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Amphisbaena leucocephala PETERS, 1878

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Whitheaded Worm Lizard
Portuguese: Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças, Cobra-Cega 
SynonymAmphisbaena leucocephala PETERS 1878
Amphisbaena leucocephala — BAUER et al. 1995: 67
Amphisbaena leucocephala — GANS 2005: 16 
DistributionBrazil (Bahia, Sao Paulo to Rio Grande do Sul), N Uruguay

Type locality: “Bahia”.  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 1379 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: A large-sized species of Amphisbaena, without major fusions of head shields; with a rounded snout on a relatively blunt head that continues into the trunk without nuchal constriction or posterior widening; and with large parietals equalling the frontals in size. The form has 233 to 240 body annuli; 26 to 27 caudal annuli, the last two poorly inscribed, and the terminal ones with the segments swollen. The sixth caudal annulus narrows sharply into an autotomy constriction. A midbody annulus has 18 to 20 dorsal and 21 to 22 ventral segments. The precloacal row bears 12 small round pores. Only the lateral sulci are strongly indicated. Specimens are brown dorsally and lighter ventrally, the brown color proceeding to the end of the sixth body annulus, so that the head and neck are light colored. The ventral countershading occurs more or less gradually along the sides, close to the lateral sulcus. There is some tendency for central pigment accentuation on dorsal segments and dropping out of pigment by segments. (Gans 1965). 
CommentRegarded by Gans (1967) as a “species inquirenda”, but valid according to Vechi et al. 2016.

Distribution: not listed for Argentina fide AVILA et al. 2010, Lista de las lagartijas y anfisbaenas de Argentina. 
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • 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 1965. Redescription of Amphisbaena pretrei Dumeril and Bibron and A. leucocephala Peters, with a Discussion of Their Relation and Synonymy (Amphisbaenia: Reptilia). American Midland Naturalist 74 (2) - get paper here
  • Gans, Carl 1967. A check list of recent amphisbaenians (Amphisbaenia, Reptilia). Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 135:61-106. - 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
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1879. Über vier neue amerikanische Amphisbaena-Arten. Monatsber. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1878: 778-781 - 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
  • Vechio, Francisco Dal; Mauro TeixeiraJr., Marcelo Sena, Antônio Argôlo, Caroline Garcia and Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues 2016. Taxonomic Status and the Phylogenetic Placement of Amphisbaena leucocephala Peters, 1878 (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae). South American J. Herp. 11 (3): - get paper here
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