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Snake-eyed skinks
Cryptoblepharus - Wiegmann, 1834

Pronunciation: KRIP-toe-BLEFF-ah-russ
Etymology: 'hidden eyelid', referring to the fused eyelids.

Taxonomic notes:

A major and much-needed revision of the genus was undertaken in 2007 by Paul Horner of the Northern Territory Museum.1 This has resulted in the following changes:

Original species Split into
Cryptoblepharus carnabyi Storr, 1976. Synonym for Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus
Cryptoblepharus egeriae Blue-tailed snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae) - Christmas Island
Cryptoblepharus fuhni Fuhn's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus fuhni)
Cryptoblepharus litoralis Arafura snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus gurrmul) - islands off the north-east Arnhem Land coast
Coastal snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus litoralis)
Cryptoblepharus megastictus Dappled snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus daedalos)
Juno's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus juno)
Blotched snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus megastictus)
Spangled snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus wulbu)
Agile snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus zoticus)
Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus Inland snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus australis)
Buchanan's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus buchananii)
Swanson's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus cygnatus)
Noble snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus exochus)
Mertens' snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus mertensi)
Metallic snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus metallicus)
Pale snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus ochrus)
Ragged snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus pannosus)
Péron's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus)
Tawny snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus ruber)
Pygmy snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus tytthos)
Russet snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus ustulatus)
Cryptoblepharus virgatus Adams' snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus adamsi)
Elegant snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus pulcher)
Wall skink (Cryptoblepharus virgatus)

Notes: Eye covered by transparent, immoveable scale, much like a snake (hence the common name of the genus). Five fingers and five toes. Tree- or rock-dwellers. 24 species in Australia. 30 species in the South-west indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific regions.
Sexually dimorphic, with males being smaller than females.
Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 24 out of 24 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: pygmy snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus tytthos) at 3 cm
 Longest Australian species: coastal snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus litoralis) at 5.5 cm
Number of Australian species: 24
 

Adams' snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus adamsi)
Blencoe Falls, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Adams' snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus adamsi) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus adamsi
Adams' snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 50 paravertebral scales; 24 midbody scale rows; callused, pale, ovate plantar scales "moderately broad, ragged-edged, pale dorsolateral stripes."1

Inland snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus australis)
Mt Isa, Queensland
Photo © Mark Sanders
Inland snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus australis) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus australis
Inland snake-eyed skink
Year described
(Sternfeld 1918)
Description
Usually having: 6 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; smooth subdigital lamellae; immaculate, acute plantar scales. "greyish, longitudinally aligned body pattern."1

Buchanan's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus buchananii)
Newman region, Western Australia
Photo © Jordan Vos
Buchanan's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus buchananii) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus buchananii
Buchanan's snake-eyed skink
Year described
Gray 1838
Description
Usually having: 6 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 52 paravertebral scales; 9 smooth subdigital lamellae under the fourth toe; rounded, usually callused plantar scales. "greyish, longitudinally aligned body pattern."1

Swanson's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus cygnatus)
Darwin, Northern Territory
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Swanson's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus cygnatus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus cygnatus
Swanson's snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 6 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; callused subdigital lamellae; rounded, plain plantar scales. "greyish, longitudinally aligned body pattern."1

dappled snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus daedalos)
Gregory National Park, Northern Territory
Photo © Aaron Fenner
dappled snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus daedalos) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus daedalos
Dappled snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 6 supraciliary scales; 26 midbody scale rows; 48 paravertebral scales; 20 subdigital lamellae under fourth toe; 10 palmar scales; 5 plantar scales; 2 post-temporal scales; pale, ovate plantar scales. "reddish, randomly speckled or blotched body pattern."1

blue-tailed snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae)
Christmas Island
Photo © Hal Cogger
blue-tailed snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus egeriae
Blue-tailed snake-eyed skink
Year described
(Boulenger 1889)
Description

noble snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus exochus)
Point Spring, Western Australia
Photo © Ray Lloyd
noble snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus exochus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus exochus
Noble snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 5 paravertebral scales; 10 palmar scales; 12 plantar scales; 16 fourth finger subdigital lamellae; 20 fourth toe subdigital lamellae; 15 fourth toe supradigital scales; pale, acute plantar scales; smooth subdigital lamellae; usually 2+2 post-temporal scales. "very narrow pale laterodorsal stripes."1

Fuhn's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus fuhni)
Cape Melville, Queensland
Photo © Eric Vanderduys
Fuhn's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus fuhni) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus fuhni
Fuhn's snake-eyed skink
Year described
Covacevich & Ingram 1978
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 45 paravertebral scale; 21 darkly callused fourth toe subdigital lamellae; rounded, dark pigmented plantar scales. "blackish ground colour with contrasting narrow, discontinuous pale dorsolateral stripes."1

Arafura snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus gurrmul)
Templar Island, Northern Territory
Photo © Lindley McKay
Arafura snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus gurrmul) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus gurrmul
Arafura snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: postnasal scale present; 5 supraciliary scales; 28 midbody scale rows; 55 paravertebral scales; 7 palmar scales; 7 plantar scales; dark, ovate plantar scales.1

