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Amphisbaena fenestrata (COPE, 1861)

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata
Common NamesE: Virgin Islands Wormlizard, Cope's Worm Lizard 
SynonymDiphalus fenestratus COPE 1861:76
Amphisbaena antillensis REINHARDT & LÜTKEN 1862: 224
Amphisbaena fenestrata — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 558
Amphisbaena fenestrata — GANS 2005: 13 
DistributionVirgin I, Puerto Rico Bank, Tortola, St. john, Dorothea, St. Thomas

Type locality: "St. Thomas and Santa Cruz"; restricted by Gans and Alexander, 1962, to St. Thomas, US. Virgin Islands.  
TypesHolotype: USNM 11715.
antillensis: holotype: ZMUC 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Size moderate (SVL to 242 mm); tail to 17 mm, cylindrical, tapering, rounded terminally; no caudal autotomy; middorsal groove present on posterior 2/3-3/4 of body; body annuli 236-251, caudal annuli 12-14; dorsal segments 13-14/midbody annulus, ventral segments 14-17/midbody annulus; rows of post-genials 2; 1 row of postmalar chin shields; 4 precloacal pores; rostral elongate posteriorly, completely separating nasals and extending between anteriormost ends of prefrontals; 1 temporal. Dorsum (as preserved) shades of brown, solid on head and tail; on body rectangular center of each segment much darker than margin, giving impression of dark spots; venter paler than dorsum, mostly white, due to dropping out of pigment on ventral segments; juveniles rather purplish (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 558). 
CommentIllustrations: Gans and Alexander, 1962; Philibosian and Yntema, 1977; MacLean, 1982. 
  • Cope, E.D. 1861. Some remarks defining the following species of Reptilia Squamata. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1861: 75-76 - get paper here
  • Falcione, Camila and Alejandra Hernando 2010. A new karyotypic formula for the genus Amphisbaena (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae). Phyllomedusa 9 (1): 75-80 - get paper here
  • Gans, C. 2005. CHECKLIST AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AMPHISBAENIA OF THE WORLD. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 289: 1-130 - get paper here
  • Gans, Carl & Alexander, A. Allen 1962. Studies on amphisbaenids (Amphisbaenia, Reptilia). 2. On the amphisbaenids of the Antilles. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 128 (3): 65-158 - get paper here
  • Grant, C. 1937. Herpetological notes with new species from the American and British Virgin Islands, 1936. J. Dept. Agric. Puerto Rico 21: 503-522.
  • MacLean, W.P. 1982. Reptiles and amphibians of the Virgin Islands. MacMillan Caribbean, London: vii + 54 pp.
  • Mayer,G.C. & Lazell,J. 1988. Distributional records for reptiles and amphibians from the Puerto Rico Bank. Herpetological Review 19 91): 23-24 - get paper here
  • Philibosian, R. and Yntema, J.A. 1977. Annotated checklist of the birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians of the Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico. Information Services, Frederiksted, St. Croix, 48 pp.
  • Philibosian, R.; Yntema, J. A. 1978. Records and status of some reptiles and amphibians in the Virgin Islands. II. 1975-1976. Herpetologica 34 (1): 47-51 - get paper here
  • Reinhardt, JOHANNES & CHRISTIAN FREDERIK LÜTKEN 1862. Bidrag tii det vestindiske Öriges og navnligen tii de dansk-vestindiske Oers Herpetologie. Vidensk. Meddel. Naturhist. For. Kjöbenhavn (10-18): 153-291 [1862] - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
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