16 April 2022

Golden Grass Mabuya - Dhahran Hills

I saw a Golden Grass Mabuya in my garden in Dhahran Hills recently under the garden hedge and took a photo of it with my phone. The lizards were formally known as Mabuya aurata and were generally regarded as three subspecies that were recognized on the basis of colour pattern and number of gular and ventral scales. Mausfeld et al. (2002) partitioned the genus Mabuya into four genera and restricted the application of the name Mabuya to the South American clade of these skinks. Therefore the skinks known formerly as M. aurata are assigned with the generic name Trachylepis. Trachylepis septemtaeniata (Reuss, 1834) is the valid name for the populations, which are characterised by third supraocular shield being in contact with the frontal shield (see diagram) and by pattern of four longitudinal rows of small dark spots on the dorsum (the spots can fuse anteriorly and disappear posteriorly). This species is known from Eritrea, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkmenistan (Moravec et al. (2006).