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Monopeltis sphenorhynchus (PETERS, 1879)

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Higher TaxaAmphisbaenidae, Amphisbaenia, Lacertoidea, Squamata (lizards)
SubspeciesMonopeltis sphenorhynchus sphenorhynchus PETERS 1879
Monopeltis sphenorhynchus mauricei PARKER 1935 
Common NamesE: Slender Spade-snouted Worm Lizard [sphenorhynchus]
Maurice’s Slender Worm Lizard, Maurice’s Spade-snouted Worm Lizard [mauricei] 
SynonymLepidosternon sphenorhynchum GRAY 1865 (nomen nudum)
Monopeltis sphenorhynchus PETERS 1879: 275
Monopeltis habenichti FITZSIMONS 1937
Monopeltis capensis gazei FITZSIMONS 1937
Monopeltis capensis gazei — FITZSIMONS 1943: 393
Monopeltis sphenorhynchus — BAUER et al. 1995: 68
Monopeltis sphenorhynchus — GANS 2005: 37
Monopeltis sphenorhynchus — BATES et al. 2014: 155

Monopeltis sphenorhynchus mauricei PARKER 1935
Monopeltis mauricei PARKER 1935: 582
Monopeltis ocularis FITZSIMONS 1941
Monopeltis mauricei — LOVERIDGE 1941: 408
Monopeltis ocularis — FITZSIMONS 1943: 390
Monopeltis mauricei — FITZSIMONS 1943: 400
Monopeltis ocularis — FITZSIMONS & BRAIN 1958
Monopeltis ocularis — BROADLEY 1962
Monopeltis sphenorhynchus mauricei — AUERBACH 1987: 140
Monopeltis sphenorhynchus mauricei — BROADLEY 1992
Monopeltis mauricei — BATES et al. 2014: 155
Monopeltis mauricei — BOURQUIN & GRUENER 2017 
DistributionS Mozambique, Republic of South Africa (Transvaal, Natal, Cape Province, Bechuanaland), SE Botswana, S Mozambique

Type locality: ‘‘Mocambique und Angola’’; restricted to ‘‘Inhambane, Mozambique’’ (Loveridge, 1941: 427).

mauricei: Botswana (Serowe), Namibia, Republic of South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe  
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 1400, 9423, (9424) fide GANS 1967], 9000;Lectotype: ZMB 1400, designated by GANS 2005. Paralectotype: ZMB 9423.
Holotype: BMNH 1933.9.9.14, female [mauricei] 
DiagnosisDescription (mauricei). Two large shields covering the head, the anterior once and a half times as long as the posterior; a pair of occipitals; no preocular; ocular small, eye indistinguishable; rostral separating the nasals, not bordering the nostrils; nasals elongate, reaching the ocular; 3 upper labials, third largest; mental small; postmental large, pentagonal, in contact with anterior lower labial; 2 chin shields, in contact with all 3 lower labials; 289 annuli on body, 12 on tail; 70 (40 + 30) segments in a midbody annulus, the 2 median ventral segments two and a half times as broad as long; 6 pectorals; 4 anals; 1-1 preanal pores.

Dentition. Premaxillary tooth 1; maxillaries 1-1; mandibulars 6-6.

Measurements. Total length 132 (127 + 5) mm.

Source: Loveridge 1941. 
CommentSynonymy that of BROADLEY et al. (1976). BAUER et al. (1995) indicate that PETERS 1879 is the author of this species.

Distribution: Not in Angola fide Marques et al. 2018 (who do not mention mauricei). 
  • 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.
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Broadley, D G 1992. Amphisbaenia. Amphisbaenidae. Monopeltis sphenorhynchus mauricei Parker 1935. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa 41: 39 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1962. On some reptile collections from the North-Western and North-Eastern Districts of Southern Rhodesia 1958-1961, with descriptions of four new lizards. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. South. Rhodesia 26 (B): 787-843
  • 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
  • Broadley, Donald G. 2001. Geographical Distribution. Monopeltis sphenorhynchus. African Herp News (32):23-24 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V. 1937. Three new lizards from South Africa. Annals Transvaal Mus. 17 (4): 275-279. - 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
  • Fitzsimons,V.F.M. 1941. Descriptions of some new lizards from South Africa and a frog from southern Rhodesia. Annals Transvaal Mus. 20 (3): 273-281 - 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
  • Gray,J.E. 1865. A revision of the genera and species of amphisbaenians with the descriptions of some new species now in the collection of the British Museum. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1865: 442-455. - 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
  • Jacobsen, Niels H.G.; Errol W. Pietersen & Darren W. Pietersen 2010. A preliminary herpetological survey of the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary on the San Sebastian Peninsula, Vilankulo, Mozambique. Herpetology Notes 3: 181-193
  • Loveridge, ARTHUR 1941. Revision of the African lizards of the family Amphisbaenidae. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 87: 353-451. - get paper here
  • Manaças, SARA 1957. Contribuiçao para o estudo dos répteis (saurios e leptotiflopideos) de Moçambique. An. Junta Invest. Ultramar 9 (Pt. 3): 1-8
  • Measey, John & Krystal A. Tolley 2013. A molecular phylogeny for sub-Saharan amphisbaenians. African Journal of Herpetology 62 (2): 100-108 - get paper here
  • Parker, HAMPTON WILDMAN 1935. A new species of amphisbaenid lizard from Bechuanaland. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (10) 15: 582-583. - get paper here
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1879. Über die Amphisbaenen und eine zu denselben gehörige neue Art (Lepidosternon Wuchereri). Monatsber. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1879: 273-277 - get paper here
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