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Amphisbaena roberti GANS, 1964

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesPortuguese: Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças, Cobra-Cega 
SynonymAmphisbaena roberti GANS 1964: 402
Cercolophia roberti — GANS 2005: 26
Cercolophia roberti — ANDRADE et al. 2006
Amphisbaena roberti — MOTT & VIEITES 2009
Amphisbaena roberti — CACCIALI et al. 2016 
DistributionBrazil (E Sao Paulo, SW Minas Gerais, S Goias, Paraná [HR 27: 216]), Paraguay (fide Paul Smith, pers. comm., 27 Apr 2014)

Type locality: ‘‘Ypiranga, São Paulo, S.P., Brazil’’.  
TypesHolotype: MZUSP ? (DZ) 1946. Paratypes: DZ 755, 1947; ZMH 1879A; DZ 1257, 1937 (São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis : A small to medium-sized form of Amphisbaena without major fusions of head shields; with enormous prefrontals; and generally with very !arge first, occasionally with slightly enlarged second parierals. The snout is swollen. The dorsal surface of the head shows variable, but lirtle or no lateral compression. The head is significantly smaller in diameter than the anterior trunk and set off from this by a nuchal constriction. The rostral tip projects strongly over the lower jaw. The form has 240 to 265 body annuli; 17 to 20 caudal annuli on the club-shaped tail, the last of which surrounds the base of the vertically keeled segmented caudal tip covered by conical segments and the mid-group of which lies in a posteriorly directed chevron pattern on the dorsal surface; a faint (autotomy) constriction may be noted at the seventh or eighth caudal annulus; 13 to 16, generally 14 to 16 dorsal, and 12 to 16, generally 14 ventral segments to a midbody annulus; and two round to faintly oval precloacal pores close to the midline. Dorsal and lateral sulci are strongly indicated. Specimens are brown dorsally, the color expressed most strongly in the center of the segment. Ventral countershading occurs by pigment lightening and segmental drop-out. Some specimens have a small, round, densely pigmented dot or ring in the center of each dorsal and lateral segment. (Gans 1964: 402) 
CommentType species: Amphisbaena roberti is the type species of the genus Cercolophia VANZOLINI 1992.

Morphology: This species is one of ~20 species of Amphisbaena with two precloacal pores (Ribeiro et al. 2019). 
EtymologyNamed after Robert Friedrich Wilhelm Mertens (1894-1975), a German zoologist and herpetologist who was born in St. Petersburg. The name A. mertensi is already pre-occupied. 
  • Andrade, Denis V.; Nascimento, Luciana B.; Abe, Augusto S. 2006. Habits hidden underground: a review on the reproduction of the Amphisbaenia with notes on four neotropical species. Amphibia-Reptilia 27 (2): 207-217 - get paper here
  • ARAUJO, C.O. & ALMEIDA-SANTOS, S.M. 2011. Herpetofauna de um remanescente de Cerrado no estado de São Paulo, sudeste do Brasil. Biota Neotrop. 11(3): 47-62 - get paper here
  • ARAUJO, C.O. & ALMEIDA-SANTOS, S.M. 2011. Herpetofauna in a cerrado remnant in the state of Sao Paulo, Southeastern Brazil. [in Portuguese] Biota Neotropica 11 (3): 47-62 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cacciali, Pier; Norman J. Scott, Aida Luz Aquino Ortíz, Lee A. Fitzgerald, and Paul Smith 2016. The Reptiles of Paraguay: Literature, Distribution, and an Annotated Taxonomic Checklist. SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MUSEUM OF SOUTHWESTERN BIOLOGY, NUMBER 11: 1–373 - 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
  • Gans, Carl 1964. The South American species of Amphisbaena with a vertically keeled tail (Reptilia, Amphisbaenidae). Senckenbergiana biologica 45 (3/5): 387-416
  • 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
  • MARQUES, O. A. V.; PEREIRA, D. N.; BARBO, F.E.; GERMANO, V.J. & SAWAYA, R. J. 2009. Os Répteis do Município de São Paulo: diversidade e ecologia da fauna pretérita e atual. Biota Neotropica 9: 1-12 - get paper here
  • Mott, Tamí; David R. Vieites 2009. Molecular phylogenetics reveals extreme morphological homoplasy in Brazilian worm lizards challenging current taxonomy. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51 (2): 190-200 - get paper here
  • OLIVEIRA, HENRIQUE; THOMAZ SINANI, ROULLIEN SILVA & HENRIQUE COSTA. 2022. Robert’s Wormlizard, Amphisbaena roberti (Squamata, Amphisbaenidae): attempted predation and an updated distribution map. Reptiles & Amphibians 29(1): 169–174. - 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
  • Vanzolini P E 1991. Biometry and geographical differentiation of Amphisbaena roberti Gans, 1964 (Reptilia, Amphisbaenia). Pap. Avul. Zool., Sao Paulo 37 (24): 363-377 - get paper here
  • Vanzolini P E 1992. Cercolophia, a new genus for the species of Amphisbaenia with a terminal vertical keel on the tail (Reptilia, Amphisbaenia). Pap. Avul. Zool., Sao Paulo 37 (27): 401-412 - get paper here
  • Zaher, Hussam; Fausto Erritto BarboI; Paola Sanchez Martínez; Cristiano Nogueira; Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues; Ricardo Jannini Sawaya 2011. Répteis do Estado de São Paulo: conhecimento atual e perspectivas. Biota Neotropica, 11 (1): 1–15. - get paper here
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