Designed by Paul Smith 2006. This website is copyrighted by law.
Material contained herewith may not be used without the prior written permission of FAUNA Paraguay.
Photographs on this web-site were taken by Paul Smith, Hemme Batjes, Regis Nossent,
Alberto Esquivel, Arne Lesterhuis, JosÚ Luis Cartes, Rebecca Zarza and Hugo del Castillo and are used with their permission.
The Infraorder Lepidosauria contains two recent orders, only one of which is found in Paraguay - the Squamata (see below). These groups make up the vast majority of the reptile species occurring in Paraguay.
The posterior rib-supporting part of the sternum is formed by two broad plates which fuse before the animal has completed its growth. In the hand the medial centrale is approximally twice the length of the lateral centrale. Upper and lower temporal fossae are present. The exoccipitals do not come into contact on the occipital condyle. The maxilla and nasal do meet, and the lachrymal is reduced. Teeth are usually on the maxilla, premaxilla and dentary, the premaxillary teeth are not enlarged. Palatal teeth are often present but never on the parasphenoid. Ilium, ischium and pubis are fusedin adults. Fifth metatarsal is short, stout and with a characteristic hook. Secondary palate not developed. Ecdysis is regular and complete and imbricate epidermal scales are usually present. There is a cartilaginous disc known as the tenon in the lower eyelid and the ciliary process of the eye is reduced or absent. Tongue is protrusible and notched distally. Growth is determinate as a result of epiphyseal caps at the ends of bones. There are no post-parietal or tabular bones. Kidney possesses a sexual segment which unique amongst tetrapods. Cloacal opening is transverse.
Made up of three suborders, the Sauria (lizards), Amphisbaenia (amphibaenians) and Serpentes (snakes) - though this may impose paraphyly. This is by far the largest order of reptiles.
Squamata lack a lower temporal arcade, the upper sometimes being present and sometimes absent. The quadrate is movable, though occasionally secondarily fixed. The pterygoids are separated by the palatines. Teeth are acrodont or pleurodont and none are found on the vomer. Vertebrae are procoelous, the trunk vertebrae lacking intercentra. Cervical vertebrae have distinctive hypaphohyses. Dorsal ribs are single-headed and articulate with the centra, but there are no abdominal ribs. The humerus lacks a entepicondylar foramen. Three pelvic bones enter the acetabulum. The pineal foramen is generally present. Femoral and inguinal glands are present, unqie to the order. Jacobson┤s Organ is separated from the nasal capsule and has a fungiform body. Males possess paired, evertible hemipenes. Females have saccular ovaries.
Fouquette MJ (unpublished) - Synopsis of Recent Reptiles to Genus - Arizona University
Whitfield P Ed.1984 - Longman Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia - Guild Publishing, London.