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Amphisbaena arenicola PEREZ & BORGES-MARTINS, 2019

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata
Common Names 
SynonymAmphisbaena arenicola PEREZ & BORGES-MARTINS 2019 
DistributionBrazil (Santa Catarina)

Type locality: Praia dos Ingleses, municipality of Florianopolis, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil (27° 26’S, 48° 23’O).  
TypesHolotype: UFRGS 5892. Collected by Tobias S. Kunz (Fig. 8). Paratypes: UFRGS5893, 5894, 5967*Ingleses, Florianopolis,
Santa Catarina, Brazil; Referred material: CHUFSC 668, 683 Rio Vermelho, Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil; CHUFSC 696; UFRGS 5968*, 6303*, 6615*, 6616*, 6702* Ingleses, Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil; CHUFSC 856 Baixada do Macaimbu, Pinheira, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Specimens indicated with an asterisk where included on genetic analysis. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Amphisbaena arenicola sp. nov. is distinguished from other Amphisbaena by the following character combination: (1) rounded head; (2) smooth segments at the tip of the tail; (3) four pre-cloacal pores; (4) 199-216 body annuli; (5) caudal autotomy seen externally from 8-9 caudal anulli; (6) 3/3 or 4/4 supralabial shields; (7) short snout, representing less than 50% of head length.

Comparison: Amphisbaena arenicola sp. nov. is distinguished from A. albocingulata by presenting the post-malar row (vs. post-malar row absent). Differs from A. hogei by presenting 199-216 body annuli (vs. 177-191 body annuli). It differs from A. heterozonata by presenting 20-22 caudal annuli (vs. 13-17 caudal annuli). It differs from A. nigricauda by having a uniformly colored tail tip (vs. a darkly colored tail tip). Differs from A. trachura by presenting smooth scales on tail tip (vs. tuberculate scales). It differs from A. darwinii by presenting a slender body and smaller adult SVL ranging between 117 and 178 mm (vs. sturdy body with long SVL in adults, 150-304 mm). Differs from A. prunicolor by presenting a uniform coloration pattern (vs. checkered coloration pattern). Differs from A. tiaraju sp. nov. by presenting a larger number of ventral segments in the midbody annulus, varying between 16 and 18 (vs. 13-16) and a smaller snout, varying between 42.6 and 47.9% (x = 45.9 ± 1.9) of head length (HL) (vs. 48.5-55.8%. x = 52.4 ± 3.1 of HL). It differs from A. munoai by presenting 3/3 or 4/4 supralabial shields (vs. always 3/3 supralabial shields) and smaller nasal suture varying between 12.5 and 17.2% (x = 14.7 ± 1.5) of HL (vs. 14.1-20.8, x = 17.6 ± 1.5 of HL). It differs from A. nana sp. nov. by presenting a widened ocular shield, with larger size than ocular shield, varying between 22,0 and 24,4% (x = 23.1 ± 0.9) of head length (HL) (vs. 17.7-22.8; x = 21.3 ± 1.3; with similar size of the ocular shield) and by 3.4% of 16S rDNA mean genetic distance. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet arenicola is an adjective derived from the Latin word for living in the sand. This name was chosen because this is the only taxon of the species-group inhabiting mainly sandy habitats (Restinga areas). 
  • Perez, R. & Borges-Martins, M. 2019. Integrative taxonomy of small worm lizards from Southern South America, with description of three new species (Amphisbaenia: Amphisbaenidae). Zool. Anz. 283: 124–141 - get paper here
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