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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata
Common Names 
DistributionNE Brazil (Bahia)

Type locality: Fazenda do Engenho (13°50’48”S, 42°16’29”W), 854m of elevation, in the municipality of Caetité, Bahia State, northeastern Brazil  
TypesHolotype: MUFAL 13635, collected on April 25–27, 2017 by AMP. Paratypes. Five specimens collected along with the holotype: MUFAL 13632, immature male; MHNBA190, immature female; MHNBA191, immature male; MUFAL 13633, immature female and MUFAL 13634, immature male. MUFAL 13636 was also collected at Fazenda do Engenho, about one kilometer away from the rest of the type series at 13°51’16”S, 42°16’37”W on May 02–31, 2017, sex undetermined; all collected by AMP. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small Amphisbaena reaching up to 235 mm of total length. It is readily distinguished of its congeners by the presence of modified pointed scales on the tip of the tail visible on dorsal view, starting on the 7– 8th tail annulus; by having 186–194 body annuli; 0–2 intercalated body annuli; 10–12 tail annuli; 16 dorsal and 19–22 ventral segments on a midbody annulus (Table 1). Paired nasal, prefrontal, frontal and parietal shields in broad contact on the dorsal surface of the head; rostral shield slightly visible in dorsal view; three supralabials; three infralabials. Mental and post-mental scales present; post-mental scale followed by two rows of post-genial scales generally with two and three scales respectively. Dorsal and ventral sulci absent, lateral sulcus present, starting around the 45th annulus. Four rounded pre-cloacal pores sequentially arranged; 6–7 pre-cloacal scales and 12–14 post-cloacal scales. Autotomy site absent.

Comparison with other species. Characters from other species are in parenthesis. The presence of a modified tail distinguish the new species from all South American amphisbaenids, except Amphisbaena uroxena. The round head distinguish the new species from A. bagual Ribeiro, Santos & Zaher, 2015; A. cerradensis (Ribeiro, Vaz-Silva & Santos-Jr., 2008); A. infraorbitale (Bertold, 1859), A. kisteumacheri (Porto, Soares & Caramaschi, 2000); A. maxima (Ribeiro, Nogueira, Cintra, Silva-Jr. & Zaher, 2011); A. microcephala (Wagler, 1824); A. octostega (Duméril, 1851); A. polystega (Duméril, 1851); A. scutigera (Hemprich, 1820) and A. wuchereri (Peters, 1879) (shovel head). This character also distinguishes the new species from A. acrobeles (Ribeiro, Catro-Mello & Nogueira, 2009); A. bilabialata (Stimson, 1972), A. kingii (Bell, 1833), Mesobaena huebneri Mertens, 1925 and M. rhachicephala Hoogmoed, Pinto, da Rocha & Pereira, 2009 (keeled head).
The presence of four precloacal pores diagnose the new species from A. anaemariae Vanzolini, 1997; A. brevis Strussmann & Mott, 2009; A. caiari Teixeira Jr, dal Vechio, Neto & Rodrigues, 2014; A. carli Pinna, Mendonça, Bocchiglieri & Fernandes, 2010; A. crisae Vanzolini, 1997; A. dubia Muller, 1924; A. filiformis Ribeiro, Gomes, Rodrigues da Silva, Cintra & da Silva, 2016; A. hiata Montero & Céspedez, 2002; A. leeseri Gans, 1964a; A. maranhensis Gomes & Maciel, 2012; A. metallurga Costa, Resende, Teixeira, Vechio & Clemente, 2015; A. mitchelli Procter, 1923; A. miringoera Vanzolini, 1971; A. neglecta Dunn & Piatt, 1936; A. persephone Pinna, Mendonça, Bocchiglieri & Fernandes, 2014 and A. silvestrii Boulenger, 1902 (0–3 pores). This characteristic also differentiate it from A. fuliginosa Linnaeus, 1758; A. ignatiana Vanzolini, 1991a; A. kraoh (Vanzolini, 1971); A. leucocephala Peters, 1878; A. littoralis Roberto, Brito & Ávila, 2014; A. mertensii Strauch, 1881; A. pretrei Duméril & Bibron, 1839 and A. stejnegeri Ruthven, 1922 (5–12 pores).
Among the four-pored amphisbaenids, A. caetitensis sp nov. differs from A. bahiana Vanzolini, 1964; A. borelli Peracca, 1897; A. roberti Gans, 1964b; A. steindachneri Strauch, 1881 and A. polygrammica Werner, 1901 by having 186–194 body annuli (>204) and 10–12 tail annuli (>14). Moreover, it differs from all remaining species by the absence of an autotomy site, except A. alba Linnaeus, 1758; A. angustifrons Cope, 1861; A. brasiliana (Gray, 1865); A. ridleyi Boulenger, 1890; A. saxosa (Castro-Mello, 2003) and A. uroxena. The new species differs from A. alba by having 186–194 body annuli (198–248), 10–12 tail annuli (13–21), 16 dorsal segments on a midbody annulus (30–42) and 19–22 ventral segments on a midbody annulus (35–46). In the same way, A. caetitensis sp nov. differs from A. ridleyi by having 10–12 tail annuli (14–17, Table 2). It differs from A. brasiliana and A. saxosa by having 186–194 body annuli (>213), 16 dorsal segments on a midbody annulus (>18) and in the sequential disposition of the precloacal pores which are separated by an area without pores in A. brasiliana and A. saxosa (Table 2). Additionally, it also differs from both species in the shape of rostral and nasals (large rostral and reduced nasals that do not contact at midline).
Furthermore, A. caetitensis sp nov. differs from all species mentioned above, except A. uroxena, by having modified conic pointed tubercles on the tip of its tail. Finally, it differs from A. uroxena by having 186–194 body annuli (199–213), and 16 dorsal segments on a midbody annulus (12–14), 19–22 ventral segments on a midbody annulus (14–15, Table 2) and snout-vent length higher than 187 mm (<173 mm). 
EtymologyThe name of the species refers to its type-locality, Caetité municipality, Bahia State, Brazil 
  • Almeida JPFA De, De Freitas MA, Da Silva MB, Valverde MCC, Rodrigues MT, Pires AM, Mott T. 2018. A new four-pored Amphisbaena (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from northeastern Brazil. Zootaxa 4514 (4): 553-562. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4514.4.8. - get paper here
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