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Amphisbaena heathi SCHMIDT, 1936

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Heath's Worm Lizard
Portuguese: Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças, Cobra-Cega 
SynonymAmphisbaena heathi SCHMIDT 1936: 29
Amphisbaena heathi — GANS 1965: 615
Amphisbaena heathi — GANS 2005: 14 
DistributionBrazil (Rio Grande do Norte)

Type locality: Brazil; Rio Grande do Norte: Baixa Verde, now João Camara (05°32’S, 35°48’W).  
TypesHolotype: CAS 49374 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A small form of Amphishaena with a pointed, elongate, markedly flattened, very wide head, and somewhat prognathous snout, all circumscribed by smooth curves, and covered dorsally by very regular shields up to the nuchal region, with trapezoidal first parietals in point contact with each other; and with three supra- and three infralabials. The form has 183 to 187 body annuli; 7 to 8 caudal annuli up to the autotomy constriction (at which the tail is broken in both specimens); 12 dorsal and 18 to 20 ventral segments to a midbody annulus; and four well expressed, large, round precloacal pores in the male, none in the female. Only the lateral sulci, and these but faintly, are apparent. Neither dorsal nor ventral segments are wider than long. The color of preserved specimens is an even brown dorsally, the pigment covering the entire segmental surface and fading out laterally. (Gans 1965: 615)

Detailed description: Gans 1965: 615 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Harold Heath (1868-1951) who received his doctorate (1898) from the University of Pennsylvania and later became a marine invertebrate zoologist at Stanford (Palo Alto, California). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Gans, C. 1965. On Amphisbaena heathi Schmidt and A. carvalhoi, new species, small forms from the northeast of Brazil (Amphisbaenia: Reptilia). [Notes on amphisbaenids 16]. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 31 (23): 613-630. - 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
  • 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
  • Lisboa, Carolina Maria Cardoso Aires; Raul Fernandes Dantas Sales , Bruno Rafael Morais de Macêdo, Eliza Maria Xavier Freire 2016. Diet of Amphisbaena heathi Schmidt, 1936 (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from Remnants of the Atlantic Forest, Northeastern Brazil, with Notes on Distribution, Diagnosis and Conservation. South American J. Herp. 11 (1): 12-17. - get paper here
  • MOURA, MARIO R.; HENRIQUE C. COSTA, ARTHUR D. ABEGG, ESMERALDA ALAMINOS, TEDDY ANGARITA‐SIERRA, WEVERTON S. AZEVEDO, HUGO CABRAL, PRISCILA CARVALHO, SONIA CECHIN, NATHALIE CITELI, ÂNGELO C.M. DOURADO, ANDRÉ F.V. DUARTE, FREDERICO G.R. FRANÇA, ELIZA M 2022. Unwrapping broken tails: Biological and environmental correlates of predation pressure in limbless reptiles. Journal of Animal Ecology 2022: 1–14. - get paper here
  • Oliveira, C R; Roberto, I J; Sousa, J G G & Ávila, R W; 2019. On the ecology of Amphisbaena heathi (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from Northeastern Brazil. Herpetological Review 50 (1): 62-66 - get paper here
  • ROBERTO, IGOR JOVENTINO; LUCAS B. M. BRITO, & ROBSON W. ÁVILA 2014. A new six-pored Amphisbaena (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from the coastal zone of northeast Brazil. Zootaxa 3753 (2): 167–176 - get paper here
  • Schmidt,K.P. 1936. Notes on Brasilian amphisbaenians. Herpetologica 1 (1): 28-32. - get paper here
  • 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
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