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Xantusia riversiana COPE, 1883

IUCN Red List - Xantusia riversiana - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaXantusiidae (Xantusiinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesXantusia riversiana reticulata SMITH 1946
Xantusia riversiana riversiana COPE 1883 
Common NamesE: Island Night Lizard
riversiana: San Nicolas Night Lizard
reticulata: San Clemente Night Lizard 
SynonymXantusia riversiana COPE 1879: 801 (nom. nud.)
Xantusia riversiana COPE 1883: 29
Xantusia riversiana — BOULENGER 1885: 328
Xantusia riversiana — SMITH 1946: 327
Klauberina riversiana riversiana — SAVAGE 1963
Xantusia riversiana — STEBBINS 1985: 145
Klauberina riversiana — SAVAGE 1957
Xantusia riversiana — CROTHER 2000: 55
Xantusia riversiana — SINCLAIR et al. 2004

Xantusia riversiana reticulata SMITH 1946
Klauberina riversiana reticulata — SAVAGE 1963
Xantusia riversiana reticulata — CROTHER 2000: 55
Xantusia riversiana reticulata — COLLINS & TAGGART 2009 
DistributionUSA (San Clemente, Santa Barbara, San Nicolas Islands off S California)

Type locality: California (fide COPE 1883), but San Nicolas Island, off the California coast (fide Rivers, cited in Stejneger & Barbour 1933).  
TypesHolotype: MVZ 8278, adult (sex unknown), Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
Holotype: USNM 124381, adult (sex unknown) [reticulata] 
CommentX. riversiana (10 –25 g; to 109 mm SVL) is the largest xantusiid species, comparable to many Lepidophyma in that regard,while the remaining species of Xantusia are much smaller (1–4 g; to 70 mm svl).

Habitat: rocks and decomposing plants. 
EtymologyNamed after Mr. Rivers of the University of California. 
  • Adams, Nicole E.; Matthew D. Dean, and Gregory B. Pauly 2018. Morphological Divergence among Populations of Xantusia riversiana, a Night Lizard Endemic to the Channel Islands of California. Copeia 106 (3): 550-562. - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bezy, R. L.; G. C. Gorman, G. A. Adest, and Y. J. Kim 1980. Divergence in the Island Night Lizard Xantusia riversiana (Sauria: Xantusiidae). In: Power, D. M. (cd.)" 1980. The California Islands. Proccedings of a multidisciplinary Symposium. Santa Barbara Nat. Hist. Mus., Santa Barbara
  • 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
  • Brattstrom, B.H. 1952. The Food of the Nightlizards, Genus Xantusia. Copeia 1952 (3). 168-172. - get paper here
  • Collins, J.T. and T. W. Taggart 2009. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Sixth Edition. Center for North American Herpetology, 48 pp.
  • Cope, E.D. 1879. [Prof. Cope spoke at the California Academy of Sciences, Nov. 3] American Naturalist 1879: 801 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1883. Notes on the geographical distribution of batrachia and reptilia in western North America. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 35: 10-35 - get paper here
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Fellers G M; Drost C A 1991. Xantusia riversiana Cope. Island night lizard. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 518: 1-4 - get paper here
  • Fontaine, J., K. Lovich and B. Baldwin 2016. Xantusia riversiana (Island Night Lizard) captive diet. Herpetological Review 47(3): 410-411. - get paper here
  • Goldberg, S.R. & C.R. Bursey 1990. Prevalence of Eimeria noctisauris (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) in the Island Night Lizard, Xantusia riversiana (Xantusiidae) Journal of Herpetology 24 (2): 204-207. - get paper here
  • Goldberg, S.R. & R.L. Bezy 1974. Reproduction in the Island Night Lizard, Xantusia riversiana Herpetologica 30 (4): 350-360. - get paper here
  • GRISMER, L. LEE; KIN ONN CHAN, ROBERT E. LOVICH & JESSE L. GRISMER. 2022. A statistical reanalysis of morphological differentiation among island night lizards (Xantusia riversiana) from the California Channel Islands. Vertebrate Zoology 72: 1–27. - get paper here
  • Jones, L.L. & Lovich, R.E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest. A photographic field guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 568 pp. [review in Reptilia 86: 84] - get paper here
  • Peterson, J. A. & Bezy, Robert L. 1985. The microstructure and evolution of scale surfaces in xantusiid lizards. Herpetologica 41 (3): 298-324. - get paper here
  • Rice, Stephen and Clark, Rulon 2016. Xantusia riversiana (Island Night Lizard) Amelanism. Herpetological Review 47 (4): 675 - get paper here
  • Savage, J. M. 1963. 'Studies on the Lizard Family Xantusiidae IV. The Genera. Contributions in Science, Los Angeles County Museum (71): 1 - 38 - get paper here
  • Savage, Jay M. 1951. Studies on the lizard family Xantusidae, II: Geographical variation in Xantusia riversiana from the Channel Islands of California. J. Washington Acad. Sci. 41 (11): 357-360 - get paper here
  • Savage, Jay M. 1957. Studies on the lizard family Xantusiidae. III. A new genus of Xantusia riversiana Cope, 1883. Zoologica 42 (3): 83-86 - get paper here
  • Sinclair, Elizabeth A.; Robert L. Bezy; Kathryn Bolles; Jose L. Camarillo R.; Keith A. Crandall and Jack W. Sites, Jr. 2004. Testing Species Boundaries in an Ancient Species Complex with Deep Phylogeographic History: Genus Xantusia (Squamata: Xantusiidae). American Naturalist 164 (3): 396-414 - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M. 1946. Handbook of Lizards: Lizards of the United States and of Canada. Comstock, Ithaca, NY, xxii + 557 pp.
  • Smith, Hobart M. 1946. A subspecies of the lizard Xantusia riversiana. J. Washington Acad. Sci. 36 (11): 392-393 - get paper here
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Stejneger, L.H., and T. Barbour. 1933. A Check List of North American Amphibians and Reptiles, third edition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 185 pp. - get paper here
  • Van Denburgh, J. 1919. A Note on Xantusia riversiana Copeia 75: 91-92. - get paper here
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