indian Forester, Oct 2007: 1381-1394 - get paper here
  • Vyas, Raju 2011. Priliminary Survey on Reptiles of Jassore Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat State, India. Russ. J. Herpetol. 18 (3): 210-214 - get paper here
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