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Ophisops occidentalis (BOULENGER, 1887)

IUCN Red List - Ophisops occidentalis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLacertidae, Eremiadinae, Sauria, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymOphiops occidentalis BOULENGER 1887: 75
Ophiops [sic] occidentalis — BOULENGER 1891: 134
Ophisops occidentalis — CHIRIO & BLANC 1993
Ophisops occidentalis — SCHLEICH, KÄSTLE & KABISCH 1996: 433
Ophisops occidentalis — BISCHOFF 2007 
DistributionNE Morocco, N Algeria, Tunisia, NW Libya (Cyrenaica), Egypt, elevation 0-1600 m.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.9.4.16-17, 1885.4.13.3, 1946.9.4.18, 1946.9.4.19 
DiagnosisDescription: “Head moderate, feebly depressed. Upper head-shields smooth ; nostril lateral, pierced between an upper and a lower nasal, and followed by one or two postnasals; frontonasal single; four supraoculars, first and fourth small, all in contact with the supraciliaries; occipital very small, widely separated from the interparietal, or absent; subocular bordering the lip, between the fourth and fifth upper labials; temporal scales small, smooth; two large supratemporals, bordering the parietal a very large, opercle-like tympanic shield. No gular fold; collar undistinguishable. Dorsal scales very large and sharply keeled, larger than the laterals, and but little if at all smaller than the caudals; 26 to 30 scales round the middle of the body, ventrals included. A more or less enlarged postero-median præanal plate. The hind limb reaches the ear, or halfway between the latter and the arm, in the male, the axilla or not quite SO far in the female. 7 to 10 (usually 7 or 8) femoral pores on each side. Tail once and a half to twice as long as head and body. Olive or bronzy above, with black spots, and one or two light longitudinal streaks on each side lower surfaces white.” (Boulenger 1887: 75) 
CommentSynonymy: O. occidentalis is nested within O. elegans in the study by Montgelard et al. 2021. 
EtymologyThe specific name occidentalis (Latin) refers to the western distribution of this species. 
  • Baha el Din, S. 2006. A guide to the reptiles and amphibians of Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo. xvi + 359 pp.
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Jonathan C. DeBoer , Dylan J. Taylor 2017. Atlas of the Reptiles of Libya. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 64 (8): 155-318 - get paper here
  • Bezaz, Y. I., Hadjab, R., Khammar, H., Redjaimia, L., & Saheb, M. 2021. First data on the diversity of the herpetofauna of the Oum El Bouaghi Region (Northeast of Algeria). Ecol. Env. & Cons. 27 (3): 983-989
  • Bischoff, W. 2007. Auf der Suche nach Gebirgseidechsen in drei Erdteilen. Draco 7 (27): 54-73 - get paper here
  • Bons,J. 1972. Herpétologie Marocaine I: Liste commentée des amphibiens et reptiles du Maroc. Bull. Soc. Sci. nat. Maroc 52 (3/4): 107-126
  • Bons,J. & GIROT,B. 1962. Clé illustrée des reptiles du Maroc. Trav. Inst. Sci. Chérifien, Sér. Zool. 26
  • 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, G.A. 1921. Monograph of the Lacertidae, vol. 2. British Museum (London), 451 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1891. Catalogue of the reptiles and batrachians of Barbary (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), based chiefly upon the notes and collections made in 1880-1884 by M. Fernand Lataste. Tr. Zool. Soc. 13: 93-164
  • Chirio, L. & Blanc, Ch. P. 1993. Existence in parapatry of two species of Ophisops in Algeria (Aures): zoogeographical implications. Amphibia-Reptilia 14 (4): 341-348 - get paper here
  • Doumergue,F. 1901. Essai sur la faune erpétologique de l'Oranie avec des tableaux analytiques et des notations pour la détermination de tous les reptiles et batraciens du Maroc, de l'Algerie et de la Tunisie. L. Fouque, Oran, 404 pp. - get paper here
  • Escoriza, Daniel 2017. Patterns of alpha diversity among Tunisian lizards (Lacertidae). Journal of Arid Environments - get paper here
  • Kyriazi,P.; N. Poulakakis, A. Parmakelis, P.A. Crochet, J. Moravec, N. Rastegar-Pouyani, C.S. Tsigenopoulos, A. Magoulas, M. Mylonas, P. Lymberakis 2008. Mitochondrial DNA reveals the genealogical history of the snake-eyed lizards (Ophisops elegans and O. occidentalis) (Sauria: Lacertidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 49 (3): 795-805 - get paper here
  • Martínez del Mármol, Gabriel; D. James Harris, Philippe Geniez, Philip de Pous, and Daniele Salvi 2019. Amphibians and Reptiles of Morocco. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 478 pp - get paper here
  • Mediani, Mohamed; José Carlos Brito, Soumia Fahd 2015. Atlas of the amphibians and reptiles of northern Morocco: updated distribution and patterns of habitat selection. Basic and Applied Herpetology 29: - get paper here
  • Montgelard, C., Behrooz, R., Arnal, V., Asadi, A., Geniez, P. and Kaboli, M. 2020. Diversification and cryptic diversity of Ophisops elegans (Sauria, Lacertidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research - get paper here
  • Schleich, H.H., Kästle,W., Kabisch, K. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa. Koeltz, Koenigstein, 627 pp.
  • Schlüter, U. 2003. Zur Kenntnis des Westlichen Schlangenauges, Ophisops occidentalis (BOULENGER 1887). Elaphe 11 (3): 56-63
  • 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
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1894. Zweiter Beitrag zur Herpetologie von Ost-Algerien. Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 44: 75-87 - get paper here
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