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Ablepharus budaki GÖCMEN, KUMLUTAS & TOSUNOGLU, 1996

IUCN Red List - Ablepharus budaki - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Budak’s Snake-eyed Skink 
SynonymAblepharus kitaibelii budaki GÖCMEN, KUMLUTAS & TOSUNOGLU 1996
Ablepharus budaki budaki — SCHMIDTLER 1997
Ablepharus budaki — POULAKAKIS et al. 2005
Ablepharus budaki budaki — BOZKURT et al. 2020 
DistributionTurkey, Greece (Cyprus), Syria, Lebanon ?

Type locality: Adatepe Mahallesi, Lapethos-Kyrenia (Lapta-Girne). 'T.R.N.C., altitude 105 meters.  
TypesHolotype: ZDEU 8011993-10, adult male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (budaki): “Polytypische Art aus der Verwandtschaft von A. kitaibelii, A. chernovi und A. rueppellii. Augenregion wie bei diesen. Tympanalöffnung groß (0,4-0,5 mm im Mittel). 2. Supraciliare schmal und lang (B/L 20-30% im Mittel). Interparietale schmäler als lang (80-90% im Mittel). Rumpfschuppen meist 20 (seltener 18 oder 19). Ventraliazahlen gering (Männchen bis 41, Weibchen bis 46). Dorsalia allenfalls fein gepunktet. Rücken im Leben oft mit lebhaftem Goldglanz. Ventralia nicht dunkel gerandet. Bauch beim Männchen regional oft gelblich bis hellorange” (Schmidtler 1997: 52).

Diagnosis (budaki budaki): “Drei vordere Supralabialia; KRL insbesondere beim Weibchen groß (Mittel/Maximum: 42/47 mm). Relation KB/KHL vergleichsweise hoch (Mittel/ Maximum 37/40). Bauch beim Männchen meist gelblich bis hellorange” (Schmidtler 1997: 53).

Diagnosis. The body is thin and long (avarage, 39.74 mm; 48.00 mm); 2 supraoculars; 2 supraciliaries: the second supraciliary plate is in contact with the eye. Two frontoparietals; the number of VRSM-EO changes between 3-4; nasal plate complete, not split. The ear opening is so evidently big that, it can be seen with the naked eye and it is situated partially at he neck. The number of subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe of the hind limb ranges from 11 to 17. Particularly in males and especially during the breeding period. only the ventral of the trunk (except the ventral aspects of head and tail) (Figure 2C) or all of the ventral side, except the gular region (trunk+tail). (Figure 28) or only under the tail is coloured, from light orange to dark red. In juveniles this colouration gradually increases and becomes brighter under and over the tail from the vent through its tip.
A. k. budaki n. ssp. shows differences distinct from the other forms of the species. It is different from A. k. kitaibelii and A. k. fitzingeri in that it has more subdigital lamellae (not more than 15 in these subspecies; whereas, in A. k. budaki n. ssp. up to 17) and also, it is different from A. k. kitaibelii, A. k, fitzingerj, A. k. stepaneki and A. k. fabichi in the colouration of the underside of the body and also the number of VRSNI-EO. In these 4 subspecies, generally the underparts turn to a bluish gray colour (3. 5, 7. 9), and the number of VRSM-EO is not more than 2 (9). However, A. k. budaki n. ssp. more resembles chernovi more as far as these characteristics are concerned. Meanwhile, it differs from chernovi in the following abspects:
[1] During the breeding period, redness is generally observed in males (92.6%) and relatively less in females (20.00%) starting from the gular region on the venter (including te ventral parts of fore and hind limbs, except the gular region). Redness is dominant in females only under the body, in a weak form, but in males only on the ventral parts of the trunk, the trunk+tail or only the ventral and dorsal sides of the tail. Redness is seen except during the breding period in all juveniles only at the ventral and dorsal of the tail. whereas in A. k. chernovi, this characteristics is seen only during the beeding period and in adult males. It is .not observed in juveniles and females. Furthermore, the dorsal and ventral of the tail does not display this kind of colouration.
[2] The number of VRSM-EO is generally 4 or rarely 5 in A. k. chernovi (9).whereas in the new subspecies it is usually 3 and rarely 4 (Figure 3A).
[3] Ear opening in chernovi is either absent (4. 5) or can be recognized partially (9). However, in A. k. budaki n. ssp. there is a clearly visible, distinct ear opening (Figure 3A) (from Göçmen et al. 1996). 
CommentPhylogenetics: A. kitaibelii appears paraphyletic with respect to A. budaki and A.chernovi (Poulakakis et al. 2005).

