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Anomalepis colombia MARX, 1953

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Higher TaxaAnomalepididae, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymAnomalepis colombia MARX 1953
Anomalepis colombia — KOFRON 1988
Anomalepis colombia — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 47
Anomalepis colombia — WALLACH et al. 2014: 43
Anomalepis colombia — MARRA-SANTOS & REIS 2019 
DistributionColombia (Caldas)

Type locality: La Selva, Pueblo Rico, 1700 m elevation, Departamento de Caldas, Colombia (05º25’23N, 74º57’44W)  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 54986, collected by Kjell von Sneidern, January 1946. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Anomalepis colombia is distinguished from its congeners by having 31/29/27 scales in rows around anterior / midbody / posterior body, and 387 scales on dorsal middle row (vs. 26/24/22 and 283 scales in A. aspinosus; 26/26/24 and 304–308 in A. flavapices; and 25–26/22–24/21–23 and 277–312 A. mexicanus). (MARRA-SANTOS & REIS 2019)

Diagnosis. This new species is similar to the two known forms from Panama and Peru except in the higher number of scale rows and the number of scales on the mid-line from rostral to terminal plate. The differences are as follows: (Table) (Marx 1953: 197)

Description of type. Snout rounded, moderately prominent; nostrils lateral; rostral from above not extending behind nostrils; prefrontals and frontal about equal in length; prefrontal asymmetrical and dissimilar, narrowed in front and behind, somewhat longer than broad, forming a long suture three-fourths of length of frontal; frontal as long as broad; two enlarged nuchals immediately posterior
to frontal, flanked laterally by three enlarged scales; one supraocular in contact with prefrontals; two preoculars, superior preocular (divided on right side) in contact with nasal, inferior preocular separated from the nasal by the loreal; one small ocular; two small suboculars; two postoculars; a relatively large undivided nasal with the nostril very close to the anterior labial border; one relatively large loreal in contact with the nasal, both preoculars, and first, second, and third upper labials; four upper labials; the first upper labial twice as high as long, in contact with the rostral, nasal, and loreal, widely separating the nasal from the mouth; a small second labial in contact with the loreal; a large third labial in contact with the loreal, inferior preocular, and anterior subocular; a very small fourth labial separated from the ocular by the suboculars and a small shield; two lower labials on the right side and three lower labials on the left side; a single tooth on each side of the lower jaw, no teeth visible in the upper jaw. A pair of enlarged preanal plates in contact posteriorly and separated anteriorly by an enlarged scale. Scale row formula 32-30-
28-26-26, with 28 scale rows at mid-body. Scales between rostral and terminal plate 365; no terminal spine; scales under tail 8.
Size: Total length 171 mm.; tail length 2.5 mm.; diameter of body 3.5 mm.
Coloration: light brown, the scales with lighter edges. Ventral coloration same as dorsal coloration. (slightly modified after Marx 1953: 197)

Description: The single specimen is characterized by 363 dorsal scales, and a scale-row formula of 30-30-27. The counts for both characteristics are higher in A. colombia than in any other species. The holotype has an aberrant head-scale condition in that two scales adjacent to the prefrontal scale are fused on the left side; the same two scales are not fused on the right side. The specimen measures 170 mm total length. (Kofron 1988: 9) 
CommentKnown only from the holotype. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Kofron, C. 1988. The central and south-american blindsnakes of the genus Anomalepis. Amphibia-Reptilia 9: 7-14 - get paper here
  • Marra-Santos, Fidélis Júnio; Roberto E. Reis 2019. Redescription of the Blind Snake Anomalepis colombia (Serpentes: Anomalepididae) Using High-Resolution X-Ray Computed Tomography. Copeia 107 (2): - get paper here
  • Marx,H. 1953. A new worm snake from Colombia, genus Anomalepis. Fieldiana: Zoology 34: 197-198 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • VANEGAS-GUERRERO, JHONATTAN; ANGELE MARTINS, ESTEBAN QUIÑONES-BETANCURT, JOHN D. LYNCH 2019. Rediscovery of the rare Andean blindsnake Anomalepis colombia Marx 1953 (Serpentes: Anomalepididae) in the wild. Zootaxa 4623 (3): 595–600 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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