Lygosominae is the largest subfamily of skinks in the family Scincidae. The subfamily can be divided into a number of genus groups. If the rarely used taxonomic rank of infrafamily is employed, the genus groups would be designated as such, but such a move would require a formal description according to the ICZN standards.[1]

Unidentified Eutropis species from Wayanad (Kerala, India)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Subfamily: Lygosominae
Mittleman, 1952


Several Lygosominae genera were notorious "wastebin taxa" in the past, with scientists assigning more or less closely related species to them in a haphazard fashion and without verifying that the new species were close relatives of the genera's type species. What was once placed in Lygosoma, for example, is now divided among some 15 genera, not all in this subfamily. Similarly, Mabuya and Sphenomorphus are having species moved elsewhere.[2]

Now placed elsewhereEdit

Egernia group
now Subfamily Egerniinae
Eugongylus group
now Subfamily Eugongylinae
Mabuya group
now Subfamily Mabuyinae
  • Chioninia – Cape Verde mabuyas (formerly in Mabuya)
  • Dasia — Southeast Asian tree skinks, including Apterygodon (now considered to be part of Dasia)
  • Eumecia — Central African elongated skinks [3]
  • Eutropis – Asian (formerly in Mabuya)
  • Heremites — Mediterranean (North Africa and Middle Eastern species) [3]
  • Mabuya – American mabuyas
  • Toenayar — composed of a single species in India/Indochina [3]
  • Trachylepis – Afro-Malagasy mabuyas (formerly in Mabuya)
Sphenomorphus group
now in subfamily Sphenomorphinae

Incertae sedis and obsolete generaEdit


  1. ^ Austin JJ, Arnold EN (2006). "Using ancient and recent DNA to explore relationships of extinct and endangered Leiolopisma skinks (Reptilia: Scincidae) in the Mascarene islands". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 39 (2): 503–511. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.12.011. PMID 16473026.
  2. ^ a b Shea GM, Michels JP (2008). "A replacement name for Sphenomorphus keiensis (Kopstein, 1926) from the southeastern Moluccas, Indonesia (Reptilia: Squamata: Scincidae) with a redescription of the species" (PDF). Zoologische Mededelingen. 82 (52): 737–747.
  3. ^ a b c Karin, Benjamin R.; Metallinou, Margarita; Weinell, Jeffrey L.; Jackman, Todd R.; Bauer, Aaron M. (2016-09-01). "Resolving the higher-order phylogenetic relationships of the circumtropical Mabuya group (Squamata: Scincidae): An out-of-Asia diversification". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 102: 220–232. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.05.033. PMID 27246101.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Linkem, Charles W.; Diesmos, Arvin C.; Brown, Rafe M. (2011-12-01). "Molecular systematics of the Philippine forest skinks (Squamata: Scincidae: Sphenomorphus): testing morphological hypotheses of interspecific relationships". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 163 (4): 1217–1243. doi:10.1111/j.1096-3642.2011.00747.x. ISSN 1096-3642.