Herpetology of Ethiopia and Eritrea


Amphisbaenidae Gray, 1865



Ancylocranium: Snout compressed, raised into a keel, formed by the pramaxilia, nasals, frontals, and part of the; parietal plate. Superior aspect of keel raised far above level of parietal surface, its posterior aspect may have a horn—like posterior projection. Basipterygoid processes, partes posteriores choanarum and supratemporals absent. Quadrate variably dilated maximally. Stapes very large, with prominent extracolumella adjacent to lateral aspect of quadrate. Rostral shield enormous, heavily keratinized. Second infralabials markedly enlarged, forming the largest shields on the lower jaw.


Ancylocranium somalicum (SCORTECCI, 1930)


Description:
Rostral with straight posterior edges; postmental paired and elongate; a series of four to five very narrow annuli after the angulns oris; paired midventral segments; more than 25 dorsal and more than 18 ventral segments to a midbody annulus; two to four precloacal pores; more than four caudal annuli, in length approximately equal to the trunk annuli; unpigmemed. Body annuli 194 or more; 26 to 33 dorsal and 19 to 25 ventral segments to midbody annulus; five to seven caudal annuli [According to GANS & KOCHVA].
These specimens show some slight variation beyond that already described for the species. The segments in an annulus vary from 30/21 to 32/23 (vice 27/22, 28/ 24), there are from 186 to 193 annuli on the body (197—199) and from 7 to 8 on the tail (vice 6-7). Thus these three examples from the Hand differ appreciably from the only other-known examples of the species, the types from Caitoi on the Webi Shebeli. It is not improbable that the differences are really indicative of racial differentiation but far too little is at present known of the stability or variability of these lizards for it to be possible to form any definite opinion on the point [PARKER].
Ancylocranium somalicum parkeri GANS & KOCHVA 1966: Body annuli 193 or fewer; 31 to 33 dorsal and 20 to 23 ventral segments to a midbody annulus; seven to eight caudal annuli.
Sometimes cited as full species Ancylocranium parkeri.

Distribution:
Somalia, eastern Ethiopia (Haud,Ogaden).

Biology:
Poorly known species. It inhabit sandy semi-desert, where lives secretly under stones, in burrows or inside termite hills. Insectivorous (termites, ants).

Description original:
Scortecci, GIUSEPPE 1931. Contributo alla conoscenza dei rettili e degli anfibi della Somalia, dell'Eritrea e dell'Abissinia. Boll. Mus. Zool. Univ. Torino, (ser. 3) 41 (10): 1-26 [1930]

Described as Anops somalicus

Common English Name: Somali Sharp-snouted Worm Lizard






















































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