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Global diversity of lizards in freshwater (Reptilia: Lacertilia)

Authors:Aaron M. Bauer and Todd Jackman

Abstract:No lizards are strictly aquatic, but at least 73 species in 11 different families can be considered to regularly utilize freshwater habitats. There are no aquatic lizards in the Nearctic or Palearctic regions, whereas the Neotropics, Southeast Asia, and the Indo-Australian Archipelago support the greatest diversity of freshwater forms, particularly in the families Gymnophthalmidae, Scincidae and Varanidae. A number of larger aquatic lizards are harvested for food and for the reptile skin trade and several are CITES listed.

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