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Monopeltis capensis SMITH, 1848

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Cape Worm Lizard, South African Shield-snouted Amphisbaenian, Cape Wedgesnouted Worm Lizard 
SynonymMonopeltis capensis SMITH 1848
Monotrophis capensis — GRAY 1865: 376 (in error)
Lepidosternon capense — STRAUCH 1881
Monopeltis decosteri BOULENGER 1910
Monopeltis capensis capensis — BROADLEY 1962
Monopeltis capensis capensis — AUERBACH 1987: 140
Monopeltis capensis — BROADLEY 1997: 8
Monopeltis capensis — GANS 2005: 35
Monopeltis capensis — BATES et al. 2014: 152 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Cape Province, Orange Free State, Transvaal), Botswana (Kalahari Region south to Orange River and along Zambezi and Limpopo river valleys), Zimbabwe

Type locality: Latitude 24° South, South Africa [= near the junction of the Limpopo and Motwan rivers, Northern Province].
Type locality: Delagoa Bay (= Maputo, S. Mozambique) [Monopeltis decosteri]  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH; RR BMNH 1946.8.31.96-7. (London) 
CommentSynonymy that of BROADLEY et al. (1976). These authors also grouped Monopeltis capensis capensis into 4 groups, A-D. Monopeltis capensis rhodesianus BROADLEY et al. 1976 has been elevated to species status. Because this and other forms have been spit off, the species doesn’t seem to occur in Namibia, Angola, S Zimbabwe, S Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi as reported previously. Monopeltis capensis gazei FITZSIMONS 1937 is now considered as a synonym of M. sphenorhynchus.

Type Species: Monopeltis capensis is the type species of the genus Monopeltis Smith, 1848. Note that Monopeltis welwitschi is the type species of the genus Dalophia (fide GANS 2005). 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1910. A revised list of the South African reptiles and batrachians, with synoptic tables, special reference to the specimens in the South African Museum, and descriptions of new species. Annals of the South African Museum 5: 455-543 - get paper here
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Broadley, D. G. 1997. A review of the Monopeltis capensis complex in southern Africa (Reptilia: Amphisbaenidae). African Journal of Herpetology 46 (1): 1-12. - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1962. On some reptile collections from the North-Western and North-Eastern Districts of Southern Rhodesia 1958-1961, with descriptions of four new lizards. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. South. Rhodesia 26 (B): 787-843
  • Broadley, D.G., Gans,C. & Visser, J. 1976. Studies on Amphisbaenians. (6). The Genera Monopeltis and Dalophia in Southern Africa. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 157 (5): 311-486 - get paper here
  • CONRADIE, W., DOUCETTE-RIISE, S., VANHOOYDONCK, B., ENGELBRECHT, H., MEASEY, G.J., & TOLLEY, K. 2011. Herpetological survey of Rooipoort Nature Reserve, Northern Cape, South Africa. African Herp News (53): 35-41 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V. 1937. Three new lizards from South Africa. Annals Transvaal Mus. 17 (4): 275-279. - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V.F. 1943. The lizards of South Africa. Transvaal Museum Memoir No.1 (Pretoria), 528 pp.
  • Gans, C. 2005. CHECKLIST AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AMPHISBAENIA OF THE WORLD. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 289: 1-130 - get paper here
  • Gray,J.E. 1865. A revision of the genera and species of amphisbaenians with the descriptions of some new species now in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 16: 365-377 - get paper here
  • Measey, John & Krystal A. Tolley 2013. A molecular phylogeny for sub-Saharan amphisbaenians. African Journal of Herpetology 62 (2): 100-108 - get paper here
  • Smith, A. 1848. Illustrations of the zoology of South Africa, Reptilia. Smith, Elder, and Co., London - get paper here
  • Strauch,A. 1881. Bemerkungen über die Eidechsenfamilie der Amphisbaeniden. Mel. Biol. Acad. Imp. Sci. St. Petersbourg 11: 355-479 (reprinted: Bull. Acad. Imp. Sci. St. Petersbourg 28: 45-131) - get paper here
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