Abstract Confusion exists in the literature concerning the collecting event of the teiid lizard Tiaporus fuliginosus. We investigated the literature and documents stored at the Smithsonian Institution Archives involving the collector of those specimens in an effort to resolve that confusion. We conclude that the type series was collected on the Swan Islands of Honduras by Charles H. Townsend during 1887. We also provide a redescription of that nominal form and show that it is a valid species that should be called Ameiva fuliginosa. We also examined the type series of A. panchlora from Old Providence, Colombia and confirm that its 1950 placement as a junior synonym of A. fuliginosa is correct.