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Amphisbaena cayemite THOMAS & HEDGES, 2006

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Cayemite Short-tailed Wormlizard, Cayemite Short-tailed Amphisbaena 
SynonymAmphisbaena cayemite THOMAS & HEDGES 2006 
DistributionHispaniola (Haiti: Grande Anse)

Type locality: near Anse a Macon, Dépt. de la Grande Anse, Haiti.  
TypesHolotype: KU 275706, part of a series collected on 5-6 August 1971, by Haitians and Richard Thomas. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Amphisbaena cayemite is a moderate-sized (to 220 mm SVL), robust, relatively long-headed, short-tailed species of Amphisbaena without caudal autotomy, having none of the major alterations of the head scales, and having chin condition Y. It is uniquely characterized by very long body annuli and extremely low body annulus counts (150-164), lower than any other Antillean species. Since it is not one of the long-tailed species, it bears comparison principally with A. innocens. Aside from its extremely low body annulus counts, it has high positive “difference counts,” not overlapping with distal Tiburon A. innocens (10- 30 vs. -2-7); in posterior annuli spanned by the jaw measurement, it is also lower than A. innocens (4.5-5.5 vs. 6-8). Five of the eight A. cayemite have two rows of postgenials, a very rare condition in A. innocens. There is no overlap in the “difference counts” with those of A. innocens from the distal Tiburon Peninsula (10-30 vs. -2-7). In number of segments to a midbody annulus, A. cayemite is almost completely separable from A. innocens in total segments (30-31 vs. 31-40), with only one specimen of A. innocens being at the low extreme of 31. In number of segments above the lateral fold (12-13 vs. 13- 18), the same relationship holds; and in segments below the lateral fold (18) A. cayemite is in the low part of the range of A. innocens. 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyAmphisbaena cayemite is named for the island it inhabits. The island is named for a Greater Antillean fruit tree, the cayemite, Chrysophyllum cainito. 
  • 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
  • Thomas, R. & Hedges, S.B. 2006. Two New Species of Amphisbaena (Reptilia: Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from the Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti. Carib. J. Sci. 42 (2): 208-219 - get paper here
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