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Family Bipidae The Mexican Mole Lizards

Definately the most interesting reptiles in Mexico, mole lizards belonging to the genus Bipes are iconic symbols of the rich diversity of endemic reptiles found in Mexico.  Bipes is an amphisbaenian but is highly distinctive from the others as it is the only one possessesing well developed front limbs used in digging and locomotion.  In fact, it is the only amphisbaenid with any external limbs at all.  Three species are currently recognized.

Bipes biporus COPE 1894
Bipes canaliculatus BONNATERRE 1789
Bipes tridactylus DUGÈS 1894




These distinctive markings leave the tell tale sign of Bipes activity.  Note the burrow entrance at the upper left side of the trail.
Following capture this surprised specimen contorted and writhed its body into an odd position.  All the while it kept the head hidden and exuded musk from the cloaca.