Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Small slender lizard, maximum recorded SVL = 41 mm; tail relatively long (longer than SVL). Head small; snout short, round; legs small.Three supralabials anterior to eye; 18 scales around mid-body. Dorsum golden brown; a dark dorsolateral stripe extends from the snout, through the eye, above the limbs onto the side of the tail, edged toward the mid-back with a light golden stripe. Mid-dorsum freckled with fine dark specks. Venter grayish.

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Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs in northern and central Israel, northern and western Jordan, and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt (population in the southern Sinai Peninsula, and a single record from northeastern Sinai). There is an unconfirmed record from southern Lebanon (not mapped here). There are currently no records from Syria, although it is possible that the species is present in this country. It is found up to around 1,600 m asl (Sinai).
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Range Description

This species ranges from southern Slovakia and Hungary, through most of Serbia, the most eastern parts of continental Croatia (and newly discovered on Papuk Mountain in the central part of Croatia [Dušan Jelić, in press]), southern Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania (lowland areas), Greece (including many Ionian and Aegean islands) and Turkey (western and central ). There is a single record from eastern Bosnia Herzegovina. Populations of the species in Hungary and southern Slovakia are very fragmented. Records from Cyprus refer to Ablepharus budaki. It is found up to 2,000m asl (in Turkey).
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Distribution in Egypt

The holotype collected by Riippell came from Sinai (Schmidtler 1997). Recorded from the high mountains of South Sinai in areas above 500 m. Specifically, animals have been observed and collected from the St. Katherine area, Wadi El Arbein, Wadi El Nasb, and Wadi Feiran, where a half-digested animal was found in the stomach of a Platyceps sinai snake. Barbour (1914) reports two Ablepharus specimens from "Wadi Gharbeh," supposedly in South Sinai. Other obscure localities mentioned in this paper have eventually been shown to be in Jordan (Hoofien 1965). Baha El Din (1992) reported a single specimen from El Quseima. This is the only known record from North Sinai. The population inhabiting the South Sinai mountains represents a relict apparendy isolated from the main range of the species further north and east.

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Global Distribution

Sinai, Israel, and Palestine.

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Continent: Africa Near-East Europe
Distribution: Greece (Aegean islands: Paros, Antiparos, Despotiko, Strongylo, Tourlos, Preza, Glaropunta, Panteronisi, Cyprus, Rhodos, Peloponnes, Syphnos, Corfu, Lesbos, Samos, Samothraki, Milos, Tinos),  Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Albania, Czechoslovakia European Soviet Union (Caucasus) Turkey [Fuhn 1970, Okan 1996] Syria, Transjordan, Iraq ?, Egypt (Sinai), Israel, Jordan, Lebanon  fabichi: Mikronisi, Karpathos, Kasos, and Armathia islands)(the latter in some texts erroneously referred to as “Amathia ”)  kitaibelii: Greece and Aegean islands, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Israel, Transjordania, Irak, and Sinai  fitzingeri: Slovakia, N Serbia, Hungary, Greece (Corfu = Corfou)  rueppellii: Jordan [species not recognized any more]  stepaneki: Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is found in the leaf litter of woodland, forested and shrubby humid areas. It is highly localised at specific sites with dense vegetation. In Egypt, it is found in vegetation surrounding oasis and similar microhabitats. It can be found in rural gardens and traditionally cultivated areas. It is an egg-laying species.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in dry areas including south facing slopes, meadows, scrubland and clearings in woodland (both deciduous and pine). It is generally found close to ground cover such as leaf-litter, dead wood, stones, bushes and other vegetation. The female lays a clutch of two to four eggs.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Inhabits densely vegetated microhabitats in oasis and mountain orchards, where it scurries under leaf litter and stones. Shy and rather difficult to detect. In South Sinai found above 500 m, up to 1,600 m but probably higher.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Behaviour

Diurnal and ground dwelling.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2006

Assessor/s
Werner, Y., Disi, M., Mousa Disi, A.M., Crochet, P-A. & El Din, S.B.

Reviewer/s
Stuart, S.N. & Cox, N. (Global Reptile Assessment)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Wolfgang Böhme, Petros Lymberakis, Rastko Ajtic, Varol Tok, Ismail H. Ugurtas, Murat Sevinç, Pierre-André Crochet, Idriz Haxhiu, Bogoljub Sterijovski, László Krecsák, Jelka Crnobrnja Isailovic, Yakup Kaska, Yusuf Kumlutaş, Aziz Avci, Dušan Jelić

Reviewer/s
Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Reptile Assessment)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

History
  • 2006
    Least Concern
    (IUCN 2006)
  • 2006
    Least Concern
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Status in Egypt

Scarce and very localized. Highly susceptible to habitat alteration. Loss of old orchards or the clearing of wild vegetation within them could severely reduce the population of this species. In Egypt it is Near Threatened.

