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Loveridgea phylofiniens (TORNIER, 1899)

IUCN Red List - Loveridgea phylofiniens - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Udjiji Worm Lizard 
SynonymAmphisbaena phylofiniens TORNIER 1899: 260
Loveridgea phylofiniens — VANZOLINI 1951: 114
Loveridgea phylofiniens — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 19
Loveridgea phylofiniens — GANS 2005: 34
Loveridgea phylofiniens — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 319 
DistributionTanzania (vicinity of Ujiji)

Type locality: Ujiji, Tanzania.  
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 15669, ZMB 69096 (two specimens). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Generally small and slendersize amphisbaenian (snout-vent length of adults between 150 and 200 mm) with trunk rounded and long, conical noncompressed head covered with four pairs of enlarged shields, namely nasals, prefrontals, frontals, and parietals (the third, frontal, pair may be medially fused); rostral shield invisible in dorsal view; oculars discrete or fused to anterodorsal tip of second supralabial; neither preoculars nor postoculars, but three supralabials and three infralabials; no occipitals; one large postsupralabial which may be divided to form a temporal; both forming dorsal part of the first body annulus. Lower jaw covered with a small mental, a postmental, and three infralabials, followed by a large postinfralabial or a small one with an enormous malar; first row of two to three small segments between infralabials contacts postmental; followed by irregular second row of small postgenial segments; pectoral scales not differentiated, interannular sutures crossing ventral surface at close to right angles to long axis. Lateral sulci present, but dorsal and ventral sulci only indicated by alignment of sutures; four to six oval precloacal pores in both sexes; caudal autotomy site always present; tip of tail usually leading into unsegmented caudal cone.
The generic diagnosis (Vanzolini, 1951a, 1951b) includes the following characteristics of the skull: "Snout compressed, strongly bent. The premaxilla forms an anterior vertical keel. Basipterygoid processes and supratemporals absent. Partes posteriores choanarum present sometimes reduced. Quadrate rod-like.
Dentition: 7 premaxillary; 4 maxillary; and 6 [actually 7 per Tornier, 1899] mandibular teeth.” (Gans & Kraklau 1989: 13) 
CommentType species: Amphisbaena phylofiniens TORNIER 1899: 260 is the type species of the genus Loveridgea VANZOLINI 1951.

Abundance: only known from its original description (Meiri et al. 2017). This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024. 
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Gans C; Kraklau D M 1989. Studies on amphisbaenians (Reptilia) 8. Two genera of small species from east Africa (Geocalamus and Loveridgea). American Museum Novitates (2944) : 1-28 - 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
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - 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
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Tornier,G. 1899. Drei Reptilien aus Afrika. Zool. Anz. 22 (588): 258-261 - get paper here
  • Vanzolini, P.E. 1951. A systematic arrangement of the family Amphibaenidae (Sauria). Herpetologica 7: 113-123 - get paper here
  • Williams E E 1982. Arthur Loveridge—A Life in Retrospect. Breviora (471): 1-12 - get paper here
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