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Amerotyphlops montanum »

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Typhlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
DistributionBrazil (Bahia: Parque Nacional Serra das Lontras, Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural Serra do Teimoso)

Type locality: Parque Nacional Serra das Lontras (15° 11′ 46.32′′ S, 39° 20′ 54.24′′ W; c. 234 m a.s.l.), municipality of Arataca, state of Bahia, Brazil.  
TypesHolotype: MZUSP 20065, adult female (field number MTR 16379), collected by Augustín Camacho, José Cassimiro, Mauro Teixeira Jr., Miguel T. Rodrigues, Renata C. Amaro and Renato Recoder 6 March 2009 (Fig. 11; Supporting Information, Fig. S4). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “This species is distinguished from all other South American congeneric species by a unique combination of the following of characters: (1) nasal suture incomplete; (2) rostral scale oval; (3) supralabial scales four; (4) infralabial scales three; (5) rows scales around the body 20/20/18; (6) mid-dorsal scales 220; (7) ventral scales 217; (8) rows of dorsal scales dark brown 11; (9) rows of ventral scales yellowish cream and immaculate 7–9; (10) caudal spine dark brown; (11) subcaudal scales 11; (12) TTL 216 mm; (13) TL 5.32 mm; (14) contact between the nasal process of premaxilla and vertical laminae of the nasals restricted to the anterodorsal portion, with the central and posteroventral portions not in contact, leaving a large canal between the olfactory chambers; (15) small-sized palatine fossa on the lateral side of the maxilla; (16) maxilla with a straight medial border; (17) ventral pterygoid process of palatine straight; (18) ratio between length of ventral pterygoid process of palatine and skull length 0.06; (19) angle between mandibular condyle articulation and the retroarticular process of the compound bone close to 90°; and (20) dorsal surface of dentary bone without evident foramina. Amerotyphlops montanum differs from A. costaricensis, A. lehneri, A. microstomus, A. stadelmani, A. tasymicris, A. tenuis, A. trinitatus and A. tycherus by having an incomplete nasal suture (vs. complete nasal suture); from A. arenensis, A. caetanoi, A. amoipira, A. minuisquamus, A. paucisquamus and A. yonenagae by having 20/20/18 rows scales around the body (vs. 18/16/14, 18/18/14, 20/18/14 or 20/18/15 in A. minuisquamus and 18/18/18 in A. arenensis, A. caetanoi, A. amoipira, A. paucisquamus and A. yonenagae); from A. reticulatus by having highly pigmented cephalic scales with a dark brown dorsum and dorsum tail brown (vs. yellow and few pigmented cephalic scales, dorsum brown or black and dorsum tail black with cream or yellow spot); and from A. brongermianus by having a larger interorbital relative width (INORB/HWE) 0.725 mm (vs. smaller interorbital relative width, between 0.526–0.705 mm). Table 1 shows additional morphometric characters and scale patterns found in A. montanum and in a morphologically similar species distributed in south-eastern Brazil (A. brongermianus).” (Graboski et al. 2022)

Description of the holotype: “Adult female, TTL 216 mm, TL 5.32 mm, MBD/(SVL-HR) 0.034 mm and TL/SVL 39.60 mm. Head slightly depressed dorsoventrally, not wider than ‘neck’. Snout round in dorsal and ventral views. Rostral oval, longer than wide, narrow at anteroposterior region and wider at medial region; visible in dorsal view, extending ventrodorsally without reaching the imaginary transverse line between anterior borders of eyes. Rostral contacting nasal (anterior and posterior) dorsolaterally, and first supralabial and anterior nasal scales ventrally. Nasal suture incomplete, only partially dividing the anterior and posterior portions of nasal scale. Suture begins in the upper edge of second supralabial, passes through nostril, but fails to reach rostral. Anterior nasal in contact with first infralabial and upper edge of second infralabial. Posterior nasal longer than wide, contacting upper margin of second supralabial and preocular. Supralabials four, fourth twice longer than third. Infralabials three, third largest. Eye diameter 1.03 mm; eyes not visible in ventral view, located dorsolaterally, close to suture between preocular and ocular scales, completely covered by ocular scale. Ocular scales contacting frontal. Body cylindrical and robust. Midbody diameter 7.12 mm. Dorsal and ventral scales cycloid, wider than long, highly imbricated and arranged in diagonal series; scale rows around the body 20/20/18. Mid-dorsal scales 220. Ventral scales 217. Cloacal plate rounded, bordered anteriorly by four rows of scales and posteriorly by five rows of scales. Subcaudal scales 11, excluding the terminal spine. Terminal spine large, stout base and dark brown.” (Graboski et al. 2022)

Coloration of the holotype in preservative: “Dorsum (11/11/11 rows scales) dark brown, venter (9/9/7 rows scales) yellowish cream (Supporting Information, Fig. S4A, B). Dorsal portions of snout yellowish cream, with a dark brown spot, covering totally both rostral and nasal scales (Fig. 11A, B). Ventral portion of snout yellowish cream and few pigmented (Fig. 11C). Symphysial region yellowish cream and immaculate (Fig. 11C). Dorsal head scales (supraoculars, frontal, postfrontal, parietals and occipitals) and dorsal portions of lateral head scales (ocular, nasal and lower nasal) predominantly dark brown (Fig. 11A, B). Ventral portion of head scales (nasal and lower nasal) yellowish cream (Fig. 11A, C). Cloacal plate pale yellowish cream and terminal spine dark brown (Supporting Information, Fig. S4B).” (Graboski et al. 2022) 
CommentDistribution: for a map see Graboski et al. 2022: 16 (Fig. 10). 
EtymologyAfter the Latin adjective ‘montanus’. It is a reference to the type locality, a high elevational forest, located on the slopes of a hill summit in the Brazilian state of Bahia. 
  • Graboski, Roberta; Juan C Arredondo, Felipe G Grazziotin, Ricardo Arturo Guerra-Fuentes, Ariane A A Da Silva, Ana L C Prudente, Roberta R Pinto, Miguel T Rodrigues, Sandro L Bonatto, Hussam Zaher 2022. Revealing the cryptic diversity of the widespread and poorly known South American blind snake genus Amerotyphlops (Typhlopidae: Scolecophidia) through integrative taxonomy. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, zlac059 - get paper here
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