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Ophisops nictans (ARNOLD, 1989)

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Lesser snake-eyed lacerta 
SynonymCabrita jerdonii BEDDOME 1870: 34
Cabritropsis jerdoni BEDDOME in BLANFORD 1870 (fide SMITH 1935)
Cabrita jerdoni — SMITH 1935: 375
Cabrita jerdoni minor DERANIYAGALA 1971: 104
Ophisops nictans ARNOLD 1989: 245 (nom. subst. pro O. jerdonii BEDDOME 1870)
Ophisops minor minor — BÖHME & BISCHOFF 1991: 220
Ophisops minor nictans — BÖHME & BISCHOFF 1991: 220
Ophisops minor — DAS 1996: 49
Ophisops minor minor — SOMAWEERA & SOMAWEERA 2009
Ophisops minor nictans — MURTHY 2010
Ophisops minor nictans — MAYER 2015
Ophisops minor nictans — GANESH & ARUMUGAM 2016
Ophisops nictans — PATEL & VYAS 2020 
DistributionNE/E India, E Sri Lanka

minor: E Sri Lanka; Type locality: “Bulupitiya-Nilgala area in Uva Province”, Sri Lanka.

nictans: India (Tamil Nadu, Karantaka). Type locality: “between Collegal and Cauverypuram" (near Karnataka / Tamil Nadu border)  
TypesHolotype: NMSL (Colombo National Museum) 1971.1.1; paratypes: 14 specimen, also in Colombo 
CommentSynonymy: partly after SMITH 1935. After Cabrita was synonymized with Ophisops by ARNOLD 1989, Cabrita jerdonii BEDDOME 1870 became a homonym of Ophisops jerdonii BLYTH 1853. Hence, ARNOLD 1989 proposed a substitute name, Ophisops minor nictans. Unfortunately, DERANIYAGALA 1971 had described Cabrita jerdoni minor previously, which may be conspecific with O. nictans, and thus has priority. However, the status of minor remains unclear as there appear to be very few known specimens. 
EtymologyNamed after its rather small body size compared to Ophisops leschenaultii.

O. m. nictans has been named after the presence of eyelid and nictitating faculty in this subspecies. 
  • Aengals, R.; V.M. Sathish Kumar & Muhamed Jafer Palot 2013. Updated Checklist of Indian Reptiles. Privately published, 24 pp.
  • Böhme,W. & Bischoff,W. 1991. On the proper denomination of Cabrita jerdonii BEDDOME, 1870 (Reptilia: Lacertidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 12: 220-221 - get paper here
  • Deraniyagala, P. 1971. A new lizard from Ceylon. Spol. Zeylan., 32: 103-105
  • Ganesh S.R., Bubesh Guptha 2021. Herpetological diversity in the Central Eastern Ghats, Peninsular India. Journal of Animal Diversity 3 (3): 18-44 - get paper here
  • GANESH, S.R. & S.R. CHANDRAMOULI 2017. Identifizierung von Leschenaults Schlangenaugen-Eidechse, Ophisops leschenaultii (Milne-Edwards, 1829), mit Anmerkungen zur ontogenetischen Farbveränderung. Sauria 39 (2): 68-72 - get paper here
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Somaweera, R. & Somaweera, N. 2009. Lizards of Sri Lanka: a colour guide with field keys. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 304 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
  • Ziesmann, S.; Klaas, P.& Janzen, P. 2007. Von Skinken und anderen Echsen [Sri Lankas]. Draco 7 (30): 18-23 - get paper here
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