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Amphisbaena arda RODRIGUES, 2003

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesPortuguese: Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças-Pintada 
SynonymAmphisbaena arda RODRIGUES 2003
Amphisbaena arda — GANS 2005: 11 
DistributionBrazil (Bahia)

Type locality: Mocambo do Vento, Ibiraba, Bahia, Brazil (10° 49’ 13’’ S, 42° 52’ 26’’ W).  
TypesHolotype: MZUSP 91638 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium-sized Amphisbaena with an elongate snout, paired nasals, frontals and parietals, 242 body and 30 caudal annuli, 23 dorsal and 23 ventral segments per annuli at midbody, 4 precloacal pores, 4 supralabials, and 3 infralabials. The distance between nostril and upper lip equals distance from nostril to suture between nasals. Additionally the new species differs from all other Amphisbaena by presenting a checkered black and white pattern which is restricted to dorsal and lateral parts of body; the ventral surface is immaculate creamy white [RODRIGUES 2003 (2002)].
CommentSympatry: A. hastata, Leposternon polystegum.

Similar species: A. fuliginosa, A. vermicularis. A. arda has an immaculate venter whereas in A. fuliginosa the ventral color varies from a checkered pattern identical to dorsal color to a slightly black mottled ventral surface but never immaculate. The head scales of A. arda are flat, never swollen whereas in A. vermicularis the head scales are characteristically swollen.

Habitat: in sand

Abundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after the Greek “arda” = dirty; refering to the unclean color pattern which is predominantly milky-white with irregular and scattered black spots. 
  • Gans, C. 2005. CHECKLIST AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AMPHISBAENIA OF THE WORLD. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 289: 1-130 - get paper here
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira 9 (2): 121 – 214 - get paper here
  • Hamdan, B.; D.P. Coelho; A.B. D’Angiolella; E.J.R. Dias; R.M. Lira-da-Silva. 2013. The Reptile Collection of the Museu de Zoologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil. Check List 9 (2):257-262 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Rodrigues, M.T. 2003. Herpetofauna of Quaternary sand dunes of the middle Rio São Francisco, Bahia, Brazil. VIII. Amphisbaena arda sp. nov., a fuliginosa-like checkered patterned Amphisbaena (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae). Phyllomedusa 1 (2): 51-56 [2002] - get paper here
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