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Microteiids: Gymnophthalmidae

No Common Name (bachia Bresslaui): Species Account

Physical characteristics: This lizard is known only by its scientific name of Bachia bresslaui. It has a long body and long tail but very tiny, hardly noticeable legs. Its upper body is gray to brown, sometimes with brown spots, and has a tan stripe down either side. It has a cream-colored underside. Unlike many other lizards that have noticeable Bachia bresslaui live in the South American countries of Paraguay and Brazil. (Illustration by Barbara Duperron. Reproduced by permission.) openings on the sides of the head for ears, this species has no such openings. Of the few individuals that have ever been seen, the largest of this rare species of lizards reached a size of 4.2 inches (10.6 centimeters) in length from the snout to the vent, plus a tail that measured more than 6.3 inches (16 centimeters) long.

Geographic range: They live in the South American countries of Paraguay and Brazil.

Habitat: In their range, which includes the northeastern area of Paraguay and central Brazil, these lizards have been found beneath pastures inside tunnels in sandy soils. Scientists think they may live in other types of soil, too.

Diet: Scientists have studied only five individuals from this species. These five ate ants, scorpions, spiders, beetles, and beetle grubs.

Behavior and reproduction: Although very little is known about Bachia bresslaui, scientists believe these lizards likely leave their below-earth homes and search about above ground for insects and other things to eat. They may walk with their small legs or slither like snakes. Scientists also guess that the females lay eggs rather than have baby lizards, but they have not yet found the eggs. They are also unsure about how many eggs the lizards lay at a time.

Bachia bresslaui and people: People and this lizard rarely see one another. Humans do, however, sometimes destroy their habitat when they build on or otherwise change the areas where the lizards live.

Conservation status: This species is not considered endangered or threatened. Scientists suspect that this species may actually live in areas other than northeastern Paraguay and central Brazil, but they do not have proof as yet. ∎



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Web sites:

"A Brief Look at the Gymnophthalmidae Spectacled Lizards and Microteiids." Cyberlizard. http://www.nafcon.dircon.co.uk/gymnophthalmidae.htm (accessed on November 12, 2004).

"Genus Bachia." Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Bachia.html (accessed on November 15, 2004).

"Golden Spectacled Lizard (Gymnophthalmus speciosus)," Savannah River Ecology Laboratory Herpetology Program. http://www.uga.edu/srelherp/jd/jdweb/Herps/species/Forlizards/Gymspe.htm (accessed on November 12, 2004).

"Gymnophthalmidae." Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Gymnophthalmidae.html (accessed on November 15, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesMicroteiids: Gymnophthalmidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, No Common Name (bachia Bresslaui): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, MICROTEIIDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS