The island of Sri Lanka has an amazingly diverse and highly endemic Scincid assemblage. However although the family Scincidae with 30 species accounts for a considerable portion of the tetrapod reptiles in the country, only very little research has been done on the taxonomy, ecology and distribution of these tetrapod reptiles. The lack of clearly illustrated publications, the similarity in their overall colour patterns and the complex identification characters have resulted in field identification often being confused. All species in Sri Lanka are either terrestrial or fossorial in habit except for Dasia heliana, which is mostly sub-arboreal. Of the Sri Lankan Scincidae, the nine relict taxa belonging to Acontianinae (genera Chalsidospes and Nessia) are the most unique to the island as their closest relatives inhabit South Africa and Madagascar but not the adjacent Indian sub-continent.
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