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Amphisbaena hastata VANZOLINI, 1991

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesPortuguese: Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças, Cobra-Cega 
SynonymAmphisbaena hastata VANZOLINI 1991
Amphisbaena hastata — GANS 2005: 14 
DistributionBrazil (Bahia)

Type locality: Brazil: Bahia: Ibiraba (10°48’S, 42°50’W).  
TypesHolotype: MZUSP 68503. Paratopotypes: MZUSP 68504, 72611–72613, 72614. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small slender elongate species (snoutto vent 149mm; head width 1.8-2.1 mm). Preanal pores 4. Body annuli 266-273. Tail annuli (one specimen) 40. Autotomy level on annuli 12 to 16, externally inapparent. No lateral or dorsal sulci; one midventral sulcus, weakly marked, on the posterior 3/4 of the trunk. Segments around midbody 35-37. Color uniform white, with dilute aggregations of melanophores on the back (Vanzolini 1991).

Description: Small, slender,long tailed. Head not distinct from neck, elongate, acuminate, snout prominent, mouth inferior. Only one longitudinal sulcus, midventral, lightly marked, becoming evident between approximately the 30th and the 70th body annulus, and ending at the pore-bearing row of scales. No external indication of an autotomy annulus; in three specimens with broken tails the break between the 12th and the 13th tail annuli, one specimen with a healed broken tail with 16 tail annuli. Rostral little visible from above, extensively so from below. Of the median sutures on top of the head, that between the prefrontals largest, twice or more longer than the others. Anterior edge of frontals straight or slightly arcuate, converging in front into an obtuse angle; posterioredgeoffronta~s straight or arcuate, transverse. Behind the frontals one row of scales; those of the med!3n pair (parietals) widened, a little narrower than the frontals; laterally to these on each side one upper temporal, in full contact with the ocular; below, two scales behind the third upper labial. Nostril on the anterior half of the nasal scale. Ocular irregularly diamond-shaped, the eye sitting on the front halfofthe scale, touching or slightly transgressing the upper suture. Three upper labials, second very large, in point contact with the nasal (thus narrowly separating the first labial and the prefrontal), third in broad contact with the temporal. Symphysial elongate, wider in front, tapering and ending posteriorly in a narrow truncated tip, in contact with the anterior tip of the post-symphysial. Post-symphysial diamond- to pear-shaped, wider behind, the anterior tip meeting the symphysial. Three lower labials; the second largest, irregularly pentagonal; the third small, with four unequal sides. Lateral genials irregularly polygonal. Median genials regularily to irregularily arranged. In the former case, median genials in two rows, the anterior one with two elements, the posterior with three. Otherwise two or three irregular rows, with two or three scales each. One row of post-genials, with five scales on each side, increasing laterally. Sulci between successive body annuli well marked. Sutures between segments of the same annulus thin, straight, well defined, not very well aligned. The anterior body annuli strongly oblique back and downward, causing much shortened dorsal segments and relatively elongate ventral ones. Progressively the middorsal segments becoming larger, finally becoming lens- shaped; the median sutures are marked and aligned, almost forming a sulcus. The sides of the annuli bent in an S-shape, the ensemble of annuli 6 to 10 or I I forming chevrons with rounded forward vertices and spreading basal angles (hence "hastate"). Posterior to this the annuli becoming normally transverse. Preanal pores 4 in all specimens, large, rounded orelongate, functional (with plugs), sitting on the hind margin of moderately elongate segments. Preanal flap constitutec.l of 8 segments, in palisade, continuous on the sides with a post-anal series radially arranged. The ensemble occupying the length of four lateral annuIIi. No external evidence ofan autotomy annulus. Tail annuli regular, the segments longerthan those on the trunk, better aligned. Tip of tail smooth. Color pattern uniform: the animals off-white, with a very discreet condensation of melanophores on the back (Vanzolini 1991). 
  • 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
  • Lambertz, M. 2010. Kommentierte Liste der squamaten Reptilien des Sanddünengebietes am mittleren Rio São Francisco (Bahia, Brasilien) unter besonderer Berücksichtigung endemischer Faunenelemente. Ophidia 4 (2): 2-17 - get paper here
  • LANGNER, C. 2019. Die geheimnisvollen Doppelschleichen (Amphisbaenia) - ein Leben im Untergrund Elaphe 2019 (6): 14-21
  • Rodrigues, M.T. 2003. Herpetofauna da Caatinga. In: I.R. Leal, M. Tabarelli & J.M.C. Silva (eds.). Ecologia e conservação da Caatinga, pp. 181-236. Editora Universitária, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brasil.
  • Vanzolini, P.E. 2002. AN AID TO THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN SPECIES OF AMPHISBAENA (SQUAMATA, AMPHISBAENIDAE). Pap. Avul. Zool., Sao Paulo 42(15):351-362 - get paper here
  • Vanzolini,P.E. 1991. Two new small species of Amphisbaena from the fossil dune field of the middle Rio São Francisco, State of Bahia, Brasil (Reptilia, Amphisbaenia). Pap. Avul. Univ. Sao Paulo. 37 (17): 259-276
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