Species Numbers (as of Aug 2015)

The tables below give you an idea how many species* of reptiles are known. More than a 100 species have been described in each of the previous years and therefore the real number changes continuously. See The original descriptions of reptiles for a historical analysis. Note that currently 1085 reptile species have a total of 2516 subspecies. Some authors reject the idea of subspecies and either synonymize them with their parent species or consider them as valid species (e.g. Wallach et al. 2014, Snakes of the World).

Species Numbers by Higher Taxa:

 
Feb 2008
Jan 2011
Feb 2012
Feb 2013
Aug 2014
Aug 2015

Amphisbaenia (amphisbaenians)

168
181
181
184
188
193

Sauria (lizards)

5,079
5,461
5,634
5,796
5,987
6145

Serpentes (snakes)

3,149
3,315
3,378
3,432
3,496
3567

Testudines (turtles)

313
317
327
328
341
341

Crocodylia (crocodiles)

23
24
25
25
25
25

Rhynchocephalia (tuataras)

2
2
2
1
1
1

Reptile species total

8,734
9,300
9,547
9,766
10,038
10,272

Species Numbers by Family or geographic region:

Please search the database for individual families or country name.


* What exactly is a "species"? A species may contain many individuals of different appearance ("variations") but as long as they interbreed they can exchange genetic information and therefore form a genetic continuum. This biological species concept is increasingly challenged by the "evolutionary species concept" which rather considers populations of very similar specimens as species. As a result, many subspecies have been raised to "full species" status and therefore the number of species increases just because of that.

More information on Species concepts (Wikipedia)


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This page is maintained by Peter Uetz. Last updated: 26 Aug 2015