Evolution and systematics

The Gymnopthalmidae were considered part of the family Teiidae throughout most of the twentieth century but are now considered distinct by most practicing herpetologists. The gymnophthalmids are sister group to the teiids, and these two families comprise a group called Teioidea, whose closest relatives are lizards in the family Lacertidae, which is restricted to the Old World.

There are 36 genera (or more depending on the source) in the Gymnopthalmidae and more than 175 species. The family is not well known. New forms are discovered and described regularly, and taxonomic rearrangements undertaken by experts will result in changes in the names and number of genera and species. The most speciose genera are Proctoporus (28 species), Bachia (18 species), Anadia (15 species), Ptycho-glossus (15 species), Leposoma (12 species), and Neusticurus (11 species). These account for about half of all the gymnoph-thalmids described by 2002. Twelve genera are monotypic, containing only one described species. No subfamilies are recognized.

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