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1 April 2016 Diet of Amphisbaena heathi Schmidt, 1936 (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from Remnants of the Atlantic Forest, Northeastern Brazil, with Notes on Distribution, Diagnosis and Conservation
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Abstract

We analyzed the diet of Amphisbaena heathi, a species with restricted geographic distribution in northeastern Brazil. We also present data on morphometric and meristic characters of the examined specimens and update the geographic distribution of the species. The diet analysis was based on the contents of the digestive tract of 21 specimens collected in two urban Atlantic Forest fragments in Natal municipality, Rio Grande do Norte state, from 2008–2010. We collected 80.1% of the specimens near the surface (depth of ca. 3–5 cm) in moist earth under the leaf litter and 19.9% underground (ca. 15 cm beneath the surface). In total, we identified 60 prey items in the digestive tracts of A. heathi. The most important prey categories were ants, insect larvae, and cockroach nymphs. Ants predominated in frequency and number, while insect larvae and cockroaches predominated in volume. Besides insects, A. heathi also consumed earthworms, leeches, and centipedes. Considering our sample (n = 34) and the type series (n = 2), we modify some diagnostic characters of A. heathi: (1) 56.5–136 mm SVL; (2) 8.9–21.8 mm tail length; (3) 182–201 body annuli; (4) 23–28 tail annuli; (5) autotomic site at 7–9th caudal annuli; (6) 11–12 dorsal segments and 18–20 ventral segments per midbody annulus. Based on the minimum convex polygon method, we estimated the extent of occurrence of the species to be approximately 4278.7 km2 in the northeast portion of Rio Grande do Norte state.

© 2016 Brazilian Society of Herpetology
Carolina Maria Cardoso Aires Lisboa, Raul Fernandes Dantas Sales, Bruno Rafael Morais de Macêdo, and Eliza Maria Xavier Freire "Diet of Amphisbaena heathi Schmidt, 1936 (Squamata: Amphisbaenidae) from Remnants of the Atlantic Forest, Northeastern Brazil, with Notes on Distribution, Diagnosis and Conservation," South American Journal of Herpetology 11(1), (1 April 2016). https://doi.org/10.2994/SAJH-D-15-00025.1
Received: 12 September 2015; Accepted: 1 March 2016; Published: 1 April 2016
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