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Bipes canaliculatus LATREILLE, 1801

IUCN Red List - Bipes canaliculatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaBipedidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata
Common NamesE: Four-toed Worm Lizard
S: Dos Manos de Cuatro-dedos 
SynonymB. canaliculatus BONNATERRE 1789
Lacerta lumbricoides SHAW 1795: plate 212
Lacerta mexicana DONNDORF 1798
Lacerta sulcata SUCKOW 1798
Bipes canaliculatus — LATREILLE 1801 (in SONNINI & LATREILLE 1801)
Chamaesaura propus SCHNEIDER 1801
Microdipus canaliculatus — HERMANN 1804
Bimanus canaliculatus — OPPEL 1811
Chirotes canaliculatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 474
Chirotes caniculatus [sic] CUVIER – GRAY 1865: 368
Chirotes lumbricoides (fide GRAY 1865: 368)
Chirotes caniculatus — GÜNTHER 1885: 30
Bipes canaliculatus — COPE 1894
Bipes canaliculatus multiannulatus ALVAREZ 1966 (fide GANS 2005: 41)
Bipes alvarezi SMITH & SMITH 1977: 39
Bipes canaliculatus — LINER 1994
Bipes canaliculatus — LINER 2007
Bipes canaliculatis — LONGRICH et al. 2015 (in error) 
DistributionMexico (Guerrero, Michoacan)

Type locality: ‘‘Mexico’’; restricted to ‘‘Mexcala, Guerrero’’, Mexico (Smith and Taylor, 1950a: 332, 1950b: 39).

alvarezi: Mexico (Guerrero); Type locality: Central Rio Balsas valley in Guerrero, Morelos and P., Mexico.  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA A1151 (mistake; see Brygoo 1990). The holotype by monotypy in MNHN is now considered as lost (Brygoo 1990)
Holotype: ENCB 1315 (Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas), collected by José Luis Lorenzo in 1964. [multiannulatus] 
DiagnosisDefinition (genus). Snout rounded. Basipterygoid processes, partes posteriores choaninasmuch [sic] as all the genera are redefined. The pertinent information will be plate [sic]. Quadrate expanded proximally. Meckel's groove open. Dentition: (premaxillary, maxillary, mandibular number of teeth) 7; 3; 6. Anterior limbs present. One unpaired shield on top of the head, adjacent to the rostral. Nasal shields not fused to the first labials (modified after Vanzolini 1951). 
CommentBipes is the only genus of amphisbaenians that shows forelimbs.

Type species: Bipes canaliculatus is the type species of the genus Bipes LATREILLE 1801. Bipes is also the type genus of the family Bipedidae Taylor, 1951.

Distribution: Campbell (1980 and Smith & Holland (1981) speculated that Bipes sp. may rarely occur in E Colorado and W Nebraska based on old reports. Taylor 1938 speculates that Bipes may occur in Arizona, based on some observations reported to him. Not in Morelos fide Lemos-Espinal 2020.

