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Blanus cinereus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Clade: Amphisbaenia
Family: Blanidae
Genus: Blanus
Wagler, 1830[1]

Blanus is a genus of amphisbaenians found in the Mediterranean region of Europe and North Africa.[2] Like other amphisbaenians, Blanus are specialized for a subterranean existence, with a long, slender body, reduced limbs, and rudimentary eyes. The skull is powerfully constructed, allowing the animal to push through soil to create a burrow. The jaws are well-developed, with large, recurved teeth and a pair of canine-like teeth in the upper jaw.

Five extant species are currently known. The relationships of Blanus to other worm-lizards are not clear. The genus was formerly included in the Amphisbaenidae. More recent analyses suggest that blanids are more primitive, and are either related to Bipes[3] or represent an even more ancient lineage.[4]

A number of fossils from Europe have been referred either to Blanus or to the Blanidae.[5]


Evolutionary tree of Blanidae; extinct species denoted with gray lines

The genus contains the following species:[6][7]


  1. ^ Wagler, J. 1830. Natürliches System der AMPHIBIEN, mit vorangehender Classification der SÄUGTHIERE und VÖGEL. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. Munich, Stuttgart, and Tübingen: J.G. Cotta. vi + 354 pp. + one plate. (Genus Blanus, p. 197).
  2. ^ Albert, E. M.; Zardoya, R.; García-París, M. (2007). "Phylogeographical and speciation patterns in subterranean worm lizards of the genus Blanus (Amphisbaenia: Blanidae)". Molecular Ecology. 16 (7): 1519–1531. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2007.03248.x. PMID 17391273. 
  3. ^ Vidal, N.; Azvolinsky, A.; Cruaud, C.; Hedges, S. B. (2007-12-11). "Origin of tropical American burrowing reptiles by transatlantic rafting". Biology Letters. 4 (1): 115–118. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2007.0531. PMC 2412945Freely accessible. PMID 18077239. 
  4. ^ Kearney, M.; Stuart, B. L. (2004). "Repeated evolution of limblessness and digging heads in worm lizards revealed by DNA from old bones". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 271 (1549): 1677–1683. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2771. 
  5. ^ Augé, M. L. (2012). "Amphisbaenians from the European Eocene: A biogeographical review". Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments. 92 (4): 425–443. doi:10.1007/s12549-012-0104-6. 
  6. ^ Blanus at the Reptile Database
  7. ^ Blanus Wikispecies.

Media related to Blanus at Wikimedia Commons