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Panaspis wahlbergi (SMITH, 1849)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesWahlberg’s snake-eyed skink, Savannah Lidless Skink 
SynonymCryptoblepharus wahlbergi SMITH 1849: 10
Ablepharus Walbergii — STRAUCH 1868: 367
Ablepharus carsonii BOULENGER 1897: 800 (fide LOVERIDGE 1953: 215)
Ablepharus wahlbergi — NEUMANN 1905
Ablepharus wahlbergii — LOVERIDGE 1920: 158
Ablepharus massaiensis ANGEL 1924: 52 (fide GUIBÉ 1954)
Ablepharus wahlbergii — LOVERIDGE 1936: 72
Ablepharus wahlbergi - LOVERIDGE 1957: 219
Afroablepharus wahlbergi — GREER 1974: 32
Afroblepharus wahlbergi — AUERBACH 1987: 115
Panaspis wahlbergii — LANZA 1988
Panaspis wahlbergii — BOYCOTT 1992
Panaspis wahlbergi — BROADLEY 1998
Panaspis wahlbergii — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 16
Panaspis wahlbergi — RAZETTI & MSUYA 2002
Afroablepharus wahlbergi — BROADLEY & COTTERILL 2004
Afroablepharus wahlbergi — SCHMITZ et al. 2005
Afroablepharus wahlbergi — JESUS et al. 2007
Panaspis wahlbergi — JACOBSEN et al. 2010
Panaspis wahlbergi — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 409
Afroablepharus walbergii — PIETERSEN et al. 2013
Panaspis wahlbergi — MEDINA et al. 2016 
DistributionNamibia, N Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Mozambique, Republic of South Africa (Natal, Transvaal, Swaziland), Ethiopia, Kenya, Angola, S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia.

Type locality: “eastward of Cape Colony” [= Natal (doubtful fide BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991 who restricted the type locality to Durban, KwaZulu-Natal to best fit Smith’s (1849) description)]; "Country to the eastward of the Cape Colony = Natal’’ fide BROADLEY 2000. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.18.49 and 1946.8.18.50 (Fitzsimons 1937: 269 states that “there are two specimens in the H. M. regarded as types, neither of which agrees with the dimensions given by Smith. Apparently Smith had several specimens”. 
CommentType species: Cryptoblepharus wahlbergi SMITH 1849 is the type species of the genus Afroablepharus GREER 1974, which was synonymized with Panaspis by Medina et al. 2016.

Greer (1974) erected the genus Afroablepharus to accommodate African skinks with an ablepharine eye, and moved all species with movable lower eyelids and pre-ablepharine eyes to other genera, including semiaquatic species to the genus Cophoscincopus and terrestrial species to the genus Panaspis. As a result, Leptosiaphos was synonymized with Panaspis based on the movable lower eyelid character, and the only taxon with the pre-ablepharine eye condition was P. cabindae, the type species of Panaspis. Perret (1975) reduced Afroablepharus to a subgenus and described the new subgenus Lacertaspis to accommodate two species (P. reichenowi and P. rohdei) that fitted his lacertiform description from two years earlier. Broadley (1989) revised the genera in question and restricted Panaspis to species residing in African savannas and having ablepharine or pre- ablepharine eyes. He then restored Leptosiaphos to full genus rank for forest and montane grassland species that had a movable lower eyelid. Lastly, he erected a new subgenus, Perretia, to accommodate a newly described species, Leptosiaphos (Perretia) rhomboidalis, which had distinctive cephalic lepidosis (Medina et al. 2016).

Diagnosis. A species of Panaspis with fused ("ablepharine") eyelids, fused frontoparietal shields and a white lateral stripe present, at least anteriorly [fide BROADLEY 2000].

Distribution: The record of A. wahlbergi from Arabia by Al Jumayli 1984 actually refers to A. pannonicus (Schätti & Gasperetti 1994). 
References
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  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Branch, William R. & Haacke, Wulf D. 1993. The herpetofauna of the Kamanjab area and adjacent Damaraland, Namibia. Madoqua (Windhoek) 18 (2): 117-145.
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