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Mexican Mole Lizard
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Information
Common Name Five-toed Worm Lizard, Ajolote, and Bipes.
Range Baja California, Mexico.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Family Bipedidae
Genus Bipes
Species B. biporus
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern
The Mexican mole lizard, (Bipes biporus), also known as the five-toed worm lizard, ajolote, or simply as Bipes, is a species of amphisbaenian, which is endemic to Baja California, Mexico. It is one of four amphisbaenians that have legs, and one of three non-extinct species of animals to have only two limbs, with the Lesser and Greater Siren. It should not be confused with the axolotl, a salamander which is usually called ajolote.

Description

They are pink, lizard-like reptiles, 18–24 cm (7.1–9.4 in) snout-to-vent length and 6–7 mm (0.24–0.28 in) in width, that live for one to two years. Their skin is closely segmented to give a corrugated appearance, and like earthworms, their underground movement is by peristalsis of the segments. The forelegs are strong and paddle-like, while the hindlegs have disappeared, leaving behind only vestigial bones visible in X-rays.

Reproduction

This species is oviparous and the females lay one to four eggs in July. The species only breeds underground. The eggs hatch after two months.

Geographic Range

The Mexican mole lizard is found only in Baja California, Mexico.

Behavior

Like all other amphisbaenians, this burrowing species only surfaces at night or after heavy rain.

Diet

It is an opportunist carnivore and eats ants, termites, ground-dwelling insects, larvae, earthworms, and small animals including lizards. It usually pulls its prey down to the ground to start its meal.

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