ABSTRACT

Legless lizards (Amphisbaenia) belong to a group of mostly legless squamates that include about 196 species. One genus (Bipes) retains a pair of forelimbs, but all other 19 genera in the clade are limbless. They are widely distributed, occurring in the Middle East and the Caribbean and nearly all of the major continents (except Australia). Only 2/6 (33%) families, 3/20 (15%) genera, and 4/195 (2%) species in the Amphisbaenia clade of the Sauria have been examined for coccidia and 8 coccidia species are now known. Here, we summarize information on the 8 species of coccidia (3 Choleoeimeria, 1 Eimeria, 4 Isospora) reported from legless lizards of the world. In addition, Eimeria amphisbaeniarum Huntington, Cisper, Smith, Powell, Parmerlee Jr., and Lathrop, 1996, is placed in the genus Choleoeimeria. We speculate that another 380 intestinal coccidia infecting this unique reptilian lineage wait to be discovered.

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