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Hyalosaurus koellikeri GÜNTHER, 1873

IUCN Red List - Hyalosaurus koellikeri - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Anguinae), Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Koelliker's Glass Lizard
G: Marokko-Panzerschleiche, Marokko-Glasschleiche 
SynonymHyalosaurus koellikeri GÜNTHER 1873: 351
Pseudopus apus forma ornata BOETTGER 1881
Ophisaurus koellikeri — BOULENGER 1885: 283
Ophisaurus koellikeri — SCHLEICH, KÄSTLE & KABISCH 1996: 453
Anguis koellikeri — MACEY et al. 1999
Hyalosaurus koellikeri — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Hyalosaurus koellikeri — MEDIANI et al. 2015 
DistributionMorocco, NW Algeria

Type locality: unknown (”offered for sale by a man who stated that he had just obtained them from a ship coming from North Africa  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.8.29.50 (and possibly additional specimens). 
DiagnosisDescription: Serpentiform with rudimentary flipper-like hindlegs at the sides of the cloaca; scales squarish, rhomboidal, forming straight longitudinal and transversal series; a lateral fold; eyes with lids; tail fragile (Schleich & Kästle 1996).

Scalation: Prefrontal large, as broad as frontal; interparietal larger than parietals or occipital; five supraoculars on each side; ear-opening hidden. Dorsals in 14 longitudinal and 120 transversal rows, the middorsal ones obtusely keeled, lateral ones smooth; ventrals in 10 longitudinal rows. Upper and lower tail scales keeled.
Hindleg rudiments longer than 2 mm (Schleich & Kästle 1996).

Coloration: Brownish or olive brown with a dorsal pattern of dark spots and light iridescent speckles. At least two different colour phases occur:
1. Dark spots arranged rather regularly in transverse rows every 3rd scale row, with iridescent light blue speckles which often form incomplete ocelli. This form occurs in the Moyen Atlas and was reported from Casablanca. A very similar pattern occurs in O. harti from S-China and Vietnam.
2. Dark spots arranged irregularly covering the anterior two thirds of the SVL, with interspersed greenish speckles. This form from Inezgane (S of Agadir, Morocco) (see description and illustration in PETZOLD 1964).
In both forms the dorsal pattern covers only the two anterior thirds of the SVL (Schleich & Kästle 1996). 
CommentLimb morphology: only flipper-like hindlegs (reduced).

Similar species: resembling Chalcides chalcides or Chalcides mauritanicus, but these have four rudimentary legs with toes.

Phylogenetics: O. koellikeri is paraphyletic with other Ophisaurus species, but since only a few species are in this clade Macey et al. 1999 suggested to synonymize Hyalosaurus, Ophisaurus, and Pseudopus with Anguis.

Type species: Hyalosaurus koellikeri GÜNTHER 1873: 351 is the type species of the genus Hyalosaurus GÜNTHER 1873. 
EtymologyNamed after Swiss-born anatomist ALBERT VON KOLLlKER (1817-1906) who discovered the cellular character of the egg and asserted that all body cells descend from it (Schleich & Kästle 1996). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1885. Catalogue of the lizards in the British Museum (Natural History). Vol. 2, Second edition. London, xiii+497 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
  • de Pous, P., E. Mora, M. Metallinou, D. Escoriza, M. Comas, D. Donaire, J.M. Pleguezuelos & S. Carranza 2011. Elusive but widespread? The potential distribution and genetic variation of Hyalosaurus koellikeri (Günther, 1873) in the Maghreb Amphibia-Reptilia, 32(3): 385-397. - get paper here
  • Escoriza, Daniel & Maria del Mar Comas 2011. Nova cita de Hyalosaurus koellikeri (Squamata: Anguidae) a la regió de Debdou (Nord-est de Marroc). Bull. Soc. Catalana d’Herp. 19 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1873. Description of a new Saurian (Hyalosaurus) allied to Pseudopus. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (4) 11: 351 - get paper here
  • Macey, J.R. 1999. Molecular phylogenetics, tRNA evolution, and historical biogeography in anguid lizards and related taxonomic families. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 12 (3): 250-272 - 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
  • Mateo, José A., Philippe Geniez and Jacques Bons 1998. The Moroccan glass lizard, Ophisaurus koellikeri (Günther, 1873), a new species in Algeria. British Herpetological Society Bulletin (63): 32-33
  • 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
  • Mellado,J. & Mateo,J.A. 1992. New records of Moroccan Herpetofauna. The Herpetological Journal 2: 58-61 - get paper here
  • Petzold,H. G. 1971. Blindschleiche und Scheltopusik. Neue Brehm Bücherei 448: 102 pp.
  • Pous, Philip de; Mora, Elisa; Metallinou, Margarita; Escoriza, Daniel; Comas, Mar; Donaire, David; Pleguezuelos, Juan M.; Carranza, Salvador 2011. Elusive but widespread? The potential distribution and genetic variation of Hyalosaurus koellikeri (Günther, 1873) in the Maghreb. Amphibia-Reptilia 32 (3): 385-397 - get paper here
  • Schleich, H.H., Kästle,W., Kabisch, K. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa. Koeltz, Koenigstein, 627 pp.
  • Sindaco, R. & Jeremcenko, V.K. 2008. The reptiles of the Western Palearctic. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 579 pp. - get paper here
  • Werner,F. 1931. Ergebnisse einer zoologischen Forschungsreise nach Marokko. III. Unternommen 1930 mit Unterstützung der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien von Franz Werner und Richard Ebner. III. Amphibien und Reptilien. Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien Mathem.-Naturw., Sect. 1, 140: 272-318 - get paper here
  • Wiens, J. J., and J. L. Slingluff 2001. How lizards turn into snakes: a phylogenetic analysis of body-form evolution in anguid lizards. Evolution 55: 2303–2318 - get paper here
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