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Dalophia longicauda (WERNER, 1915)

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymMonopeltis colobura longicauda WERNER 1915: 340
Dalophia longicauda — LOVERIDGE 1941: 432
Dalophia longicauda — AUERBACH 1987: 141
Dalophia longicauda — GANS 2005: 30
Dalophia longicauda — PIETERSEN et al. 2021 
DistributionNamibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Caprivi Strip, Zambia

Type locality: ‘‘Okawango’’ (between 198 and 21°30’E longitude), Namibia.  
TypesHolotype: ZMH 4275. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium to large (360 to 520 mm. snout-vent length in adults) species of Dalophia, with the dorsal surface (particularly of the posterior portion of the body) darkened by gray speckling that may concentrate at the annular edges. The species has 307 to 338 body, two to five lateral and 33 to 42 caudal annuli, 18 to 24 (generally 20 or 22) dorsal plus 12 to 16 (generally 14) ventral segments to a midbody annulus and three to six (generally four or five) first and eight to 13 (generally nine, 10, or 11) second postgenials. The azygous head shields are broadly fused and only blind lateral sutures remain. There are no preoculars. The nasals are usually in median contact and usually just fail to reach the lip, their slender posterior processes (or asymmetrically split off postnasals) make contact with the oculars. There are four parietal shields. The pectoral region has six elongate shields, often somewhat irregularly arranged, but with the median pair always widest posteriorly. The four midventral segments of the prepectoral annulus are more or less wedged between the medial and adjoining pairs of pectorals. Lateral sulci are clearly expressed, as is the middorsal one after the first third of the trunk. There are generally a few supernumerary dorsal half-annuli, mainly in the second 50 body annuli. The dorsal interannular sutures of the postnuchal region tend to form a herringbone pattern, the angle of which is affected by the degree to which the head is raised. There is no autotomy annulus. The middorsal segments of the tail are partially or completely fused across the midline. The interannular sutures here form an anteriorly acute set of angles with the median (their points may be rounded). Each leg of the chevron is as wide as three or four more anterior segments. (Broadley et al. 1976: 459) 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Gans, C. 2005. CHECKLIST AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AMPHISBAENIA OF THE WORLD. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 289: 1-130 - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, ARTHUR 1941. Revision of the African lizards of the family Amphisbaenidae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 87: 353-451. - get paper here
  • Pietersen DW, Pietersen EW, Conradie W. 2017. Preliminary herpetological survey of Ngonye Falls and surrounding regions in south-western Zambia. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 11(1) [Special Section]: 24–43 (e148 - get paper here
  • Pietersen, Darren, Verburgt, Luke & Davies, John 2021. Snakes and other reptiles of Zambia and Malawi. Struik Nature / Penguin Random House South Africa, 376 pp., ISBN 9781775847373
  • Werner,F. 1915. Reptilia und Amphibia. In: Michaelsen,W.: Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Land- und Süsswasserfauna Deutsch-Südwestafrikas III, pp. 325-376 - get paper here
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