Juno's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus juno)
King Leopold Range, Western Australia
Photo © Ray Lloyd
Juno's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus juno) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus juno
Juno's snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 6 supraciliary scales; 26 midbody scale rows; 49 paravertebral scales; 19 subdigital lamellae under fourth toe; nine palmar scales; 12 plantar scales; 3 posttemporal scales. "reddish, randomly speckled or blotched body pattern"1

coastal snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus litoralis)
Cape Hillsborough region, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
coastal snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus litoralis) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus litoralis
Coastal snake-eyed skink
Year described
(Mertens 1958)
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 26 midbody scale rows; 51-57 paravertebral scales; 20-22 fourth toe subdigital lamellae; 9-11 palmar scales; 11-16 plantar scales; smooth to narrowly callused subdigital lamellae; rounded, dark pigmented plantar scales. Postnasal scales absent.1

blotched snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus megastictus)
North Kimberley, Western Australia
Photo © Henry Cook
blotched snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus megastictus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus megastictus
Blotched snake-eyed skink
Year described
Storr 1976
Description
Usually having: 6 supraciliary scales; 26 midbody scale rows; 45 paravertebral scales; 19 subdigital lamellae under fourth toe; 8 palmar scales; 10 plantar scales; pale, ovate plantar scales. "reddish, randomly blotched body pattern."1

Mertens' snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus mertensi)
Roper Bar, Northern Territory
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Mertens' snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus mertensi) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus mertensi
Mertens' snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 49 paravertebral scales; pale, acute plantar scales; weakly keeled subdigital lamellae; usually 2+2 posttemporal scales.1

metallic snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus metallicus)
Wenlock River, Queensland
Photo © Henry Cook
metallic snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus metallicus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus metallicus
Metallic snake-eyed skink
Year described
(Boulenger 1887)
Description
Usually having: 6 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 48 paravertebral scales; smooth subdigital lamellae; rounded, usually callused plantar scales. "greyish, longitudinally aligned body pattern."1

pale snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus ochrus)
Coward Springs Siding, South Australia
Photo © Brad Maryan
pale snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus ochrus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus ochrus
Pale snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales, 24 midbody scale rows, 50 paravertebral scales, 20 fourth toe subdigital lamellae; 3 lenticular scale organs; weakly keeled fourth toe subdigital lamellae; pale, acute plantar scales; usually 3+3 posttemporal scales. "narrow, pale dorsolateral stripes."1

ragged snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus pannosus)
Porcupine Gorge, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
ragged snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus pannosus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus pannosus
Ragged snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 48 paravertebral scales; 10 plantar scales; 16 fourth finger subdigital lamellae; 19 fourth toe subdigital lamellae; strongly keeled subdigital lamellae; pale, acute plantar scales; usually 3+3 posttemporal scales.1

Péron's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus)
Lake Moore, Western Australia
Photo © Ray Lloyd
Péron's snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus
Péron's snake-eyed skink
Year described
(Cocteau 1836)
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 50 paravertebral scales; 9 palmar scales; pale, acute plantar scales; moderately keeled fourth toe subdigital lamellae. "wide pale dorsolateral stripes."1

elegant snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus pulcher)
Brisbane, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
elegant snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus pulcher) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus pulcher
Elegant snake-eyed skink
Year described
(Sternfeld 1918)
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 50 paravertebral scales; plain, rounded, dark pigmented plantar scales. "narrow, pale dorsolateral stripes."1

tawny snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus ruber)
Victoria River District, Northern Territory
Photo © Tom Parkin
tawny snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus ruber) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus ruber
Tawny snake-eyed skink
Year described
Börner & Schüttler 1981
Description
Usually having: 6 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 54 paravertebral scales; smooth subdigital lamellae; rounded, usually callused plantar scales. "greyish, longitudinally aligned body pattern."1

pygmy snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus tytthos)
Broome, Western Australia
Photo © Ray Lloyd
pygmy snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus tytthos) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus tytthos
Pygmy snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 48 paravertebral scales; 11 plantar scales; 15 fourth finger subdigital lamellae; 18 fourth toe subdigital lamellae; strongly keeled fourth toe subdigital lamellae; pale, acute plantar scales. "narrow, obscure, pale dorsolateral stripes."1

russet snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus ustulatus)
Karijini National Park, Western Australia
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
russet snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus ustulatus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus ustulatus
Russet snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 22 midbody scale rows; 46 paravertebral scales; 18 smooth fourth toe subdigital lamellae; 9 palmar scales; 11 plantar scales; rounded, plain plantar scales. "obscure, pale dorsolateral stripes, and reddish, longitudinally aligned body pattern."1

wall skink (Cryptoblepharus virgatus)
Mapoon, Queensland
Photo © Nick Stock
wall skink (Cryptoblepharus virgatus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus virgatus
Wall skink
Year described
(Garman 1901)
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 22 midbody scale rows; 47 paravertebral scales; 8 plantar scales; plain, rounded, pale plantar scales; smooth subdigital lamellae. "continuous, smooth-edged narrow pale dorsolateral stripes; greyish ground colour."1

spangled snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus wulbu)
Mount Borradaile, Northern Territory
Photo © Kaylem Staniforth
spangled snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus wulbu) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus wulbu
Spangled snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 26 midbody scale rows; 39 paravertebral scales; 22 fourth toe subdigital lamellae; 3 lenticular scale organs; pale, ovate plantar scales. "reddish, blotched body pattern".1

agile snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus zoticus)
Western Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
agile snake-eyed skink (Cryptoblepharus zoticus) distribution range map Cryptoblepharus zoticus
Agile snake-eyed skink
Year described
Horner 2007
Description
Usually having: 5 supraciliary scales; 24 midbody scale rows; 45 paravertebral scales; 19 smooth fourth toe subdigital lamellae; 8 palmar scales; 10 plantar scales; rounded, plain plantar scales. "reddish, irregularly speckled body pattern."1

References
  1. Horner, Paul (2007). Systematics of the snake-eyed skinks, Cryptoblepharus Wiegmann (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) - an Australian-based review. The Beagle, Suppl. 3:21-198. - search web for this article
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