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Monopeltis leonhardi WERNER, 1910

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Sauria, Squamata (lizards)
Common NamesE: Kalahari Worm Lizard 
SynonymMonopeltis leonhardi WERNER 1910: 328
Monopeltis vernayi FITZSIMONS 1932: 36
Monopeltis leonhardi — FITZSIMONS & BRAIN 1958
Monopeltis leonhardi — AUERBACH 1987: 139
Monopeltis leonhardi — GANS 2005: 36
Monopeltis leonhardi — BATES et al. 2014: 154 
DistributionNamibia, C Botswana, SW Zimbabwe (extending along Limpopo River to Kruger National Park), Republic of South Africa (Cape Province)

Type locality: ‘‘Kalahari, zwischen Kgokong und Kang’’, Botswana.  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 23201 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A medium-sized (200 to 290 mm. snout-vent length in adults) species of Monopeltis with the dorsal surface heavily pigmented from nape to tail tip and this coloration extending below the lateral sulcus. The species has 170 to 213 body, three or four (rarely five to seven) lateral, and five to nine caudal annuli (up to the bluntly rounded tip), 17 to 34 dorsal plus 14 to 27 ventral segments to a midbody annulus, and two to four (usually four) first and three to 11 second postgenial segments. The azygous head shields are paired, the ocular being wedged between them. There are no preoculars. The nasals are short and do not contact the oculars, the lip, or each other. There are four to seven (usually six) parietal shields. The pectoral zone is rectangular and the sutures between the six (very rarely four) shields are parallel. They correspond to four dorsal body annuli, except when the lateral ones are broken up. The ventral segments of the prepectoral annulus are slightly enlarged but not involved in the pectoral shields. The lateral sulci are clearly expressed, but neither dorsal nor ventral sulci are obvious. Diagonal folding lines occur. There are two to 22 supernumerary dorsal half-annuli, most of these corresponding to the first 50 body annuli. The dorsal interannular sutures cross the body at right angles to its long axis. There are no precloacal pores. No autotomy occurs. 
CommentSynonymy that of BROADLEY et al. (1976). Listed as synonym of M. anchietae by Loveridge 1941: 410. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Leonhard Schultze-Jena (1872-1955), a German geographer, zoologist, botanist, philologist, and ethnographer. He was Professor of Geography at Philipps-Universität Marburg (1913-1937) who travelled to New Guinea and Central America. 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G., Gans,C. & Visser, J. 1976. Studies on Amphisbaenians. (6). The Genera Monopeltis and Dalophia in Southern Africa. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 157 (5): 311-486 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V. 1932. Preliminary descriptions of new forms of South African Reptilia and Amphibia, from the Vernay-Lang Kalahari Expedition, 1930. Annals Transvaal Mus. 15 (1): 35-40 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V.F. 1943. The lizards of South Africa. Transvaal Museum Memoir No.1 (Pretoria), 528 pp.
  • Fitzsimons, V.F.M.; Brain, C.K. 1958. A Short account of the Reptiles of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. Koedoe, 1(1): 99-104 - 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
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Werner,F. 1910. Reptilia et Amphibia. In Schultze, L., Zoologische und anthropologische Ergebnisse einer Forschungsreise im westlichen und zentralen Südafrika. Band IV, Systematik und Tiergeographie Vertebrata B. Denkschr. Med.-Nat. Wiss. GeselI. Jena 16: 279-370 [1910] - get paper here
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