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Anilios leptosomus (ROBB, 1972)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Asiatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesMurchison Blind Snake 
SynonymRamphotyphlops leptosomus ROBB 1972: 39
Typhlina leptosoma — HAHN 1980
Ramphotyphlops leptosomus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 67
Ramphotyphlops leptosoma — COGGER 2000: 593
Austrotyphlops leptosomus — WALLACH 2006
Ramphotyphlops leptosomus — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 414
Ramphotyphlops leptosomus — MARIN et al. 2013
Anilios leptosomus — HEDGES et al. 2014
Ramphotyphlops leptosoma — COGGER 2014: 804
Anilios leptosoma — ELLIS et al. 2017 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: “The Loop”, lower Murchison River, Western Australia (27°33'S; 114°28'E)  
TypesHolotype: WAM R29623, adult male; Paratype. WAM R29624, from ‘The Loop’, lower Murchison River, 35 km north-east of Kalbarri (27°33'S; 114°28'E) Western Australia, September 1967. 
CommentHabitat: specimens were collected from habitats supporting loose sands or loam substrates of various colour. One specimen was collected in open mallee woodland with Banksia ashbyi to 5 m with a canopy cover of less than 10% over Spinifex longifolius and mixed small to medium shrubs to 1.5 m with cover ranging from 30–70%, from soil below a clump of spinifex (R66343). One specimen was collected from amongst the roots of spinifex in a burnt eucalypt woodland on red soil (R57545) and another was found in a mallee woodland with low Acacia on yellowish-brown sand. Specimens from Binnu were raked from red sandy loam spoil heaps in Acacia and Casuarina shrubland (R146454–56, R146459). Two specimens (R55038 and R55039) were collected from under a cement slab at Wooramel homestead garden [Ellis et al. 2017]. 
EtymologyDerived from the Greek words leptos meaning fine or thin and soma meaning body in reference to the thin thread-like appearance of the species. The amendment to the specific epithet to A. ‘leptosomus’ by McDiarmid et al. (1999) and subsequently accepted by other authors (Hedges et al. 2014; Pyron & Wallach 2014; Wallach et al. 2014) is not warranted (Shea 2015). As Robb (1972) did not state explicitly the use of the word ‘soma’ as a noun or adjective, it is to be treated as a noun and does not change from A. leptosoma with the resurrection of Anilios by Hedges et al. (2014). However, note that Shea 2015 concluded that Anilios is male. 
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • ELLIS, RYAN J.; PAUL DOUGHTY, STEPHEN C. DONNELLAN, JULIE MARIN & NICOLAS VIDAL 2017. Worms in the sand: Systematic revision of the Australian blindsnake Anilios leptosoma (Robb, 1972) species complex (Squamata: Scolecophidia: Typhlopidae) from the Geraldton Sandplain, with description of two new species Zootaxa 4323 (1): 001–024 - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B., Marion, A.B., Lipp, K.M., Marin, J. & Vidal, N. 2014. A taxonomic framework for typhlopid snakes from the Caribbean and other regions (Reptilia, Squamata). Caribbean Herpetology 49: 1–61 - get paper here
  • Marin, J., Donnellan, S.C., Hedges, S.B., Puillandre, N., Aplin, K., Doughty, P., Hutchinson, M.N., Couloux, A. & Vidal, N. 2013. Hidden species diversity of Australian burrowing snakes (Ramphotyphlops). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, doi: 10.1111/bij.12132 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Robb, J. 1972. A new species of the genus Rhamphotyphlops (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) from Western Australia. J. Roy. Soc. West. Aust. 55: 39-4
  • Wallach, V. 2006. The nomenclatural status of Australian Ramphotyphlops (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc 42 (1): 8-24 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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