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Cubatyphlops arator (THOMAS & HEDGES, 2007)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Typhlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Havana Giant Blindsnake, Cuban Giant Blindsnake 
SynonymTyphlops arator THOMAS & HEDGES 2007
Cubatyphlops arator — HEDGES et al. 2014
Typhlops arator — PYRON & WALLACH 2014
Cubatyphlops arator — NAGY et al. 2015
Typhlops arator — WALLACH et al. 2014: 758 
DistributionW Cuba (Narigon, Habana Province)

Type locality: “El Narigon and La India,” near Puerto Escondido, La Habana, Province, Cuba  
TypesHolotype: MNHNCu 191, a female, collected by Ruben Regalado and Carlos Wotzkow, on 20 April 1988. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A large species of the Typhlops biminiensis Group that has a greater number of middorsal scales than any other West Indian species (578–579). Also, it has 26 scale rows anteriorly, more than any other West Indian species. It also has a uniquely shaped rostral (Fig. 8), which differs from T. biminiensis in having an acuminate posterior edge (as in other Cuban species), not broadly rounded (Fig. 8F). The rostral scale also rounds the tip of the snout without narrowing, which is unique among Cuban species in the group, reflected in a high RW2 (Fig. 10D). Typhlops arator additionally has a large protrusion (umbo) of the snout (Fig. 8F). 
EtymologyFrom the Greek, arator, a plow, in allusion to the prominent rostral umbo (protrusion). 
  • DOMÍNGUEZ, MICHEL & LUIS V. MORENO 2009. Taxonomy of the Cuban blind snakes (Scolecophidia, Typhlopidae), with the description of a new large species. Zootaxa 2028: 59-66 - 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
  • Kornilios, P.; S. Giokas, P. Lymberakis, R. Sindaco 2013. Phylogenetic position, origin and biogeography of Palearctic and Socotran blind-snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68 (1): 35–41 - get paper here
  • NAGY, ZOLTÁN T.; ANGELA B. MARION, FRANK GLAW, AURÉLIEN MIRALLES,<br />JOACHIM NOPPER, MIGUEL VENCES & S. BLAIR HEDGES 2015. Molecular systematics and undescribed diversity of Madagascan scolecophidian snakes (Squamata: Serpentes). Zootaxa 4040 (1): 031–047 - get paper here
  • Pyron, R.A. & Wallach, V. 2014. Systematics of the blindsnakes (Serpentes: Scolecophidia: Typhlopoidea) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Zootaxa 3829 (1): 001–081 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez Schettino, Lourdes, Carlos A. Mancina & Vilma Rivalta González 2013. REPTILES OF CUBA: CHECKLIST AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (144): 1-96 - get paper here
  • THOMAS R. & S.B. HEDGES 2007. Eleven new species of snakes of the genus Typhlops (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) from Hispaniola and Cuba. Zootaxa 1400: 1-26 - get paper here
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