Thursday 23 May
Jordan limbless skink (Ophiomorus latastii)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Jordan limbless skink fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Jordan limbless skink description
The Jordan limbless skink (Ophiomorus latasti) is a poorly-known lizard which receives its scientific name from Fernand Lastaste, the French zoologist who discovered this species (2). As in other Ophiomorus species, the body is elongated and cylindrical, and the limbs have been lost entirely as an adaptation to its predominantly subterranean lifestyle (3) (4) (5). The snout of the Jordan limbless skink is blunt and conical, and it has small eyes with moveable lower eyelids (5) (6).Top
Jordan limbless skink biology
During the breeding season, male skinks become aggressive and defensive displays are common, including head bobbing and even combat. The male will often lick the female before mating, and will usually hold the female in a mating grip during copulation. Most skinks lay eggs, with yolk deposits within the egg supplying energy to the developing embryo. Some species lay fairly large clutches of eggs, often in a protective crevice or cavity with high humidity (8). Although some species of skink guard their eggs until they hatch, most abandon them (8).
Like other skinks, the Jordan limbless skink is likely to rely on chemical and visual cues to communicate (8).Top
Jordan limbless skink range
The range of the Jordan limbless skink includes western Jordan, southwest Syria and central and northern Israel. There is also a possibility that a population exists within Lebanon (1).Top
Jordan limbless skink habitatTop
Jordan limbless skink status
The Jordan limbless skink is classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Jordan limbless skink threats
Threats to the Jordan limbless skink are not well known, and the lack of information on this species makes its conservation status difficult to determine. However, this species is believed to be locally threatened in northern Jordan due to the spread of agriculture in the region (1).Top
Jordan limbless skink conservation
There are populations of the Jordan limbless skink within the Wadi Al Wawjib protected area in Jordan. In Israel, this species is protected under national legislation (1). No other specific conservation methods are currently thought to be in place for this poorly-known skink.Top
Find out more
Find out more about reptile conservation:
International Reptile Conservation Foundation:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
- A major grouping of animals that includes crustaceans, insects and arachnids. All arthropods have paired jointed limbs and a hard external skeleton (exoskeleton)
- Used to describe an animal that is adapted to living underground, typically one that digs burrows.
- Living underground, in caves or groundwater.
IUCN Red List (November, 2011)
- Beolens, B., Watkins, M. and Grayson, M. (2011) The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
- Fisher, W.B. (1968) The Cambridge History of Iran. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- Disi, A.M. (2011) Review of the lizard fauna of Jordan. Zoology in the Middle East, 3: 90-102.
- Poulakakis, N., Pakaki, V., Mylonas, M. and Lymberakis, P. (2008) Molecular phylogeny of the Greek legless skink Ophiomorus punctatissimus (Squamata: Scincidae): The impact of the Mid-Aegean trench in its phylogeography. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 47: 396-402.
- Ananjeva, N.B., Orlov, N.L., Khalikov, R.G., Darevsky, I.S., Ryabov, S.A. and Barabanov, A.V. (2006) The Reptiles of Northern Eurasia. Pensoft Publishers, Sofia, Bulgaria.
- Pianka, E.R. and Vitt, L.J. (2003) Lizards. University of California Press, California.
- Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.