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Ctenotus
Robust Striped Skink.JPG
Ctenotus robustus, robust striped skink
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Scincidae
Subfamily: Sphenomorphinae
Genus: Ctenotus
Storr, 1964
Species

About 100, see list.

Ctenotus is a genus of skinks (family Scincidae). The genus belongs to a clade in the Sphenomorphus group which contains such genera as Anomalopus and the close relatives Eulamprus and Gnypetoscincus.

Lizards in the genus Ctenotus are commonly called comb-eared skinks, a reference to the scales aligned near the ear. Ctenotus lizards are able to move very quickly, disappearing whilst being observed. They are highly active in their habits, foraging amongst a diverse range of habitat.

The members of the genus Ctenotus are widely distributed, in all states of Australia, and are especially diverse in arid regions and the tropical north, accounting for 10–20% of the lizard species. Around a quarter of lizards found in one area of the Great Sandy Desert are Ctenotus skinks, 11 of the 40 species. A single dune may have up to six species of Ctenotus. The Southwest Australian region contains 23 species. The size ranges from very small to moderately large, being similarly varied in body types from slender to stout. The diversity of forms allows species to occupy different niches, often in the same locality.

Species

Ctenotus is the most diverse reptile genus in Australia, with approximately 100 member species. Identification to the rank of species is regarded as difficult, and the largest lizard genus is also one of the most poorly understood.

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Ctenotus.

  • Storr GM (1964). "Ctenotus, a New Generic Name for a Group of Australian Skinks". Western Australian Naturalist 9 (4): 84-85.
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