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Cynisca nigeriensis DUNGER, 1968

IUCN Red List - Cynisca nigeriensis - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata
Common Names 
SynonymCynisca nigeriensis DUNGER 1968: 177
Cynisca nigeriensis — GANS 2005: 29 
DistributionN Nigeria (vicinity of Takwashara, near Abuja)

Type locality: ‘‘in the vicinity of Takwashara, near Abuja (8°52’N, 7°27’E) in Northern Nigeria.’’  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 102413 (Dunger, 1968). Paratypes: AMNH 102414–102423; CG 3981–3984. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A medium sized speciesof the genus Clnisca showing major fusions of the head shields, namely fusion of the 1st and 2nd supralabials with the nasal,prefrontal, frontal, preocular, and ocular shields. A pair of large elongate postfrontals, together forming the shape of an armorial shield, the postfrontals being sometimes of irregular shape and size. A pair of medium-sized parietals and usually a pair of interparietals, irregular in shape and size, sometimes absent on one or both sides. Fusion of the 1st and 2nd supralabials; a large posterior (3rd) supralabial. Fusion of the 1st and 2nd infralabials; a small posterior (3rd) infralabial. Mental fused to the postmental; the postgenials (chin shields) in two rows, anterior and posterior, containing 4+4 segments but sometimes 2+4 or 3+4. Post-genials flanked by symmetrical enlarged malar shields. Body annuli 225-243; lateral annuli 2-4; caudal annuli 20-22 with an autotomy constriction after the 5th, 6th or 7th caudal annulus. Ten precloacal pores in the male; none in the female; 6-7 precloacal and 5-1o postcloacal segments. Segments in a mid-body annulus number 18-20, 10 dorsal and 8-10 ventral (from Dunger 1968).

Diagnosis: Gans 1987: 57 
CommentAbundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Dunger, G.T. 1968. The lizards and snakes of Nigeria. Part 5: the amphisbaenids of Nigeria including a description of 3 new species. Nigerian Field 33 (4): 167-192
  • Dunger, G.T. 1969. Amendments and additions. Nigerian Field 34 (1): 48
  • Gans, C. 2005. CHECKLIST AND BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AMPHISBAENIA OF THE WORLD. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 289: 1-130 - 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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