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Bachia heteropa (LICHTENSTEIN & MARTENS, 1856)

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Higher TaxaGymnophthalmidae (Cercosaurinae, Bachiinae), Sauria, Gymnophthalmoidea, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesBachia heteropa heteropa (LICHTENSTEIN & MARTENS 1856)
Bachia heteropa marcelae DONOSO-BARROS 1968 
Common NamesE: LaGuaira Bachia, Worm lizard
S: Falsa vibora común, lagartija lombriz 
SynonymChalcides heteropus LICHTENSTEIN & MARTENS 1856: 17
Bachia heteropus — GARMAN 1892: 97
Bachia lineata BOULENGER 1903: 432
Scolecosaurus trinitatis BARBOUR 1914: 316
Bachia heteropa — RUTHVEN 1925: 105
Scolecosaurus trinitatis — JOHNSON 1946
Bachia heteropus — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 366
Bachia heteropus — BAUER & GÜNTHER 1994
Bachia heteropa — GORZULA & SEÑARIS 1999
Bachia heteropa — JOHN et al. 2012

Bachia heteropa marcelae DONOSO-BARROS 1968
Bachia marcelae DONOSO-BARROS & GARRIDO 1964: 3
Bachia lineata marcelae — DONOSO-BARROS 1968
Bachia heteropa marcelae — JOHN et al. 2012 
DistributionN Venezuela (e.g. Falcon, Mérida [Esqueda & La Marca 1999], Carabobo, Yaracuy), Trinidad, Isla Margarita, Grenada Bank
Colombia [Castro,F. (pers. comm.)]

marcelae: Venezuela; Type locality: “Bosque tropical La Luz, Edo. Barinas, Venezuela.”

Type locality: La Guaira, Venezuela.  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 1173
Holotype: BMNH 1962.7.29.90 [lineata]
Holotype: MCZ 7793 [alleni]
Holotype: NMBA = NHMB [anomala]
Holotype: MCZ 8947 (also given as 947), adult, A. B. Carr, collector [trinitatis]
Holotype: unlocated (was: DB 6312061, i.e. private collection of Donoso-Barros, collected on 12 December 1963 by R. Donoso-Barros and A. Garrido [marcelae]
Holotype: MCZ 32345 [parviceps] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis A Bachia with (1) no prefrontal scales; (2) the third supraocular is the longest; (3) the frontonasal is hexagonal; (4) four digits are present on the manus and three on the pes (5) a band of imbricate hexagonal scales on the dorsum; (6) scales around mid-body 28–30; (7) 4–47 transverse rows of dorsals; (8) the fifth upper labial contacts primary temporal; (9) the gulars are in six or seven; (10) the second pair of chin shield are in medial contact; (11) a sub-triangular interparietal present (fide Murphy et al. 2019). 
CommentSynonymy mostly that of Dixon (1973). BAUER & GÜNTHER 1994 list Bachia alleni trinitatis as valid combination. Thomas (1965) considered B. trinitatis to be a subspecies of B. alleni. Later, Donoso-Barros (1968) considered B. marcelae to be a subspecies of B. lineata, retaining B. heteropa and B. alleni as separate species. However, Dixon (1973) synonymized B. marcelae with B. heteropa. However, John et al. 2012 recognized marcelae as valid. The name Chalcides heteropus was not used by Wiegmann as occasionally cited, but by Lichtenstein and Martens 1856 (15 years are Wiegmann’s death) who are the original describers. See Gutsche 2016: 169 for details.

Subspecies: Intermediate specimens between B. h. heteropa and B. h. trinitatis are known from eastern Venezuela but intermediates between B. h. lineata and B. h. heteropa are unknown although both subspecies have been recorded from nearby areas (B. h. heteropa from la Guaira, Vargas State and B. h. lineata from Distrito Federal, Caracas) [RIVAS et al. 2012]. Bachia heteropa alleni (BARBOUR 1914) has been elevated to full species status.

Type species: Chalcides heteropus Lichtenstein 1856 is the type species of the genus Sesquipes Cope 1896:466 (fide Dixon 1973: 14).

Distribution: Not on Tobago (Murphy et al. 2019).

NCBI taxon ID: 371684 [trinitatis] 
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  • Barbour, Thomas 1914. A Contribution to the Zoögeography of the West Indies, with Especial Reference to Amphibians and Reptiles. Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy 44 (2): 205-359 - get paper here
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