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Trachylepis capensis (GRAY, 1831)

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Higher TaxaScincidae, Mabuyinae (Mabuyini), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Cape Skink, Cape Three-lined Skink 
SynonymTiliqua capensis GRAY 1831
Scincus trivittatus CUVIER 1829 (not HARDWICKE & GRAY)
Herinia capensis — GRAY 1839
Mabuya capensis — FITZSIMONS 1943: 217
Mabuya capensis — AUERBACH 1987: 110
Mabuya capensis — GREER et al. 2000
Euprepis capensis — MAUSFELD et al. 2002
Mabuya capensis — LEPTIEN 2003
Trachylepis capensis — BAUER 2003
Trachylepis capensis — SCHLEICHER 2020 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, (except Namib desert), Botswana, Zimbabwe (relict populations on Inynaga Mountains), Zambia (Liuwa Plain)

Type locality: Cape of Good Hope  
ReproductionOvoviviparous and oviparous (Shine 1985) 
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 1241 (2779), Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, collected J. Verreaux; 2933 (2778), 2934 (2780), 2935 (2781), 2936 (2782), 2937 (2784), 2937A, 2937B, 7073 (2783), Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, collected P.A. Delalande; 2938 (2787), Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, collected J. Quoy & P. Gaimard. Trachylepis capensis is based on Scincus trivittatus Cuvier, 1829. It is not clear whether Gray also had specimens in British collections to examine. Also given as BMNH XV.112.g in older versions of BMNH online catalog (which is the type of “Gray’s Tiliqua” fide Glenn Shea, pers. comm., Feb 2019). 
CommentSynonymy: Scincus trilineatus Schneider 1801 at least in part represents an error for Scincus trivittatus sensu Cuvier (1829), a synonym of Mabuya capensis (Gray 181), fide Bauer et al. 200. Gray (1845) tentatively placed the name in the synonymy of Plestiodon laticeps, although this interpretation was not followed by Boulenger (1887) or Taylor (195). 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bates, M. F. 1988. Life History Note: Mabuya capensis: Avian Predation. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (34): 48-48 - get paper here
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bauer, A.M., and Branch, W.R. 2003. The herpetofauna of the Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. Herpetological Natural History 8: 111-160 [2001]
  • Bauer, A.M., Shea, G.M., and Günther, R. 2003. An annotated catalogue of the types of scincid lizards (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) in the collection of the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (ZMB). Zoologische Reihe. Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin 79:253-321 - get paper here
  • Branch W. R.; Haagner, G.V. 1993. The skink Mabuya ivensii: new records from Zambia and Zaire, and the status of the subspecies septemlineata Laurent 1964 and the genus Lubuya Horton. Amphibia-Reptilia 14 (2): 105-115 - get paper here
  • Branch, W. R. 1988. Life History Note: Mabuya capensis: Reproduction. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (35): 38-38 - get paper here
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Branch,W.R. 1988. Field Guide to the snakes and other reptiles of southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, 328 pp.
  • Broadley, D.G. 1962. On some reptile collections from the North-Western and North-Eastern Districts of Southern Rhodesia 1958-1961, with descriptions of four new lizards. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. South. Rhodesia 26 (B): 787-843
  • Broadley, D.G. 2000. A review of the genus Mabuya in southeastern Africa (Sauria: Scincidae). African Journal of Herpetology, 49 (2): 87-110 - get paper here
  • Conradie, Werner; Brain Reeves, Sandile Mdoko, Lwandiso Pamla, Oyama Gxabhu 2020. Herpetological survey of the Ongeluksnek (Malekgalonyane) Nature Reserve on the foothills of the Drakensberg, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Herpetology Notes 13: 717-730 - get paper here
  • Conradie, Werner; Brian Reeves , Neil Brown, & Jan A. Venter 2016. Herpetofauna of the Oviston, Commando Drift and Tsolwana nature reserves in the arid interior of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Indago 32: 81-98 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V.F. 1943. The lizards of South Africa. Transvaal Museum Memoir No.1 (Pretoria), 528 pp.
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. A synopsis of the species of Class Reptilia. In: Griffith, E & E. Pidgeon: The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organisation by the Baron Cuvier with additional descriptions of all the species hither named, and of many before noticed [V Whittaker, Treacher and Co., London: 481 + 110 pp. [1830]
  • Greer, A.E., Arnold, C. & Arnold, E.N. 2000. The systematic significance of the number of presacral vertebrae in the scincid lizard genus Mabuya. Amphibia-Reptilia 21 (1): 121-126 - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Leptien, R. 2003. Namibia - auf der Suche nach dem Wüstenchamäleon. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (44): 42-46 - get paper here
  • Leptien, Rolf 2018. Zwischen Brandberg und den Dünen Swakopmunds – auf der Suche nach dem Palmatogecko. Draco 16 (64): 68-72 [2015] - get paper here
  • MASTERSON, G.P.R, KOEN, D, DU TOIT, L, & HORN, N. 2010. Size-class distributions for four lizard species found in Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa. African Herp News (51): 4-6 - get paper here
  • Mausfeld,P.; Vences, M. Schmitz, A. & Veith, M. 2000. First data on the molecular phylogeography of scincid lizards of the genus Mabuya. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 17 (1): 11-14 - get paper here
  • Mouton, P. le Fras N. & Wyk, Johannes H. van 1993. Reptile fauna of the Katse Dam catchment area and a biogeographical assessment of species composition in the Lesotho Highlands. Koedoe (Pretoria), 36 (1): 67-78. - get paper here
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2015. Reptilien Namibias. Namibia Scientific  Society, 276 pp.
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2020. Reptiles of Namibia. Kuiseb Publishers, Windhoek, Namibia, 271 pp.
  • WITBERG, M. 2012. The herpetofauna of Schaapen Island, Langebaan, South Africa. African Herp News (56): 11-16 - get paper here
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