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Chamaesaura anguina LINNAEUS, 1758

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Higher TaxaCordylidae (Cordylinae), Scincoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesChamaesaura anguina anguina (LINNAEUS 1758)
Chamaesaura anguina oligopholis LAURENT 1964 
Common NamesE: Cape Grass Lizard, Cape Snake Lizard 
SynonymChamaesaura anguina anguina (LINNAEUS 1758)
Lacerta anguina LINNAEUS 1758: 210
Chalcides pinnata LAURENTI 1768
Chalcida anguina — MEYER 1795: 31
Chamaesaura anguinea — SCHNEIDER 1801
Seps monodactylus DAUDIN 1802
Chalcides monodactylus — OPPEL 1811
Lacerta monodactyla — SHAW & NODDER 1811: plate 947
Monodactylus anguinus — MERREM 1820
Chamaesaura anguina — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1839: 441
Chamaesaura anguina — BOULENGER 1885: 264
Chamaesaura didactyla BOULENGER 1890
Chamaesaura anguina — ROUX 1907
Chamaesaura anguina anguina — LOVERIDGE 1944
Chamaesaura anguina anguina — BOYCOTT 1992
Cordylus anguinus — FROST et al. 2001
Cordylus anguina — COOPER 2005
Chamaesaura anguina anguina — BATES et al. 2014: 184

Chamaesaura anguina oligopholis LAURENT 1964
Chamaesaura anguina oligopholis LAURENT 1964
Chamaesaura anguina oligopholis — STANLEY et al. 2011
Chamaesaura anguina oligopholis — MARQUES et al. 2018 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (Eastern Cape), Swaziland, Angola, S Mozambique, E/S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire)

Type locality: “in Cap. B. Spei lutosis, mihi non visa”

oligopholis: Angola, adjacent S Democratic Republic of the Congo. Type locality: “Calonda, Lunda,” Lunda Norte Province, Angola.”  
ReproductionOvoviviparous / Viviparous, giving birth to 6–12 young. 
TypesType: BMNH 1946.8.7.98 (
Holotype: BMNH 1946.8.7.98 [didactyla]
Holotype: MD 6003 (collector A. Serralheiro) [oligopholis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Body serpentiform; tail very long and slender; li.mbs rudimentary. Head shields regular; nostril pierced in the nasal; ear-opening moderate. 'Scales on body and tail uniform, lanceolate, strongly keeled and imbricate, forming more or less regular longitudinal and transverse rows; median dorsals a little larger than others (Fitzsimons 1943: 409).

Definition (genus): Body slender and attenuate with greatly reduced limbs and digits, maximum SVL 140–170 mm. Tail extremely elongate (3–4 times SVL). Dorsal scales strongly keeled and arranged in regular rows; no occipital spines present. Osteoderms limited to dorsum of head.  
CommentLimb morphology: Reduced limbs; the hindlimb has only a single clawed digit.

Type species: Lacerta anguina LINNAEUS 1758 is the type species of the genus Chamaesaura SCHNEIDER 1801.

Distribution: not in East Africa (S. Spawls, pers. comm., 28 June 2018). 
EtymologyApparently after Latin anguis = snake, for its snake-like appearance. 
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  • Boulenger, G. A. 1890. First report on additions to the lizard collection in the British Museum (Natural History). Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1890: 77—86 - get paper here
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  • Boycott, R.C. 1992. An Annotated Checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Swaziland. The Conservation Trust of Swaziland - get paper here
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