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Amphisbaena nigricauda GANS, 1966

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Black-headed Worm Lizard
Portuguese: Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças, Cobra-Cega 
SynonymAmphisbaena nigricauda GANS 1966: 252
Amphisbaena nigricauda — GANS 2005 
DistributionBrazil (Espirito Santo)

Type locality: Brazil; Espirito Santo, Refugio Sooretama
(19°00’S, 40°00’W).  
TypesHolotype: MNRJ R3305. Paratypes: AMNH 97205, CG 3207. 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: This is a small species of Amphisbaena, without major fusions of head shields, with the prefrontal the largest segment on the dorsal, and the second infralabial by far the largest segment on the ventral, surface of the head, with a strongly prognathous snout on the small head, enlarged postocular and parietal segments, no post-malar row, and a dark, pigmented, caudal tip. The form has 222 to 226 body annuli, 19 to 24 caudal annuli, a clearly marked autotomy annulus that falls on the sixth to ninth postcloacal annuli, 10 dorsal and 16 ventral segments to a midbody annulus, and four clearly marked, round pores in both sexes. The tail is cylindrical, with a conical distal tip. The coloration is very light brownish white, very slightly darker on the dorsal surface, but with the last six to eight caudal annuli much more heavily pigmented, both dorsally and ventrally. The darker pigment is produced by a speckling, rather than an even pigmentation of segments; the individual melanophores may be seen under the dissecting microscope. (Gans 1966: 252)

Detailed description in Gans 1966: 252. 
  • Gans, C. 1966. Studies on amphisbaenids (Amphisbaenia, Reptilia). 3. The small species from southern South America commonly identified as Amphisbaena darwini. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 134: 185-260. - 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
  • PEREZ, RENATA; SÍRIA RIBEIRO & MÁRCIO BORGES-MARTINS 2012. Reappraisal of the taxonomic status of Amphisbaena prunicolor (Cope 1885) and Amphisbaena albocingulata Boettger 1885 (Amphisbaenia: Amphisbaenidae). Zootaxa 3550: 1–25 - get paper here
  • Silva-Soares, T.; R.B. Ferreira; R.O.L. Salles; C.F.D. Rocha. 2011. Continental, insular and coastal marine reptiles from the municipality of Vitória, state of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil. Check List 7 (3): 290-298 - 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
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