Leiolopisma mauritiana Günther, 1877

Mauritius giant skink, Mauritian giant skink



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Didosaurus mauritianus Günther, 1877; Dido–saurus mauritianus Günther, 1877


Conservation Status


Last record: c. 1600

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Mauritius, Mascarene Islands


Biology & Ecology




Holotype: BMNH 1965.95



Above: memorial model - Ile aux Aigrettes. Photo by Abu Shawka in 2012. Source: Wikimedia Commons.



Original scientific description:

Günther, A. (1877). Notice of two extinct lizards, formerly inhabiting the Mascarene Islands. Zool. J. Linnean Soc. 13(69): 322-327. [Abstract]


Other references:

Arnold, E. N. (1980). Recently extinct reptile populations from Mauritius and Réunion, Indian Ocean. Journal of Zoology 191(1): 33-47. [Abstract]

Austin, J. J. and Arnold, E. N. (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. [Abstract]

Bour, R., Frétey, T. and Cheke, A.S. 2014. Philibert Marragon (1749–1826) and the Mémoire sur l’Isle de Rodrigue (1795). Bibliotheca Herpetologica 10(2): 5-32.

Cheke, Anthony S. and Hume, Julian Pender. (2008). Lost land of the Dodo. London: T & AD Poyser. 464 pp.

Cole, N. 2021. Leiolopisma mauritiana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T11410A166839636. Accessed on 12 June 2022.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals: A Natural History of Vanished Species. New York, N.Y.: The Viking Press.

Greer, Alan E. (1976). On the evolution of the giant Cape Verde scincid lizard Macroscincus coctei. Journal of Natural History 10(6): 691-712.

Griffiths, C.J., Hansen, D.M., Jones, C.G., Zuël, N. and Harris, S. 2011. Resurrecting extinct interactions with extant substitutes. Current Biology 21: 762-765.

Heinen, J.H., van Loon, E.E., Hansen, D.M. and Kissling, W.D. 2018. Extinction-driven changes in frugivore communities on oceanic islands. Ecography 41: 1245-1255.

Regalado, Pedro Galán. (2015). Los Anfibios y Reptiles Extinguidos: Herpetofauna Desaparecida Desde el Año 1500. Monografías de la Universidade da Coruña 155: 1-509.

Robert Hoffstetter: Sur les Scincidae fossiles : II - Formes subfossiles de l'Ile Maurice. Bull. Mus. nat. Hist. nat. Paris ;séries 2; 17(1), 1945: 80-86

Vinson, Jean and Vinson, Jean-Michel. (1969). The saurian fauna of the Mascarene Islands. Bull. Mauritius Inst. 6: 203-320.

Robert Hoffstetter: Les reptiles subfossiles de l'île Maurice: Les Scincidae, Vol 1, Annales de Paléontologie 35, 1949:45-72.

Tirvengadum, D. D. and Bour, R. (1985). Checklist of the herpetofauna of the Mascarene Islands. Atoll. Res. Bull. 292: 49-60.

Wood, J.R., Alcover, J.A., Blackburn, T.M., Bover, P., Duncan, R.P., Hume, J.P., Louys, J., Meijer, H.J., Rando, J.C. and Wilmshurst, J.M. 2017. Island extinctions: processes, patterns, and potential for ecosystem restoration. Environmental Conservation 44(4): 348-358.

World Conservation Monitoring Centre. (1996). Leiolopisma mauritiana. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. ( Downloaded on 29 June 2011.


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