n African Journal of Herpetology - A molecular phylogeny for sub-Saharan amphisbaenians

Volume 62, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2156-4574
  • E-ISSN: 2153-3660
This article is unavailable for purchase outside of Africa



Amphisbaenians are enigmatic members of the subterranean herpetofauna with the majority of their diversity concentrated in South America and Africa. The largest family, Amphisbaenidae, occurs in South America and Africa, but the phylogenetic relationships among the genera are not clearly understood, especially for African taxa. We present a phylogeny based on two mitochondrial (16S and ND2) and two nuclear genes (CMOS and RAG1) with representatives of six of the nine African genera of Amphisbaenidae. Three African genera with keel and shovel head shapes occur in a single well-supported clade which is sister to all South American members of the Amphisbaenidae. The remaining three African genera ( and ) all with round heads fall outside this clade, although their positions are not well supported. Future challenges rest with sampling species not recorded from the field for decades.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error