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Mesobaena rhachicephala HOOGMOED, PINTO, DA ROCHA & PEREIRA, 2009

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesPortuguese: Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças, Cobra-Cega 
SynonymMesobaena rhachicephala HOOGMOED, PINTO, DA ROCHA & PEREIRA 2009 
DistributionBrazil (Para)

Type locality: Floresta Nacional Saracá-Taquera (01° 50’ S, 56° 31’ W, 83 m), Porto Trombetas, Munipality of Oriximiná, State of Para, Brazil  
TypesHolotype: MNRJ 15324, adult male. November, 2006. Collected by E. G. Pereira. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A new species allocated to Mesobaena based on description provided by Gans (1971), having following combination of characters: (1) head and snout more pointed than keel-shaped; (2) snout prognathous; (3) nostrils in small nasals on underside snout; (4) large, elongate and coniform rostral; (5) posterior tip rostral reaching level anterior tips oculars; (6) large prefrontals in contact behind rostral; (7) medium-sized frontals in broad medial contact; (8) two supralabials, first small, second very large; (9) elongate triangular ocular; (10) very small eye visible in anterior tip ocular; (11) one postocular; (12) mental in contact with first and second infralabials, ending in two sharp points; (13) oval postmental; (14) two infralabials, first small, second very large; (15) second infralabial twice as high as second supralabial; (16) three or four irregular rows of postgenials; (17) regular segments in gular region; (18) dorsal body scales quadrangular with central depression; (19) ventral body scales rectangular without central depression; (20) body scales arranged in transverse row (annuli); (21) no dorsal, lateral or ventral sulci; (22) two pairs of precloacal pores separated by two median scales without pores; (23) poorly marked autotomy annulus present in holotype (seventh tail annulus), but absent in two paratypes; (24) tail tip with an elevated, flat, wide, vertical, unsegmented band-like double edged structure with concave sides; (25) hemipenis without spines or distinct ridges, sulcus spermaticus only on proximal one third; (26) color in life pink on head and anterior body, more posteriorly dorsal parts brown, ventral parts cream, tip of tail very dark brown; (27) eye bright blue; (28) in preservative anterior part body and ventral region cream, dorsal parts brown, darkest on tail tip; (29) SVL in male 245 mm, in female 253 mm. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet rhachicephala is formed from the Greek words rhachis (= ridge) and kephale (= head) in reference to the slightly keeled rostrum of the new species. 
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira 9 (2): 121 – 214 - get paper here
  • Hoogmoed, Marinus S.; Roberta R. Pinto, Wáldima Alves da Rocha, and Emiliane G. Pereira 2009. A NEW SPECIES OF MESOBAENA MERTENS, 1925 (SQUAMATA: AMPHISBAENIDAE) FROM BRAZILIAN GUIANA, WITH A KEY TO THE AMPHISBAENIDAE OF THE GUIANAN REGION. Herpetologica 65 (4): 436 - get paper here
  • Morato, S.A.A.; Calixto, P.O.; Mendes, L.R.; Gomes, R.; Galatti, U.; Trein, F.L.; Oliveira, F.S.; Ferreira, G.N. 2014. Guia fotográfico de identificação da herpetofauna da Floresta Nacional de Saracá-Taquera, Estado do Pará. Curitiba: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A.; 213 p. - get paper here
  • Morato, Sérgio Augusto Abrahão; Guilherme Nunes Ferreira; Michela Rossane Cavilha Scupino (eds.) 2018. Herpetofauna da Amazônia Central: Estudos na FLONA de Saracá-Taquera. Curitiba, Pr: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas, Pa: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A., 2018. 210p. - get paper here
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