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Anniella geronimensis SHAW, 1940

IUCN Red List - Anniella geronimensis - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaAnguidae (Anniellinae),
Diploglossa, Anguimorpha, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Baja California Legless Lizard
S: Lagartija Sin Patas 
SynonymAnniella geronimensis SHAW 1940
Anniella geronimensis — SMITH & TAYLOR 1950: 209
Anniella geronimensis — STEBBINS 1985: 242
Anniella geronimensis — LINER 1994
Anniella geronimensis — LINER 2007 
DistributionMexico (Baja California: from Rio Santo Domingo at Colonia Guerrero to El Rosario)

Type locality: Isla San Gerónimo, Baja California.  
TypesHolotype: SDNHM = SDSNH 7543, paratype SDNHM = SDSNH 7542. 
DiagnosisDEFINITION. The head is strongly depressed and the rostrum is wedge-shaped in profile. Maximum SVL is 142 mm, maximum tail length is 65 mm, with tail length comprising 26%–31% of total length. There are 72–86 dorsal scales along the vertebral line of the tail, 24–28 scale rows around the mid-body, 14–16 scale rows around the anterior portion of the tail, 5–7 (usually 6) supralabials, with the fourth supralabial typically the largest. The vertebral stripe is usually distinct and 2–3 scale rows separate it from the first lateral stripe. There are 4 or more black or brown lateral stripes along the sides of the body between the scale rows, which continue as longitudinal stripes on the ventral surface. This species displays significant geographic variation in body size, color, and other morphological and chromatic features (Hunt 1984). Adult dorsal color varies from copper to silver-grey, with a prominent brown or black vertebral stripe. Young resemble adults in dorsal coloration. Ventral color is typically a dark grey-violet and there is a smooth transition between dorsal and ventral coloration. The preanal scales are cream-colored or white against a dark background (Hunt 2008). 
CommentSynonymy: Hunt (1983) synonymized geronimensis with pulchra, but later authors kept geronimensis, including Hunt 2008.

Limb morphology: Limbless.

Taxonomy: Listed by Liner 2007 as a member of the Anguidae.

Distribution: see map in Hunt 2008. 
  • Hunt, L. E. 1983. A nomenclatural rearrangement of the genus Anniella (Sauria: Anniellidae). Copeia 1983 (1): 79-89 - get paper here
  • Hunt, L. E. 2008. Anniella geronimensis. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (849): 1-3 - get paper here
  • Hunt, L.E. 2008. Anniella (Legless Lizards). Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (848): 1-11 - get paper here
  • Jones, L.L. & Lovich, R.E. 2009. Lizards of the American Southwest. A photographic field guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, Tucson, AZ, 568 pp. [review in Reptilia 86: 84] - get paper here
  • Liner, Ernest A. 2007. A CHECKLIST OF THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF MEXICO. Louisiana State University Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science 80: 1-60 - get paper here
  • Parham, J.F. and T.J. Papenfuss 2009. High genetic diversity among fossorial lizard populations (Anniella pulchra) in a rapidly developing landscape (Central California). Conservation Genetics 10(1):169-176. - get paper here
  • Sánchez-Pacheco, José Angel and Eric Mellink 2001. Geographic distribution. Anniella geronimensis. Herpetological Review 32 (3):192. - get paper here
  • Santos-Barrera, G., García, A., Calzada-Arciniega, R. A., Pérez-Cervantes, N. C., & Pacheco-Rodríguez, J. 2021. Herpetofauna in Risk of Extinction: Amphibians and Reptiles in Mexico, Critical Areas, and Conservation Strategies. Imperiled: The Encyclopedia of Conservation (via Researchgate) - get paper here
  • Shaw, C.E. 1949. Anniella geronimensis on the Baja California Peninsula Herpetologica 5 (2): 27-28. - get paper here
  • Shaw, C.E. 1953. Anniella pulchra and A. geronimensis, Sympatric Species. Herpetologica 8 (4): 167-170
  • Shaw, Charles E. 1940. A new species of legless lizard from San Geronimo Island, Lower California, Mexico. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 9 (24): 225-228 - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M. & Taylor,E.H. 1950. An annotated checklist and key to the reptiles of Mexico exclusive of the snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 199: 1-253 - get paper here
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Wermuth, H. 1969. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Anguidae. Anniellidae, Xenosauridae. Das Tierreich 90: 1-42.
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