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Amphisbaena stejnegeri RUTHVEN, 1922

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Stejneger's Worm Lizard 
SynonymAmphisbaena stejnegeri RUTHVEN 1922
Amphisbaena stejnegeri— HOOGMOED & AVILA-PIRES 1991
Amphisbaena stejnegeri — GANS 2005: 20 
DistributionGuyana (Demerara, coast)

Type locality: British Guyana; Demerara, Vreed en Rust (06°27’N, 58°19’W).  
TypesHolotype: UMMZ 55858 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: A form ofAmphisbaena with the mental and postmental fused; with the nasals the largest segments on the head [and the frontals scarcely distinguished; with the oculars split to form triangular infraoculars equal in size to the oculars]; and three supralabials and two infralabials. The form has 247 [243] body annuli; nine caudal annuli up to the autotomy constriction (at which the tail is autotomized); 17 to 18 [19] dorsal and 16 [20] ventral segments to a midbody annulus; and six precloacal pores. The color of preserved specimens is yelowish,with an irregular dorsal scatering of individual dark segments [the frequency of dark segments is suficiently high on the midbody dorsal surface to yield the impression of a scatering of light segments on a dark background], thinning out anteriorly toward an immaculate head.The anterior half of some [most] infracaudal segments is strongly pigmented, while the infracaudal segments of the ninth postcloacal annulus are entirely pigmented (Gans 1963: 5) 
CommentDistribution: map in HOOGMOED & AVILA-PIRES 1991.

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024. 
EtymologyNamed after Leonhard Hess Stejneger (1851-1943), Norwegian-born herpetologist who moved to the US in 1881 and became curator of reptiles at the Smithsonian Institution in 1889. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cole, Charles J.; Carol R. Townsend, Robert P. Reynolds, Ross D. MacCulloch, and Amy Lathrop 2013. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 125 (4): 317-578; plates: 580-620 - get paper here
  • Gans, C. 1963. Notes on amphisbaenids (Amphisbaenia, Reptilia). 8. A redescription of Amphisbaena stejnegeri and the description of a new species of Amphisbaena from British Guiana. American Museum Novitates (2128): 1-18. - 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
  • 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
  • Hoogmoed, Marinus S.; Roberta R. Pinto, Wáldima Alves da Rocha, and Emiliane G. Pereira 2009. A NEW SPECIES OF MESOBAENA MERTENS, 1925 (SQUAMATA: AMPHISBAENIDAE) FROM BRAZILIAN GUIANA, WITH A KEY TO THE AMPHISBAENIDAE OF THE GUIANAN REGION. Herpetologica 65 (4): 436 - get paper here
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - get paper here
  • Meiri, Shai; Aaron M. Bauer, Allen Allison, Fernando Castro-Herrera, Laurent Chirio, Guarino Colli, Indraneil Das, Tiffany M. Doan, Frank Glaw, Lee L. Grismer, Marinus Hoogmoed, Fred Kraus, Matthew LeBreton, Danny Meirte, Zoltán T. Nagy, Cristiano d 2017. Extinct, obscure or imaginary: the lizard species with the smallest ranges. Diversity and Distributions - get paper here
  • Ruthven, ALEXANDER C. 1922. A new species of Amphisbaena from British Guiana. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology University of Michigan, (122): 1-2. - 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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