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Panaspis wahlbergii (SMITH, 1849)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Angolan Snake-eyed Skink, Wahlberg’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
Afroablepharus wahlbergi — BATES et al. 2014: 257
Panaspis wahlbergi — MEDINA et al. 2016
Panaspis wahlbergi — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 165
Panaspis aff. wahlbergi — MARQUES et al. 2018
Panaspis wahlbergii — BRANCH et al. 2019
Panaspis wahlbergii — CHAPPLE et al. 2021 
DistributionNamibia, N Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Mozambique, Republic of South Africa (Natal, Transvaal, Swaziland), Angola, S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Zambia (but see comment)

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.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.8.18.49-50 (formerly, Natal, presented Sir A. Smith (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”. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of Panaspis with fused ("ablepharine") eyelids, fused frontoparietal shields and a white lateral stripe present, at least anteriorly [fide BROADLEY 2000].

Diagnosis. Panaspis wahlbergi can be distinguished from other members of the genus occurring in Angola by the following combination of characteristics: 1) absence of supranasals; 2) ablepharine eye (as defined by Greer 1974); 3) frontoparietals fused; 4) dorsum coppery-brown, with a broad black lateral band; 5) absence of rows of light spots on the neck; 6) usually a presence of a white ventrolateral stripe, from supralabials to the groin; 7) 24 to 26 midbody scales rows (Figs. 13–14) (from Ceríaco et al. 2020: 100). 
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).

Distribution: Reports from Kenya and Tanzania have been removed and assigned to P. tsavoensis and P. massaiensis by Kilunda et al. 2019 (Spawls et al. 2018 listed wahlbergi for these countries). Restricted to Mozambique and NE South Africa by Medina et al. (2016), then extended to Angola by Ceríaco et al. 2020. The record of A. wahlbergi from Arabia by Al Jumayli 1984 actually refers to A. pannonicus (Schätti & Gasperetti 1994). 
EtymologyNamed after Johan August Wahlberg (1810-1856), naturalist and collector. He studied chemistry and pharmacy at Uppsala Universitet (1829).  
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