Species Numbers (as of Feb 2014)

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.

Species Numbers by Higher Taxa:

 
Feb 2008
Jan 2011
Feb 2012
Feb 2013
Feb 2014

Amphisbaenia (amphisbaenians)

168
181
181
184
184

Sauria (lizards)

5,079
5,461
5,634
5,796
5,914

Serpentes (snakes)

3,149
3,315
3,378
3,432
3,458

Testudines (turtles)

313
317
327
328
327

Crocodylia (crocodiles)

23
24
25
25
25

Rhynchocephalia (tuataras)

2
2
2
1
1

Reptile species total

8,734
9,300
9,547
9,766
9,909

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)


BACK to the REPTILE DATABASE Home Page
This page is maintained by Peter Uetz. Last updated: 1 Feb 2014