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Bachia alleni (BARBOUR, 1914)

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae, Bachiinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Antillean Bachia, LaGuaira Bachia, Worm lizard
S: Falsa vibora común, lagartija lombriz 
SynonymBrachypus cuvieri FITZINGER 1826 (nomen nudum)
Chalcides Cuvieri — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 453
Chalcis (Brachypus) cuvieri — WAGLER 1830: 196
Scolcecosaurus cuvieri — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839
Scolecosaurus cuvieri — BOULENGER 1885: 416
Scolecosaurus alleni BARBOUR 1914: 315
Scolecosaurus alleni parviceps BARBOUR 1933: 77
Scolecosaurus cuvieri — BRONGERSMA 1946
Bachia cuvieri — VANZOLINI 1961: 204
Scolecosaurus trinitatis — UNDERWOOD 1962: 94 (part.)
Bachia alleni alleni — THOMAS 1965: 145
Bachia cuvieri — PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970: 80
Bachia alleni — MERTENS 1972
Bachia heteropa alleni — DIXON 1973: 32
Bachia heteropa alleni — JOHN et al. 2012
Bachia alleni — POWELL & HENDERSON 2017
Bachia alleni — MURPHY et al. 2019 
DistributionGrenada and Grenadines.

Type locality: “St. George’s, Grenada.”

cuvieri: Colombia ?, Brazil ?; Type locality: unknown (fide PETERS & DONOSO-BARROS 1970).  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 7793
Holotype: lost (formerly NMW) [cuvieri]
Holotype: MCZ 32345 [parviceps] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A Bachia with (1) prefrontal scales in medial contact; (2) the second supraocular the longest; (3) the frontonasal is pentagonal; (4) four digits on the manus and pes (phalange formulas: manus 2–3–3–2–0, pes 4–4–2–2–0); (5) a band of eight (7–11) hexagonal scales on the dorsum; (6) scales around mid-body 27–31; (7) transverse dorsal rows 38–41; (8) the fifth upper labial may or may not contact the last supraocular; (9) eight rows of gulars; (10) the second pair of chin shields is not in contact; (11) an interparietal scale is present (Murphy et al. 2019) 
CommentSynonymy mostly that of Dixon (1973) and Murphy et al. 2019. SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991 recognize only Bachia heteropa alleni (BARBOUR 1914) as subspecies (besides the nominate form). BAUER & GÜNTHER 1994 list Bachia alleni trinitatis as valid combination. Thomas (1965) considered B. trinitatis to be a subspecies of B. alleni. Later, Donoso-Barros (1968) considered B. marcelae to be a subspecies of B. lineata, retaining B. heteropa and B. alleni as separate species.

Status of Brachypus cuvieri Fitzinger 1826. Both Barbour (1933) and Brongersma (1946) consider this a valid name. However, it is without a type locality, and the holotype is lost. The original description does not provide the detail needed for diagnosing the taxon, and while Duméril and Bibron (1839) attempted to give a more accurate description, it too proved to be in error. Barbour (1933) demonstrated that the redescrip- tion was based on three specimens, each a different species. Both Burt and Burt (1931) and Thomas (1965) suspected that Bachia alleni from Grenada should be a junior synonym of Bachia cuvieri. Thomas refrained from this action pending further evidence. Brachypus cuvieri Fitzinger is a nomen dubium (a name of unknown or doubtful application) fide Murphy et al. 2019.

Status of the Bequia Island Bachia: uncertain but worthy of future investigation; it is the most northern population of B. alleni (Murphy et al. 2019).

Distribution (cuvieri): Distribution in Brazil according to DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839. However, at that time “Colombie” included what is now Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Bachia cuvieri might be a synonym of Scolecosaurus alleni = Bachia heteropa alleni (Barbour 1933 and Dixon 1973). See map in Ribeiro-Júnior et al. 2016: 153 (Fig. 4).

Distribution (alleni): Not on Tobago (Murphy et al. 2019).

Similar species: Bachia alleni has four digits on each limb and usually eight rows of hexagonal scales on the dorsum, two traits that will separate it from Bachia trinitatis (five digits on the manus and usually 10 rows of hexagonal scales). It has prefrontal scales that make medial contact a trait that will separate it from B. heteropa and B. beebei sp. nov. (both lack prefrontal scales). It can be distinguished from B. whitei sp. nov. by the band of hexagonal scales. To separate B. alleni from other former members of the B. heteropa group, see Table 2 in Murphy et al. 2019

