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Plestiodon japonicus

Basic information
Scientific name Plestiodon japonicus

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ニホントカゲ
Major synonym Eumeces japonicus, Eumeces latiscutatus
Common names Japanese skink, Japanese five-lined skink
Higher taxon Scincidae, Sauria (Lacertilia), Squamata, Reptilia
Natural range Western Japan including several islets.
Habitat Forest, urban area, and so on with much sunshine.
Invasion information
Range in Japan Introduced to and established on Hachijojima, Izu Islands Group. Range in Japan
Origin Eastern and southern part of Kyushu, southwestern Japan, according to mitochondrial DNA sequences.
Date By autumn 2003.
Route unknown.
Impact Potentially: Competition and/or hybridization with an endangered native congener P. latiscutatus.
Regulation in Japan None.
Introduced range in other countries
Reference Notes
  • Kuriyama et al. (2009) Introduction of the Japanese skink Plestiodon japonicus (Scincidae, Squamata), to Hachijojima Island, the Izu Group, Japan. Bull Herpetol Soc Jpn. 2009(2):124-127 (in Japanese)
  • Okamoto & Hikida (2012) A new cryptic species allied to Plestiodon japonicus (Peters, 1864) (Squamata: Scincidae) from eastern Japan, and diagnoses of the new species and two parapatric congeners based on morphology and DNA barcode. Zootaxa. 3436, 1-23.
  • Sengoku et al. (eds.) (1996) The Encyclopedia of Animals in Japan 5, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Chondrichthyes. Heibonsha, Tokyo (in Japanese)
According to a recent taxonomic change, eastern Japan and far eastern Russian populations should be a distinct species P. finitimus. The non-native population on Hachijojima Island belong to P. japonicus sensu stricto.