Abstract

Four species of Ophisaurus, O. fejfari, O. spinari, O. robustus and O. holeci, are recognized on the basis of parietals from the Early Miocene of the Czech Republic and Germany. The fifth species, O. acuminatus, is described from the Late Miocene of Germany, but its parietal is not preserved. This paper describes new O. fejfari, O. spinari, O. robustus and O. holeci specimens from the Early and Middle Miocene of the Czech Republic and Germany. The O. fejfari and O. holeci parietals from Germany are the first records of these species outside the Czech Republic. This paper provides a significant contribution to the understanding of both interspecific and intraspecific Ophisaurus variability in the Cenozoic of Europe. A well-preserved parietal of Anguis rarus sp. nov. is described from the Early Miocene of Germany. This is the first record of the parietal of Anguis in the Cenozoic. A new parietal from the Middle Miocene of Germany is described as Pseudopus sp. It differs from the contemporaneous P. laurillardi only in the absence of the large and distinctly laterally projecting anterolateral processes of the parietal. In the Miocene, Ophisaurus and Pseudopus exhibit a higher diversity than that of the preceding geological periods of the Cenozoic. Besides, Ophisaurus emigrates from Europe to (1) Asia and via the Bering Strait to North America, and (2) North Africa during the Oligocene and Miocene. By contrast, Anguis and Pseudopus are limited to Eurasia. The palaeobiogeography of members of Anguinae is discussed.

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