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Ablepharus ladacensis (GÜNTHER, 1864)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Eugongylinae (Eugongylini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesAblepharus ladacensis ladacensis (GÜNTHER 1864)
Ablepharus ladacensis stimsoni (EREMCENKO 1992) 
Common NamesE: Ladak Ground Skink
Chinese: 拉达克滑蜥 
SynonymEumeces ladacensis GÜNTHER 1864: 86
Eumeces ladacensis — ANDERSON 1872
Scincella ladacense MITTLEMAN 1952
Euprepes stoliczkai STEINDACHNER 1869: 46
Euprepes kargilensis STEINDACHNER 1869
Euprepes kargilensis — THEOBALD 1876
Mocoa kargilensis — THEOBALD 1876
Lygosoma ladacense — BOULENGER 1887
Leiolopisma ladacense — SCHMIDT 1926
Leiolopisma ladacense — SMITH 1935
Lygosoma (Leiolopisma) ladacense — CONSTABLE 1949
Scincella ladacensis — GREER 1974: 7
Scincella ladacense — WANG & ZHAO 1986
Scincella ladacensis — OUBOTER 1986: 16
Asymblepharus ladacensis — (see comment)
Scincella ladacensis — DAS 1996: 48
Asymblepharus (Asymblepharus) ladacensis — EREMCHENKO 2003
Asymblepharus ladacensis — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Ablepharus ladacensis — MIRZA et al. 2022

Asymblepharus ladacensis stimsoni EREMČENKO 1992
Asymblepharus ladacensis stimsoni EREMČENKO 1992: 58
Asymblepharus ladacensis stimsoni — EREMCHENKO et al. 1998 
DistributionChina (Xizang =Tibet) [Scincella ladacensis ladacensis]
N Pakistan, W Himalaya (S Karakoram)
India (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh)
W Nepal

Type locality: Ladak (= Ladakh), "Tibet" M. A. Smith (1935: 300) gave "Ladak, Kashmir." as type locality. The Ladakh
Mountains cross the Xizang-Kashmir (India) border, but Ladakh is in Kashmir.

stimsoni: Nepal, China (upper Ganges River basin); Type locality: "Nepal, Garanphu, Seti Vall., Bajang distr., 4270 M." (= Garaphu, 30° 00'N; 81° 20'E)  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.8.16.28 (ladacensis)
Holotype: BMNH 1957.1.14.91, paratypes: BMNH 1957.1.14.81-86 (paratypes), "Saipal, Bajang dist., 4570 M." (30° 00'N; 81° 20'E, Nepal); BMNH 1957.1.14.87-88, "Ingul Divar, SE ridge of Kapkot near Duhli, 3660 M." (29° 80'N; 81° 30'E, Duhli sic for Dhuli, Nepal); BMNH 1957.1.14.89-90; 92-93, "Garanphu, Seti Valley, Bajang dist., 4270 M." (30° 00'N; 81° 20'E, Nepal); BMNH 1953.1.1.54, "Pemringgoan, Barbung Khola, 4880 M." (28º 52'N; 83º 15'E; Dolpa District, Nepal); BMNH 1953.1.55-57, "Balanga pass, Tibrikot, 3500 M." (29º 00'N; 82º 44'E, at present in Dolpa District); BMNH 1953.1.1.58, "Phoksumdo Tal, Tibrikot, 4270 M." (29° 00'N; 83° 00'E; Dolpa District, Nepal); BMNH 1953.1.1.59, "Kahajeng Khola, near Mohala Raiang, Charkabhot, 5490 M." (29° 00'N; 83° 30'E, Nepal). [stimsoni]
Syntypes: NMW 16643.1-4 [Euprepes kargilensis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Ciliars distinctly thickenend. Palpebral disc very large (x ratio snout-vent length (S-V length)/length transparent disc: 37.8). Frontal often thouching the third supraocular. Usually distinct projecting lobules on the anterior margin of the ear; ear slit-shaped. 57-90 gulars + ventrals; 24-38 scales around midbody. Ventral surface usually greenish-blue (Ouboter 1986: 16).

Diagnosis (ssp. ladacensis vs himalayanus). A robust Scincella, with long limbs. Transparent disc large. Ciliars distinctly thickened. Frontal touching the first three supraoculars in nearly all specimens (97%). Distinct projecting lobules on the anterior margin of the ear. High numbers of body scales. Dorsum usually grey and heavily spotted with black and white spots (Ouboter 1986: 18). 
CommentScincella ladacensis has been renamed to Asymblepharus ladacensis, but most of the pertinent literature is in Russian and thus rarely seen. See references in the entries for Asymblepharus.

Similar species: Scincella sikimmensis, A. himalayana (Ouboter 1986 says there is clinal variation among the 3 species).

Subspecies: Scincella ladacensis himalayana (GÜNTHER 1864) is now considered as a valid species.

Distribution: reports from China are erroneous (SINDACO & JEREMCENKO 2008) and based on confusion with A. sikkimensis or A. ladacensis stimsoni. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
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  • Blanford,W.T. 1878. "Reptilia and Amphibia" in Scientific Results of the Second Yarkand Mission. Calcutta, Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing. 4to, p. 1-26, 2 pis.
  • Borkin, Leo J.; Spartak N. Litvinchuk, Daniel A. Melnikov & Dmitriy V. Skorinov 2018. Altitudinal distribution of skinks of the genus Asymblepharus in the Western Himalaya, India (Reptilia: Sauria: Scincidae). In: Hartmann, Barclay & Weipert: Biodiversität und Naturausstattung im Himalaya VI. - Erfurt 2018: 163-167 - get paper here
  • 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
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  • Das, Indraneil & Abhijit Das 2017. A Naturalist’s Guide to the Reptiles of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. John Beaufoy Publishing Ltd., Oxford, 176 pp.
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  • Eremchenko, V.; Helfenberger,N.; K. B. Shah & A. M. Panfilov 1998. Two new species of skinks (Scincidae: Ligosominae [sic]) from Nepal [in Russian]. News nat. Acad. Sci. Kirgiz Republik, Bishkek (4): 41-45
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  • Eremchenko, W. (= VALERIJ) KONSTANTINOVICH, ALEXANDER MIHAILOVICH PAVFILOV and EVGENY IVANOVICH TSARINENKO. 1992. About systematics of Asymblepharus ladacensis (Günther, 1864) (Sauria: Scincidae: Lygosominae). In: V. Eremchenko, A. M. Panfilov & E. I. Tsarinenko: Conspectus on cytogenetic and taxonomic research on some Asiatic species of Scincidae and Lacertidae Ylym Publ., Bishket, Kiev, pp: 58-65.
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