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Cynisca degrysi (LOVERIDGE, 1941)

IUCN Red List - Cynisca degrysi - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata
Common NamesE: Sierra Leone Worm Lizard 
SynonymPlacogaster degrysi LOVERIDGE 1941: 400
Cynisca degrysi — BRANCH et al. 2003
Cynisca degrysi — GANS 2005: 28 
DistributionSierra Leone ?, Nigeria ?

Type locality: ‘‘Lagos, Sierra Leone’’ (unclear locality: there is no Lagos in Sierra Leone).  
TypesHolotype: ZMH R.K. 1070-E.K. 13179; destroyed. 
DiagnosisDescription. Rostral moderate, triangular; nasal fused with first and second labials, preocular and prefrontal, forming a long suture with its fellow behind the rostral; no prefrontals; frontal small; a pair of postfrontals; a pair of parietals; no occipitals; no supraocular; no preocular; ocular large, eye distinct; 1 (third) upper labial; 2 temporals, upper very large, forming an extensive suture with a postfrontal and parietal; mental elongate; 2 lower labials, first very large, second small; no postmental; 4 chin shields, all of which are in contact with a first lower labial; 243 annuli on body, 26 on tail; 17 (10 + 7) segments in a midbody annulus, the median ventral segment six times as broad as long; 6 anals; preanal pores.

Coloration. Above, pale brown; below, white.

Measurements. Total length 120 (107 + 13) mm.

Remarks. Obviously derived from Amphisbaeua leonina of Tumbo Island, French Guinea, from which it differs in having 26 annuli (instead of 20) on tail; in 17 (instead of 24) segments in a midbody annulus, the median ventral segments being 6 (instead of less than 2) times as broad as long; absence (instead of 3-6) of preanal pores ; and of doubtful consequence, no postmental, it having divided longitudinally to form 4 chin shields. 
CommentAbundance: only known from the type specimen (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after Pedro de Grys (de Grijs) who worked at the Zoological Museum, Hamburg, and who lent the specimens to Loveridge. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Branch, William R., Oliver S. G. Pauwels and Marius Burger 2003. Re-discovery of Cynisca bifrontalis in Gabon, with additional notes on Monopeltis galeata (Reptilia: Amphisbaenia). African Journal of Herpetology 52 (2): 93-100 - 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
  • Loveridge, ARTHUR 1941. Revision of the African lizards of the family Amphisbaenidae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 87: 353-451. - 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
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