Type species: Brachypus cuvieri Fitzinger 1826 is the type species of the genus Scolecosaurus Boulenger 1885:416 (fide Dixon 1973: 14). 
  • Barbour, T. 1933. Notes on Scolecosaurus. Copeia 1933 (2): 74-77 - get paper here
  • Barbour, Thomas 1914. A Contribution to the Zoögeography of the West Indies, with Especial Reference to Amphibians and Reptiles. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy 44 (2): 205-359 - get paper here
  • Bauer, A.M. and R. Günther 1994. An annotated type catalogue of the teiid and microteiid lizards in the Zoological Museum, Berlin (Reptilia: Squamata: Teiidae and Gymnophthalmidae). Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin 70:267-280 - get paper here
  • Bentz, Ehren J.; Mel José Rivera Rodríguez, Rebecca R. John, Robert W. Henderson, and Robert Powell 2011. Population Densities, Activity, Microhabitats, and Thermal Biology of a Unique Crevice- and Litter-dwelling Assemblage of Reptiles on Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Herp. Cons. Biol. 6 (1): 40-50 - get paper here
  • Boos, H.E.A. 1984. The terrestrial reptiles of Monos island. Living World - get paper here
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  • Boulenger, G.A. 1903. Descriptions of new lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (7) 12: 429-435 - get paper here
  • Brongersma, L.D. 1946. Some notes on species of the genera Bachia and Scolecosaurus. Zoologische Mededelingen 26: 237-246 - get paper here
  • Daan, S. & Hillenius,D. 1966. Catalogue of the type specimens of amphibians and reptiles in the Zoological Museum, Amsterdam. Beaufortia 13: 117-144
  • Daudin, Jacques; de Silva, Mark. 2007. An annotated checklist of the amphibians and terrestrial reptiles of the Grenadines with notes on their local natural history and conservation. Applied Herpetology 4 (2):163-175 - get paper here
  • Disi, Ahmad; Zuhair S. Amr, Nashat Hamidan 2014. Diversity, Threats, and Conservation of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Herpetofauna of Jordan. Russ. J. Herpetol. 21 (3): 221-233 - get paper here
  • Dixon, J.R. 1973. A systematic review of the teiid lizards, genus Bachia, with remarks on Heterodactylus and Anotosaura. Misc. Publ. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. 57: 1-47 - get paper here
  • Donoso-Barros, R. 1968. The lizards of Venezuela (checklist and key). Carib. J. Sci. 8 (3-4): 105-122
  • Donoso-Barros, R. and A. Garrido R. 1964. Nuevo Teiidae de Venezuela, Bachia marcelae, nov. sp. Publ. Ocas. Mus. Cienc. Nat., Caracas (Zool.) 8: 1-7
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Esqueda, Luis Felipe, Enrique La Marca, Marco Natera and Pietro Battiston 2001. Noteworthy reptilian state records and a lizard species new to the herpetofauna of Venezuela. Herpetological Review 32 (3):198-200 - get paper here
  • Fitzinger, L. 1826. Neue Classification der Reptilien nach ihren natürlichen Verwandtschaften nebst einer Verwandschafts-Tafel und einem Verzeichnisse der Reptilien-Sammlung des K. K. Zoologischen Museums zu Wien. J. G. Heubner, Wien, 66 pp. - get paper here
  • Garman, S. 1892. On Cophias and Bachia. Bull. Essex Inst. 24: 96-97
  • Gorzula, Stefan & Senaris, J. Celsa 1999. In: Contribution to the herpetofauna of the Venezuelan Guayana. I: a data base. Scientia Guaianae, Caracas, No. 8 [1998], 269+ pp.; ISBN 980-6020-48-0
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  • Johnson, M.L. 1946. Herpetological Notes from Trinidad. Copeia 1946 (2): 108 - get paper here
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  • Lynn, W.G. 1959. Some Reptiles and Amphibians From Trinidad. Herpetologica 15 (3): 113-117 - get paper here
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  • Mertens, R. 1972. Herpetofauna tobagana. Stuttgarter Beitr. zur Naturkunde nr. 252 22 pp. - get paper here
  • Mijares-Urrutia, A. & Arends R., Alexis 1999. Additional New Regional and Local Records of Amphibians and Reptiles from the State of Falcón, Venezuela. Herpetological Review 30 (2): 115 - get paper here
  • Murphy, John C.; Daniele Salvi, Joana L. Santos, Alvin L. Braswell, Stevland P. Charles, Amaél Borzée & Michael J. Jowers 2019. The reduced limbed lizards of the genus Bachia (Reptilia, Squamata, Gymnophthalmidae); biogeography, cryptic diversity, and morphological convergence in the eastern Caribbean. Organisms Diversity & Evolution - get paper here
  • Powell, Robert and Robert W. Henderson 2017. Notes on the diets of some amphibians and reptiles of the St. Vincent and Grenada Banks (Lesser Antilles). IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 24 (2): 135–138 - get paper here
  • Ribeiro-Júnior, Marco A.; Marcélia B. da Silva, and Jucivaldo D. Lima 2016. A New Species of Bachia Gray 1845 (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Eastern Guiana Shield. Herpetologica 72 (2): 148-156. - get paper here
  • Rivas Fuenmayor, G.; Ugueto, G.; Rivero, R. & Miralles, A. 2005. The Herpetofauna of Isla de Margarita, Venezuela: New Records and Comments. Carib. J. Sci. 41 (2): 346-351
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  • Vanzolini,P.E. 1961. Bachia: Especies Brasileiras e conceito generico (Sauria: Teiidae). Papéis Avulsos Zoologia (São Paulo) 14: 193-209
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