Herein, we examine evolutionary relationships of skinks in the genera .
We follow the General Lineage Concept (de Queiroz and Gauthier, 1990; de Queiroz, 1998, 2007), which recognizes species as separately evolving lineages.
There are currently 154 genera and 1,602 species assigned to the Family Scincidae (Uetz and Hošek, 2015, but see Hedges, 2014 for an alternative arrangement).
Several studies have revealed concealed genetic divergence in multiple lineages of skinks from different regions of the world (Daniels et al., 2009; Engelbrecht et al., 2013; Heideman et al., 2011; Portik et al., 2011; Siler et al., 2011).
Although considered controversial, ignored or rejected by subsequent authors (e.g., Pyron et al., 2013; Lambert et al., 2015; Linkem et al., in press), this new subdivision continues to support skinks as a monophyletic group (Hedges, 2014).
Under a modified version of this classification, the genera are allocated to the Subfamily Eugongylinae (Hedges, 2014; Uetz and Hošek, 2015).
Divergence estimates and cryptic speciation patterns of snake-eyed skinks were consistent with previous studies of other savanna vertebrate lineages from the same areas examined in this study.
The family exhibits a wide variety of ecomorphs, but the fossorial/semi-fossorial forms typically have reduced vagility that can facilitate population fragmentation and divergence by historical climatic and geographic processes.
The semi-fossorial, African snake-eyed skink genus was based on morphological characters, including skull morphology, head scalation, and distinctive characters in the lower eyelid (Broadley, 1989; Fuhn, 1969, 1972; Greer, 1974; Perret, 1973, 1975, 1982).
Two mitochondrial () in 25 μL PCRs, with an initial denaturing temperature of 95°C for 2 minutes, followed by denaturation at 95°C for 35 seconds (s), annealing at 50°C for 35 s, and extension at 72°C for 95 s with 4 s added to the extension per cycle for 32 or 34 cycles (for mitochondrial or nuclear genes, respectively).
The PCR amplicons were visualized with a 1.5% agarose gel with SYBRsafe gel stain (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA), and these products were purified with Agencourt AMPure XP magnetic bead solution (Beckman Coulter, Danvers, MA) with the manufacturer’s protocols.