Distribution: For a map in Turkey see Bozkurt et al. 2020: 135 (Fig. 1). 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Abidin Budak (b. 1943), a herpetologist and (since 1990) a Professor at the Ege University Zoology Department, Izmir, Turkey. 
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  • BODSON, Liliane 2009. L’interprétation des noms grecs et latins d’animaux illustrée par le cas du zoonyme seps-seps. Académie Royale de Belgique, Bruxelles, 368 pp.
  • Böhme, Wolfgang 2014. Herpetology in Bonn. Mertensiella 21. vi + 256 pp. - get paper here
  • BOZKURT, Emin and Kurtuluş OLGUN 2020. Taxonomic investigation of the genus Ablepharus (Sauria; Scincidae) with molecular and morphological methods in Anatolian populations. Turk J Zool 44: 134-145. - get paper here
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  • GÖÇMEN, Bayram; Yusuf KUMLUTAS; Murat TOSUNOGLU 1996. A New Subspecies, Ablepharus kitaibelii (Bibron & Borry, 1833) budaki n. ssp. (Sauria: Scincidae) From the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Turkish Journal of Zoology 20: 397-405 - get paper here
  • Hraoui-Bloquet, S.; Sadek, R.A.; Sindaco, R. & Venchi, A. 2002. The herpetofauna of Lebanon: new data on distribution. Zoology in the Middle East 27: 35-46 - get paper here
  • Poulakakis, N.; P.Lymberakis; C.S.Tsigenopoulos; A. Magoulas; M.Mylonas 2005. Phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of snake-eyed skink Ablepharus kitaibelii (Sauria: Scincidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34: 245 –256 - get paper here
  • Schmidtler, J.F. 1997. Die Ablepharus kitaibelii - Gruppe in Südanatolien und benachbarten Gebieten (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae). Herpetozoa 10 (1/2): 35-62 - get paper here
  • Schneider, R. 2020. Fünffingerberg, Wirtelschwanzagamen und Meeresschildkröten - ein Streifzug durch die Herpetofauna von Nordzypern. Elaphe 2020 (4): 54-61
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  • Skourtanioti, E., Kapli, P., Ilgaz, C., Kumlutaş, Y., Avcı, A., Ahmadzadeh, F., Isailović, J.C.n., Gherghel, I., Lymberakis, P., Poulakakis, N., 2016. A reinvestigation of phylogeny and divergence times of the Ablepharus kitaibelii species complex (Sauria, Scincidae) based on mtDNA and nuDNA genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 103: 199–214 - get paper here
  • Vergilov, Vladislav S.; Boyan Zlatkov, Nikolay D. Tzankov 2017. Hemipenial differentiation in the closely related congeners Ablepharus kitaibelii (BIBRON & BORY DE SAINT-VINCENT, 1833), and Ablepharus budaki GÖCMEN, KUMLUTAS & TOSUNOGLU, 1996 (Squamata: Sauria: Scincidae). Herpetozoa 30 (1/2): 39 - 48 - get paper here
  • YILDIRIM, E., KUMLUTAŞ, Y., CANDAN, K. & ILGAZ, Ç. 2017. Comparative skeletal osteology of three species of Scincid lizards (Genus: Ablepharus) from Turkey. Vertebrate Zoology 67 (2): - get paper here
  • Yıldız MZ. 2020. Herpetofauna of Kilis Province (Southeast Anatolia, Turkey). Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 14(2) [General Section]: 145–156 (e242) - get paper here
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