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Cubatyphlops golyathi (DOMINGUEZ & MORENO, 2009)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Typhlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesGoliath Blindsnake 
SynonymTyphlops golyathi DOMINGUEZ & MORENO 2009
Cubatyphlops golyathi — HEDGES et al. 2014
Typhlops golyathi — PYRON & WALLACH 2014
Cubatyphlops golyathi — NAGY et al. 2015 
DistributionCuba (Pinar del Río Province)

Type locality: Valle de San Vicente, Viñales Municipality, Pinar del Río Province, Cuba, 22º41'00'' N, 83º43'00'' W, 112 m elevation. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TypesHolotype: CZACC 4.5385, Male, collected on April 2003 by Roberto Alonso. 
CommentDiagnosis: A large species (360 mm maximum SVL) with moderate body size (57.8 TL/MBD) of the T. biminiensis species group that presents more middorsal scales (> 625) than any other West Indian species (Table 1 in DOMINGUEZ & MORENO 2009). It also presents a posterior reduction of four longitudinal scale rows, this characteristic is unique among species of the group. The closest species is T. arator. Both species are large Cuban blind snakes, have the same number of scale rows at the anterior part of the body (26) and a greater number of middorsal scales than any other West Indian species (Table 1). Also, both species are distributed to the west of the remaining species of the T. biminiensis species group (Fig. 2). However, the new species can be distinguished from T. arator by its posterior scale row reduction (4 rows vs. 2 rows), total middorsals (> 625 vs. < 580), relative tail length (3% vs. 2%), snout and rostral patterns, ocular size (OLM/OW 0.8 vs. 0.5) and sinuosity (0.8 vs. 0.2) [from DOMINGUEZ & MORENO 2009].

Distribution: latitude and longitude were confused (swapped) in the original description. The coordinates shown here are the correct ones. 
EtymologyPatronymic of Golyath (Later Latin translated from Hebrew), biblical giant from book 1st Samuel, Old Testament. Name in allusion to the large size of this species. 
  • 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
  • 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
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