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Least Concern

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Population

Population
It is a locally uncommon species.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Population

Population
It is generally a common species, but it is notably rarer at the edges of its range.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There appear to be no major threats to this species. There is some localised habitat loss through general deforestation. On Sinai, the loss of traditionally farmed orchards could have a negative impact.
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Major Threats
This species is threatened by forest fires in Turkey. Overall, there appear to be no major threats to this species. In parts of its European range the species is threatened by afforestation, deforestation and conversion of suitable habitat to agricultural, forestry or industrial use (Gasc 1997; CoE, 2003).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is present in protected areas in Jordan, Israel and Egypt. It is protected by national legislation in Israel. There is a need for further research into the distribution range and taxonomy of this species (there may be two species present in Jordan).
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Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention, and on Annex IV of the European Union Habitats Directive. It occurs in a number of protected areas. Further taxonomic studies are needed for a number of populations of this species.
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Wikipedia

Ablepharus rueppellii

Ablepharus rueppellii, or Rüppell's snake-eyed skink, is a species of skink found in the Middle East. It was formerly considered a subspecies of Ablepharus kitaibelii, but has since been distinguished. It is possible that what is currently recognized as this species is actually two distinct species.

Range[edit]

It is found throughout north and central Israel, western Jordan, and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. There has also been one unconfirmed sighting in southern Lebanon. It is also possible that it lives in Syria, though this is also unconfirmed. In the areas where it can be found, it is generally uncommon. It is found in the leaf litter of forested or shrubby areas, and in Egypt it is usually found near oases. It is highly localized in densely vegetated areas.

In Israel the species is common and can be found in cities. It is one of the few reptiles capable of living in areas afforested with Aleppo pine (these are very widespread in Israel).

Rüppell's snake-eyed skink (young), Judaean Mountains 2014

Possible threats[edit]

There are few threats to the species as a whole, though deforestation and loss of traditionally farmed orchards may affect specific populations. The species is protected by legislation in Israel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Werner, Y., Disi, M., Mousa Disi, A.M., Crochet, P-A. & El Din, S.B. (2008). Ablepharus rueppellii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  • Gray, J.E. 1839. Catalogue of the slender-tongued saurians, with descriptions of many new genera and species. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (1)2: 331–337 (287–293)
  • Lymberakis, P. and Kalionzopoulou, A. 2003. Additions to the herpetofauna of Syria. Zoology in the Middle East 29: 33–39.
  • Schmidtler, J.F. 1997. Die Ablepharus kitaibelii - Gruppe in Süd-Anatolien und benachbarten Gebieten (Squamata: Sauria: Scinidae). Herpetozoa 10(1/2):35-63
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Ablepharus kitaibelii

Ablepharus kitaibelii!<-- This template has to be "warmed up" before it can be used, for some reason -->

Eukaryota

Ablepharus kitaibelii, the European copper skink, Juniper skink or European Snake-eyed skink, is a species of lizards from the skink family (Scincidae).

This small, slender lizard grows up to 15 cm long, and lives in Eastern Europe and southwestern Asia. It is native to Greece (including the Aegean Islands), Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, the former Yugoslavia, Hungary, Albania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Caucasus, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt and possibly Iraq. The fitzingeri subspecies is known from Slovakia, Hungary, Greece and the island of Corfu. The stepaneki subspecies is known from Bulgaria and Romania.

It is a shy species, which lives under stones and leaves in dry places, such as south slopes, fields, and meadows. The skin is bronze coloured, with dark sides. The eyelids are immovable, in contrast to many other skinks.

A. kitaibelii is active during twilight, and hunts for insects and small snails. It is a typical ground dweller, and dislikes climbing. The species is protected. Many former subspecies have been promoted to categorization as species, such as Ablepharus rueppellii and Ablepharus budaki.

References

  1. ^ Böhme, W., Lymberakis, P., Ajtic, R., Tok, V., Ugurtas, I., Sevinç, M., Crochet, P.-A., Haxhiu, I., Sterijovski, B. & Krecsák, L. (2006). Ablepharus kitaibelii. In: IUCN 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 18 February 2009.
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