IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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SVL is 70mm for males (Passmore and Carruthers 1995). Head broader than long (Laurent 1963). Small, obvious, beady eyes with vertical pupil (Laurent 1963). The snout is bluntly pointed, with a hardened tip used for head-first burrowing (Laurent 1963). This burrowing technique is unlike most other burrowing forms (Passmore and Carruthers 1995). Distance between the nostrils is 2.4 mm (Laurent 1963). There is no tympanum. Bodies appear squat, depressed, and bloated (Passmore and Carruthers 1995). The lower jaw recedes and there are no teeth on the upper jaw (Laurent 1963). The skin is smooth with a transverse fold across the top of the head (Passmore and Carruthers 1995). The limbs and digits are stout. Tibia is 2.5 times longer (18.6 mm) than broad (Laurent 1963). The first, second, and fourth fingers are the same length, while the third finger is the longest (Laurent 1963). Toes are not webbed (Laurent 1963).

The color, as reported by Laurent (1963) is a uniform olive green dorsally, grading to greenish on the sides. The ventral coloration is purplish grey with yellowish spots (Laurent 1963).

The species first described by Laurent (1963). The genus Hemisus derives its name from the Greek Hemi meaning half and Ous meaning ear. The species name olivaceus given because of its olive colored dorsal skin.


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