Species Numbers (as of December  2022)

The tables below give you an idea how many species* of reptiles are known. About 200 species have been described in each of the previous years and therefore the real number changes continuously. See The original descriptions of reptiles (and their subspecies) for a historical analysis. Note also that currently 936 reptile species have a total of 2,158 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
Aug 2016 Oct 2017 July 2018 Aug 2019 Aug 2020 Nov 2021  Dec 2022

Amphisbaenia (amphisbaenians)

168
181
181
184
188
193
196 193 196 195 201 202  201

Sauria (lizards)

5,079
5,461
5,634
5,796
5,987
6145
6,263 6,399 6,512 6,687 6,905 7,144  7,310

Serpentes (snakes)

3,149
3,315
3,378
3,432
3,496
3567
3,619 3,672 3,709 3,789 3,848 3,956  4,038

Testudines (turtles)

313
317
327
328
341
341
346 350 351 353 360 360  363 

Crocodylia (crocodiles)

23
24
25
25
25
25
25 24 24 25 26 27  27

Rhynchocephalia (tuataras)

2
2
2
1
1
1
1 1 1 1 1 1

Reptile species total

8,734
9,300
9,547
9,766
10,038
10,272
10,450 10,639 10,793 11,050 11,341 11,690  11,940

Number of families: As of May 2021 there are 92 families of reptiles (see our taxonomic overview and the phylogenetic tree of squamates for lists). Note that this number is a bit arbitrary, depending on what is called a family (sometimes a subfamily).

Number of genera: As of March 2022 there are 1253 genera of reptiles. See our downloadable spreadsheet for a complete list.

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: 25 Dec 2022