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Amphisbaena neglecta DUNN & PIATT, 1936

IUCN Red List - Amphisbaena neglecta - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Neglected Worm Lizard
Portuguese: Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças, Cobra-Cega 
SynonymAmphisbaena neglecta DUNN & PIATT 1936
Amphisbaena neglecta — HOOGMOED & AVILA-PIRES 1991
Amphisbaena neglecta — GANS 2005: 17 
DistributionBrazil (E C Mato Grosso into C Goias)

Type locality: Brazil: Mato Grosso: Chapada, now Chapada dos Guimarades (15°26’S, 55°45’W).  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 13019. Paratypes: ANSP 13020–13022 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A form of Amphisbaena with the postrostral head shield paired, the midventral segments of each annulus broadened to twice their length and with a single pair of round precloacal pores. Specimens have 151 to 161 body annuli; 20 to 21 caudal annuli; an autotomy constriction at the 4th to 6th postcloacal annulus; 12 to 14 dorsal and 12 to 14 ventral segments to a midbody annulus; and 4 to 6 precloacal segments. The color is dark brown dorsally fading slightly toward the ventral surface. On the sides each segment begins to be bordered by a lighter edge, which is most marked ventrally. The dark color drops out by segments along the chin, cloacal region, and the anterior portion of the ventral surface (Gans 1962).

Notes on the types. The holotype shows the least fading of the color pattern. It is quite soft along the precloacal part of the body as are the paratypes. Several of the tails have been slit in someone's futile attempt at sexing and all of the lower jaws have been broken. Amphisbaenid, snake, and many lizard skulls may be extracted through a midventral incision, without damage to either skin or skull. The extraction of single elements or breaking of the jaws provides a minimum of information for a maximum of damage and should never be practiced on rare or unique specimens, if at all (Gans 1962).

Description: Meristic characters are summarized in Table 1. Figure 4 shows views of the head, Figure 6 of the cloaca and tail, and Figure 8 photographs of the color pattern. The type series is a light brown dorsally, fading slightly toward the sides of the body. The segmental margins and intersegmental raphes of the back are insignificantly lighter so that the impression is one of continuous tone. The color is densest on the dorsal surfaces of the head and tail. The segmental margins are significantly lighter on the ventral surface. The tip, the supralabials, the chin region and the anterior quarter of the ventral surface are bleached, with the color coming in by segments from the sides and the rear. There seems to be some individual variation with ANSP 13019 completely dark after the first third, as in ANSP 13022; ANSP 13021 has no bleaching caudad of the first quarter, though ANSP 13020 has three distinct areas of bleaching prior to the cloaca. The cloacal region is entirely dark in ANSP 13021, has the left segment of the midventral pair bleached in ANSP 13019 and 13022, and all preand one postcloacal segment bleached in ANSP 13020. The Annapolis specimen has a light streak down the entire ventral surface with only occasional dark segments. It also differs by a light nuchal band made up of the sixth and some segments of the seventh body annuli. The head scalation is characterized by a lack of major fusions. The first two body annuli correspond to two dorsal half-annuli. The segments of the first are commonly referred to as temporal and postocular and abut middorsally on the frontals. The second body annulus culminates dorsally in the pair of enlarged parietals. The third annulus ascends in a plane normal to the long axis and is only differentiated by a wider than normal pair of middorsal segments. ANSP 13022 shows a posterior extension (by fusion) of the last labials beyond the angulus oris. ANSP 13021 has some asymmetric fusions in the parietal regions. The chin is characterized by a small symphysial, very large second infralabials, large first malars, a of anteriorly pair pointed postgenials, and a variable number of second postgenials filling the gaps along the posterior edge of the first row. There is no row, but the segments immediately posterior to the malars are fused. postmalar The second, third, fourth, fifth, and sometimes the sixth body annuli are slightly narcentral and two small lateral segments, exceptinANSP13021wherethereareonl rowed. Asymmetries are few and restricted to the midventral line and the level of the cloaca. The numbers of dorsal and ventral half-annuli are equal. The lateral sulci are clearly marked from four lengths behind the head to the cloaca. The dorsal and ventral sulci are indicated only by aligned raphes, with the ventral sulcus a common site of folding. The cloaca is preceded by four large four (possibly five). The autotomy constriction is expressed by a narrowed annulus of reduced diameter, posterior to which autotomy has taken place in AMNH 62155. The middorsal segments are slightly longer than wide, those along the midventral line two to three times as wide as long, with considerable change from front to rear (Gans 1962). 
CommentDistribution: map in HOOGMOED & AVILA-PIRES 1991.

Morphology: This species is one of ~20 species of Amphisbaena with two precloacal pores (Ribeiro et al. 2019). 
  • Dunn, EMMETT REID, AND JEAN PIATT 1936. A new Amphisbaena from Brazil. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 88: 527-528 - get paper here
  • Gans, C. 1962. Redefinition and description of the Brazilian reptiles Amphisbaena silvestrii Boulenger and A. neglecta Dunn and Piatt. Copeia 1962 (1): 164-170 - 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
  • Hoogmoed M.S.; de Avila-Pires T C S 1991. A new species of small Amphisbaena (Reptilia: Amphisbaenia: Amphisbaenidae) from western Amazonian Brazil. BOLETIM DO MUSEU PARAENSE EMILIO GOELDI SERIE ZOOLOGIA 7 (1): 77-94
  • PINNA, PEDRO H.; ANDRÉ F. MENDONÇA; ADRIANA BOCCHIGLIERI & DANIEL S. FERNANDES 2010. A new two-pored Amphisbaena Linnaeus from the endangered Brazilian Cerrado biome (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae). Zootaxa 2569: 44–54 - get paper here
  • RIBEIRO, SÍRIA; JERRIANE O. GOMES, HELDER LÚCIO RODRIGUES DA SILVA, CARLOS EDUARDO D. CINTRA, NELSON JORGE DA SILVA JR. 2016. A new two-pored species of Amphisbaena (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae) from the Brazilian Cerrado, with a key to the two-pored species of Amphisbaena. Zootaxa 4147 (2): 124–142 - get paper here
  • RIBEIRO, SÍRIA; VÂNIA SÁ, ALFREDO P. SANTOS-JR, ROBERTA GRABOSKI, HUSSAM ZAHER, ANDREI G. GUEDES, SHEILA P. ANDRADE, WILIAN VAZ-SILVA 2019. A new species of the Amphisbaena (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae) from the Brazilian Cerrado with a key for the two-pored species. Zootaxa 4550 (3): 301–320 - get paper here
  • Strussmann, Christine & Tami Mott 2009. Sympatric amphisbaenids from Manso Dam region, Mato Grosso State, Western Brazil, with the description of a new two-pored species of Amphisbaena (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae). Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 44 (1): 37 – 46 - get paper here
  • Teixeira, Mauro; Francisco Dal Vechio, Antonio Mollo Neto, and Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues 2014. A New Two-Pored Amphisbaena Linnaeus, 1758, from Western Amazonia, Brazil (Amphisbaenia: Reptilia). South American J. Herp. 9 (1): 62-74. - 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
  • 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
  • Ribeiro, L. B., Gomides, S. C., & Costa, H. C. 2018. A New Species of Amphisbaena from Northeastern Brazil (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae). Journal of Herpetology 52 (2): 234–241 - get paper here
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