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Ophiomorus punctatissimus (BIBRON & BORY DE ST. VINCENT, 1833)

IUCN Red List - Ophiomorus punctatissimus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Scincinae, Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Greek Snake Skink
G: Gesprenkelter Schlangenskink 
SynonymAnguis punctatissimus BIBRON & BORY DE ST. VINCENT 1833: 71
Anguis punctatissimus — GERVAIS 1836: 310
Ophiomorus miliaris DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 799
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — BOULENGER 1887: 397
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — WERNER 1935: 107
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — KUMLUTAS et al. 2004
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — SINDACO & JEREMČENKO 2008
Ophiomorus punctatissimus — KORNILIOS et al. 2018 
DistributionS Greece

Type locality: Greece: Morea [Peloponnes]  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 6998 and MNHN-RA 6998A, BMNH 1946.8.18.81 (formerly 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Palatine bones not meeting on the midline of the palate;pterygidl teeth usually present. Teeth conical, or with obtuse crowns. Eye small; lower eyelid with an undivided, transparent disc. Ear opening absent or hidden. Nostril in the suture between the nasal and supranasal, close to the rostral;prefrontals usually distinct; frontoparietal and parietal distinct. Body elongate. Limbs greatly reduced or absent (from ANDERSON & LEVITON 1966).

The genus Ophiomorus may be diagnosed vis-a-vis the generally primitive scincid genus Eumeces on the basis of the following derived character states: nostril between an upper and lower nasal scale, both of uncertain homology ...; prefrontal scales separated; frontal scale hour-glass shaped due to constriction of frontal by first supraocular (except in O. latastii ...) ...; supraoculars three (as opposed to four); supraciliary row incomplete lateral to most posterior supraocular, i.e., most posterior supraocular en- ters supraciliary row: frontoparietals separated; pretemporal single: lower eyelid with clear central disc; postsupralabial single; postmentals two (variable in Eumeces, hence possibly primitive in skinks): dorsal and lateral body scales with one or sometimes two (in tandem) minute pits in central posterior part of scale; digits 4/3 or less and phalanges or less; premaxillary teeth modally < 6; presacral vertebrae > 45; sternal/mesosternal ribs < 3/l; inscriptional chevrons > 7...; thoracic and sometimes anterior lumbar ribs with dorsoanterio accessory processes [from Greer and Wilson 2001].

Diagnosis: “Unterscheidet sich von den 10 weiteren Arten der Gattung durch das völlige Fehlen äußerer Gliedmaßen sowie durch 18 Schuppenreihen um die Körpermitte. Während alle Arten außer punctatissi­mus und latastii Beine besitzen, unterscheidet sich letzterer von ersterem durch nur 16 Schuppenreihen.
O. punctatissimus hat ein stumpfes, gerundetes Maul. Das Rostrale ragt kaum über den Oberkiefer hinaus und teilt mit seiner nach hinten gerichteten Spitze die Supranasalia nicht. Praefrontalia vorhanden; sie sind paarig ausgebildet. Gegenüber den anderen europäischen Skinken ist auch die Kombination der gattungstypischen Merkmale (vgl. Anderson und Leviton 1966) artdiagnostisch: Palatina auf der Mittellinie des Gaumens getrennt; Pterygoidzähne vorhanden; Zähne kegelförmig oder mit stumpfen Kronen; Auge klein, mit ungeteiltem Lidfenster im unteren Lid; Ohröffnung fehlend oder verborgen; Nasenloch liegt auf der Naht zwischen Nasale und Supranasale, nahe dem Rostrale; Körper stark gestreckt.” (Bischoff 1981: 366). 
CommentType species: Ophiomorus miliaris DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839 is the type species of the genus Ophiomorus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839.

Distribution: Turkish populations of Ophiomorus punctatissimus have been redescribed as O. kardesi KORNILIOS et al. 2018.

Limb morphology: Ophiomorus is one of the few limb-reduced skink lineages in which some of the species have a greater degree of digit reduction in the rear limb than in the front limb.

Key: ANDERSON & LEVITON 1966 have a key to the species of Ophiomorus. 
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  • Bischoff, W. 1981. Ophiomorus punctatissimus - Schlangenskink. In: Böhme,W. (ed.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, Band I., Echsen I. Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Wiesbaden, pp. 366-372
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  • 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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