Nomenclature: This species “was described as "Le Cannele" in the text of Lacepede (1788), but in the Synopsis methodica of that work, a large fold out table, the Latin name "B. canaliculatus" appeared for it. Bonnaterre (1789) also used Lacepede's name B. canaliculatus, without interpreting the initial.” Only Latreille (1801) explicitly derived the genus name, hence authorship for both the generic and specific names of Bipes canaliculatus lies with Latreille (1801), as pointed out by Brygoo (1990). See Flores-Villela et al. 2004 for details. Nevertheless, Gans 2005: 40 listed it as Bipes canaliculatus (Bonnaterre). 
EtymologyName based on ‘‘le cannelé’’ of La Cépède, 1788–1789: 613 
  • Alvarez, T. 1964. The Amphisbaenid Lizard Bipes canaliculatus in Michoacán, México Herpetologica 20 (3): 202. - get paper here
  • Alvarez, T. 1966. Variacion y descipcion de una subespecie de Bipes canaliculatus (Reptilia: Squamata) de Michoacan, Mexico. An. Esc. Nat. Cien. Biol. Mexico 13 (1-4): 145-152
  • Bonnaterre, P.J. 1789. Tableau encyclopédique et méthodique des trois règnes de la nature, . . . Erpétologie. Panckoucke, Paris, xxviii+71 pp. (+ plates + index) - get paper here
  • Brygoo, E. R. 1990. Les types d'Amphisbaenidés, Pygopodidés, Xantusiidés (Reptiles, Sauriens) du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle - Catalogue critique. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. 12 (ser. 4) A (3-4), suppl.: 3-18
  • Cole, Charles J.;Gans, Carl 1987. Chromosomes of Bipes, Mesobaena, and other Amphisbaenians (Reptilia), with comments on their evolution. American Museum Novitates (2869): 1-9 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1894. On the genera and species of Euchirotidae. American Naturalist 28: 436-437. - get paper here
  • Donndorff, JOHANN AUGUST 1798. Zoologische Beyträge zur xiii. Ausgabe des Linnéischen Natursystems. Vol. 3. Leipzig, Weidmannschen, vi+980 pp. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1839. Erpétologie Générale on Histoire Naturelle Complète des Reptiles. Vol. 5. Roret/Fain et Thunot, Paris, 871 pp. - get paper here
  • Flores Villela, Oscar, Hobart M. Smith, David Chiszar and Graciela Zamudio 2004. Long-Neglected Information on the Discovery of Bipes (Reptilia: Amphisbaenia). International Society for the History and Bibliography of Herpetology 5 (1): 18-22 - 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
  • Gray,J.E. 1865. A revision of the genera and species of amphisbaenians with the descriptions of some new species now in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 16: 365-377 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. 1885. Reptilia and Batrachia. Biologia Centrali-Américana. Taylor, & Francis, London, 326 pp. [published in parts from 1885-1902; reprint by the SSAR 1987] - get paper here
  • Hermann, J. 1804. Observationes Zoologicae quibus novae complures, aliaeque animalium species describuntur et illustrantur. [part III. Amphibia]. Paris, Amundum Koenig, pp. 216-289 - get paper here
  • Hodges, Wendy L. and Edmundo Perez-Ramos 2001. New localities and natural history notes on Bipes canaliculatus in Guerrero, México. Herpetological Review 32 (3):153-156 - get paper here
  • Kearney, M. 2002. Appendicular Skeleton in Amphisbaenians (Reptilia: Squamata). Copeia 2002 (3):719–738 - get paper here
  • Kearney, M. 2003. Systematics of the Amphisbaenia (Lepidosauria: Squamata) based on morphological evidence from recent and fossil forms. Herpetological Monographs 17: 1-74 - get paper here
  • LANGNER, C. 2019. Nicht alltägliche Einblicke in Mexikos Unterwelt - die erstaunliche Lebensweise der bizarren mexikanischen Handwühlen der Gattung Bipes Elaphe 2019 (6): 28-31
  • Largelamb, H. A. 1907. Notes on the remarkable habits of certain turtles and lizards. National Geographic 18(6):413-419
  • Liner, E.A. 1994. Scientific and common names for the Amphibians and Reptiles of Mexico in English and Spanish. Herpetological Circular 23: 1-113
  • 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
  • Longrich, Nicholas R.; Jakob Vinther , R. Alexander Pyron , Davide Pisani , Jacques A. Gauthier 2015. Biogeography of worm lizards (Amphisbaenia) driven by end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 May 7;282(1806). pii: 20143034. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.3034. - get paper here
  • Oppel, M. 1811. Die Ordnungen, Familien und Gattungen der Reptilien, als Prodrom einer Naturgeschichte derselben. J. Lindauer, München. - get paper here
  • Palacios-Aguilar, Ricardo & OSCAR FLORES-VILLELA 2018. An updated checklist of the herpetofauna from Guerrero, Mexico. Zootaxa 4422 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Renous, S. 1977. Musculature of the Buccal Floor of Bipes canaliculatus (Reptilia: Amphisbaenia) Copeia 1977 (3): 464-471. - get paper here
  • Schneider, JOHANN GOTTLOB 1801. Historiae Amphibiorum naturalis et literariae. Fasciculus secundus continens Crocodilos, Scincos, Chamaesauras, Boas. Pseudoboas, Elapes, Angues. Amphisbaenas et Caecilias. Frommanni, Jena. 374 pp. - get paper here
  • Shaw, GEORGE 1802. General zoology or systematic natural history, vol. 3, Pt 1. Thomas Davison, London, viii+312 pp - get paper here
  • Shaw, George & Nodder, Frederick P. (Eds.) 1795. The Naturalist's Miscellany [...], Vol. VI. London, Nodder & Co., plates 183-218, 145 unnumbered pages [published in monthly issues between August 1, 1794 and July 1, 1795] - get paper here
  • Smith H M; Smith R B 1977. Synopsis of the Herpetofauna of Mexico. Vol V. Guide to Mexican amphisbaenians and crocodilians. Bibliographic addendum 2. John Johnson, North Bennington, Vermont : 1-187
  • Smith, H.M. & Holland, R.L. 1981. Still more on Bipes. Herpetological Review 12 (1): 8-9 - get paper here
  • Sonnini de Manoncourt, C.S. and Latreille, P.A. 1801. Histoire Naturelle des Reptiles, avec Figures Dessinees d'Apres Nature. 3. Paris, Librairie encyclopédique de Roret, 332 pp. - get paper here
  • Suckow, ADOLPH 1798. Anfangsgründe der theoretischen und angewandten Naturgeschichte der Thiere. Leipzig, vol. 3, 298 pp. - get paper here
  • Taylor, Edward Harrison 1938. Does the amphisbaenid genus Bipes occur in the United States? Copeia 1938 (4): 202 - get paper here
  • Vanzolini, P.E. 1951. A systematic arrangement of the family Amphibaenidae (Sauria). Herpetologica 7: 113-123 - get paper here
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