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Amphisbaena talisiae VANZOLINI, 1995

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesPortuguese: Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças-do-Cerrado, Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças-da-Pitomba 
SynonymAmphisbaena talisiae VANZOLINI 1995
Amphisbaena mensae CASTRO-MELLO 2000
Amphisbaena mensae — GANS 2005: 16
Amphisbaena talisiae — GANS 2005 
DistributionBrazil (Mato Grosso, E Minas Gerais, C Tocantins)

Type locality: Mato Grosso, Serra da Pitomba (15°49’S, 52°10’W).

mensae: Brazil (Goías, Distrito Federal); Type locality: Minacu, Serra da Mesa region, NE Goías  
TypesHolotype: MZUSP 78808.
Holotype: MZUSP 83231 [mensae] 
DiagnosisAmphisbaena talisiae can be distinguished from its congeners by a series of morphological characters, including a round head, three supralabial and three infralabial scales, postmalar row absent, four precloacal pores without a median hiatus, 205–234 body annuli, 17–29 caudal annuli, 10–14 dorsal and 14–18 ventral segments in a midbody annulus (Costa et al. 2019).

Amphisbaena talisiae, sp. n., from Serra da Pitomba (15° 49'S, 52° 10'W), a small, slender species, is characterized by having four preanal pores, 218 body annuli, caudal autotomy on the seventh annulus (tail broken and healed), 10/14 segments to a body annulus.

Description: “Small (body length 105 mm), slender (head width 2.5 mm).
Median sutures on the dorsal aspect of the head in the following order of increasing length: (nasals, frontals), parietals, prefrontals. Frontals together oval; parietals pentagonal, moderately elongate; occipitals little differentiated from the segments on their annulus. Nasal large, nostril below and before the center on the scale. Four upper labials, second and third large, the ocular fitting into their upper angle. Fourth upper labial small, squarish. On top of it a large polygonal scale and, on top of this, another large similar scale, in contact with the ocular, the frontal, the parietal, and, behind, with an annulus of scales anchored on the parietals. Symphysial medium-sized, with divergent sides but not quite anvil-shaped. Post-symphysial almost as broad as long, seven-sided. Three lower labials, the second by far the largest, the third small, rectangular. Anterior genials moderate, in ample contact with each other, embracing in front the posterior angle of the post-symphysial. Lateral genials large, in full contact with the third labials. Posterior genials six, the outermost largest.
Body with well marked lateral sulci; no other sulci. Dorsal segments a little longer than broad, broadest ventral ones not quite 1.5 times as broad as long. Preanal pores four, hardly distinguishable. Preanal fold almost semicircular, with six scales.
Color: Dorsally burnt medium brown, darkest on the top of the head, with lighter segment sutures; ventrally uniformly light waxy yellow, the transition gradual on the flanks.” (Vanzolini 1995) 
CommentSynonymy: Costa et al. 2019 synonymized Amphisbaena mensae with A. talisiae.

NCBI taxonID: 2707041 [mensae] 
EtymologyNamed after “Pitomba”, the pleasant fruit of Talisia esculenta, family Sapindaceae. 
  • Campos Nogueira, C. de 2001. New records of Squamate Reptiles in Central Brazilian Cerrado II: Brasília Region. Herpetological Review 32 (4): 285-287 - get paper here
  • Castro-Mello, C. 2000. A new species of Amphisbaena from Central Brazil (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae). Pap. Avul. Zool., Sao Paulo 41 (916): 243-246
  • COSTA, HENRIQUE C.; ROBERTA GRABOSKI, HUSSAM ZAHER 2019. Amphisbaena mensae Catro-Mello, 2000 is a synonym of Amphisbaena talisiae Vanzolini, 1995 (Squamata: Amphisbaenia: Amphisbaenidae). Zootaxa 4559 (1): 166–174 - 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
  • Guerra, V., Ramalho, W. P., Machado, I. F., & Brandão, R. A. 2022. Herpetofauna of the Serra do Tombador Nature Reserve, State of Goiás, Central Brazil. Arquivos de Zoologia, 53(3), 33-51 - 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
  • 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 1995. A new species of Amphisbaena from the state of Mato Grosso, Brasil (Reptilia: Amphisbaenia: Amphisbaenidae). Pap. Avul. Zool., Sao Paulo 39 (10): 217-221
  • 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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