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Speckled Worm Lizard

Amphisbaena bassleri

Description:

This legless lizard normally attains a length of around 15 inches. The base color is white with black quadrangular markings over the entire body. The eyes are extremely reduced. The jaws, although small are strong as is the case with many lizards.

Habitat:

In Ecuador it is found throughout the Amazon rainforest of SE Ecuador. They can be found many times on the ground, especially after a rain, but spend much time burrowing.

Notes:

Although the local population consider them snakes, they are, in fact, legless lizards.This one was found coming down a jungle trail. I've added a photo of a couple babies. The babies were found while digging a trench.

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15 Comments

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

I'm glad I posted it. They are very common here. I've registered over 50 individuals in the 30+ years we've been here. I still think they're pretty cool. We've kept some for a few months before letting them go again. They learn to come to the top of the dirt when we open the lid and will take small pieces of beef heart from our fingers. I don't think that is their natural food though :-)

Fantastic find Tukup,beautiful and rare,congrats on the well deserved SOTD and thanks for sharing your amazing spotting page with all of us

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

Too funny. I guess everybody sees what they want. I don't do Facebook so wasn't even aware of that facet of Project Noah. Thanks.

DanielePralong
DanielePralong a year ago

Thank you again Tukup! This spotting is getting a fair bit of attention on our Facebook page. On top of biological interest it has a certain visual appeal: people are comparing this worm lizard to bars of music, a long ear of corn or QR code!

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

My pleasure Mark. It is nice to see people appreciate reptiles :-)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway a year ago

Beautiful animal !! Congratulations and thanks for showing it.

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

You're welcome Gilma. I need a LOT of help on areas outside of herpetofauna. Along with our mission work here in the Amazon for 33+ years I worked closely with a foundation in Quito on the listing and identification of reptiles and amphibians in our area. While not an expert, I feel more comfortable in this area :-)

Thank you so much for the information, Tukup.

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

Thanks Daniel. Amphisbaena fuliginosa bassleri is the older classification. It has been changed to Amphisbaena bassleri. Thanks for the warm welcome anyway. I'm enjoying this.

DanielePralong
DanielePralong a year ago

Thank you Gilma. These other contributions are actually for A. fuliginosa, which is sometimes in use as a synonym for the same species in other regions of South America (in these cases Guyana and French Guiana).

But yes you could be right the others are Amphisbaena fuliginosa...??

No ....DanielePralong.....I see other contributions as MichaelRodrigues Submitted on Apr 26, 2014 and EmilieChich Submitted on Sep 18, 2012.....???

DanielePralong
DanielePralong a year ago

Congratulations Tukup, your Speckled Worm Lizard is our Spotting of the Day!
This is the first time we get a contribution for this species on Project Noah.

"White with contrasting black quadrangular markings over its body, this unique Speckled Worm Lizard (Amphisbaena bassleri) is our Spotting of the Day! Amphisbaenidae, commonly known as worm lizards, are a family of limbless vertebrates often mistaken for snakes. This family includes some of the least studied and understood species of Squamata (the largest order of reptiles), mainly due to their burrowing behavior. Amphisbaena bassleri is distributed across most of tropical South America, and is more often observed when surfacing after rain or floods".

New Project Noah member Tukup has already lined up an impressive collection of spottings from the Ecuadorian Amazon. Check them out here: https://buff.ly/2UtCCM6

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/projectnoah/pho...

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/projectnoah/status/1...

Tukup
Tukup a year ago

Thanks Daniel, I am enjoying posting the pictures I've accumulated over the past 33+ years. Well, I didn't have a camera for the first half, but I have a lot of pictures since. Hope everyone enjoys them. It's nice living here in the garden of Eden :-)

DanielePralong
DanielePralong a year ago

Truly special and a first on Project Noah! Another warm welcome Tukup! You have started a fantastic collection. Looking forward to see more from you and your location in Ecuador!

Tukup
Spotted by
Tukup

Morona Santiago, Ecuador

Spotted on Oct 19, 2012
Submitted on Jan 28, 2019

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