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Eremiascincus - Greer, 1979

Pronunciation: EH-re-MEE-ah-SKINK-uss
 Etymology: 'desert skink'.1

Taxonomic notes:

In 2009, a number of species were moved from Glaphyromorphus to Eremiascincus.2

Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 10 out of 11 Australian species
Live-bearing - 1 out of 11 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: rusty skink (Eremiascincus rubiginosus) at cm
 Longest Australian species: broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii) at 11.5 cm
Number of Australian species: 11

brown-sided bar-lipped skink (Eremiascincus brongersmai)
North Kimberley, Western Australia
Photo © Henry Cook
brown-sided bar-lipped skink (Eremiascincus brongersmai) distribution range map Eremiascincus brongersmai
Brown-sided bar-lipped skink
Year described
(Storr 1972)

orange-sided bar-lipped skink (Eremiascincus douglasi)
Humpty Doo, Northern Territory
Photo © Rob Valentic
orange-sided bar-lipped skink (Eremiascincus douglasi) distribution range map Eremiascincus douglasi
Orange-sided bar-lipped skink
Year described
(Storr 1967)

eastern narrow-banded skink (Eremiascincus fasciolatus)
Dingo region, Queensland
Photo © Brad Maryan
eastern narrow-banded skink (Eremiascincus fasciolatus) distribution range map Eremiascincus fasciolatus
Eastern narrow-banded skink
Year described
(Günther 1867)

northern narrow–banded skink (Eremiascincus intermedius)
Tanami Desert, Northern Territory
Photo © Brendan Schembri
northern narrow–banded skink (Eremiascincus intermedius) distribution range map Eremiascincus intermedius
Northern narrow–banded skink
Year described
Sternfeld 1919
A medium-sized (snout-vent length up to 88.5 mm), slender, narrow-banded Eremiascincus usually having 7 undivided supralabial scales; a single infralabial in broad contact with the postmental scale (rarely 2); scales on top of the fourth toe in single rows with transverse sutures for at least distal third of digit; 20–29 subdigital lamellae under fourth toe, deeply grooved (usually for more than half of digit), basally divided, often bluntly keeled or callused, keels ending in a mucro; plantar scales 10–17, slightly raised; 30–36 scales ordered around midbody; head small and snout somewhat depressed; ear opening small and subcircular; dorsum with keels posteriorly and tail with ridged scales; coloration pattern comprises a banded dorsum (type b) with 6–16 narrow bands between neck and attachment of hind limbs and up to 42 perfectly transverse dark bands (type b) on the tail.

northern bar-lipped skink (Eremiascincus isolepis)
Western Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
northern bar-lipped skink (Eremiascincus isolepis) distribution range map Eremiascincus isolepis
Northern bar-lipped skink
Year described
(Boulenger 1887)

mosaic desert skink (Eremiascincus musivus)
Dampier, Western Australia
Photo © Brad Maryan
mosaic desert skink (Eremiascincus musivus) distribution range map Eremiascincus musivus
Mosaic desert skink
Year described
Mecke, Doughty & Donnellan 2009

western narrow-banded skink (Eremiascincus pallidus)
Wickham area, Western Australia
Photo © Jordan Vos
western narrow-banded skink (Eremiascincus pallidus) distribution range map Eremiascincus pallidus
Western narrow-banded skink
Year described
Günther 1875
A medium-sized (snout-vent length up to 77 mm), slender narrow-banded Eremiascincus having 6– 8 undivided supralabials (usually 7); one infralabial in broad contact with the postmental scale (rarely 2); scales on top of the fourth toe in single rows with transverse sutures; 20–31 subdigital lamellae in one row (not grooved), un- or only feebly keeled; plantar scales 14–18, smooth; 30–36 scale rows at mid-body; head small and snout depressed; ear opening small and circular; dorsum with keels posteriorly and tail with ridged scales; coloration pattern usually comprises 32–37 perfectly transverse dark narrow bands (type b, rarely a) on the tail; body usually without banding or at most faint bands on side of body; pale.

lowlands bar-lipped skink (Eremiascincus pardalis)
Pormpuraaw, Queensland
Photo © Anders Zimny
lowlands bar-lipped skink (Eremiascincus pardalis) distribution range map Eremiascincus pardalis
Lowlands bar-lipped skink
Year described
(Macleay 1877)

ghost skink (Eremiascincus phantasmus)
Simpson Desert, Queensland
Photo © Henry Cook
ghost skink (Eremiascincus phantasmus) distribution range map Eremiascincus phantasmus
Ghost skink
Year described
Meke, Doughty & Donnellan 2013
A medium to large-sized (snout-vent length up to 92.5 mm), slender narrow-banded Eremiascincus having 8–9 undivided supralabials (usually 8); 2 infralabials usually in broad contact with the postmental scale; 20–30 subdigital lamellae, at least basally in two rows and at least basally keeled; plantar scales 12–18, smooth; 28–33 scale rows at mid-body; head small, snout depressed, and ear opening small and circular; dorsum with keels posteriorly and tail often with strong ridges; coloration pattern usually comprises 29–39 perfectly transverse narrow, often very pale bands on the tail (type a, b); body without bands or with indication of light narrow bands (type a, b) dorsally or more frequently on sides of body, usually pale, without any indication of banding visible.

broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii)
Winninowie, South Australia
Photo © Henry Cook
broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii) distribution range map Eremiascincus richardsonii
Broad-banded sand-swimmer
Year described
(J.E. Gray 1845)

No thumbnail available rusty skink (Eremiascincus rubiginosus) distribution range map Eremiascincus rubiginosus
Rusty skink
Year described
Mecke & Doughty 2018

  1. Greer, A.E. (1979). Eremiascincus, a new generic name for some Australian sand swimming skinks (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Records of the Australian Museum, 32(7):321-338.
  2. Mecke, S.; Doughty, P.; & Donnellan, S.C. (2009). A new species of Eremiascincus (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) from the Great Sandy Desert and Pilbara Coast, Western Australia and reassignment of eight species from Glaphyromorphus to Eremiascincus. Zootaxa, 2246:1-20.
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