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Epictia magnamaculata TAYLOR, 1940

IUCN Red List - Epictia magnamaculata - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesBlack Blind Snake 
SynonymGlauconia albifrons — BOULENGER 1893: 63 (part)
Leptotyphlops albifrons — BARBOUR 1914:324 (part)
Glauconia (Leptotyphlops) albifrons — WERNER 1925: 540 (part)
Leptotyphlops magnamaculata TAYLOR 1939: 532
Leptotyphlops phenops phenops — SMITH & TAYLOR 1945: 24 (part)
Leptotyphlops albifrons magnamaculata — DUNN & SAXE 1950
Leptotyphlops phenops — MEYER 1969: 409 (part)
Leptotyphlops goudotii magnamaculatus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970
Leptotyphlops goudotii goudotii — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970
Leptotyphlops goudoti — SCHWARTZ & THOMAS 1975: 189 (part)
Leptotyphlops goudoti magnamaculata — SCHWARTZ & THOMAS, 1975: 189
Leptotyphlops goudoti magnamaculatus — MACLEAN et al. 1977: 4
Leptotyphlops goudotii magnamaculatus — HAHN 1980: 15
Leptotyphlops goudotti (sic) — WILSON & MEYER 1985: 20
Leptotyphlops goudotii — THOMAS et al. 1985: 220
Leptotyphlops goudotti goudotti (sic) — LANCINI 1986: 170 (part)
Leptotyphlops tenella — MALHOTRA & THORPE 1999: 71
Leptotyphlops tenellus — HENDERSON 2004: 312.
Leptothyphlops (sic) albiprons (sic) — HOWARD et al. 2004: 112
Leptotyphlops magnamaculatus — ADALSTEINSSON 2008: 25–26 37
Leptotyphlops goudotii magnamaculata — ADALSTEINSSON et al. 2009: 17.
Epictia magnamaculata — ADALSTEINSSON et al. 2009
Epictia goudotii — UGUETO & RIVAS 2010: 216
Leptotyphlops albifrons magnamaculatus — CORAL-ENRÍQUEZ 2011: 7.
Crishagenus magnamaculata — HOSER 2012: 33.
Epictia goudotti (sic) — RIVAS et al. 2012: 27.
Leptotyphlops albifrons margaritae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 277.
Epictia magnamaculata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 277
Epictia magnamaculata — MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2016 
DistributionMexico (Quintana Roo: Cozumel Island);
Honduras (Islas de la Bahía [Bay Islands]: Bahía, Barbareta, Cayo Cochino Grande, Cayo Cochino Pequeño, Guanaja, Roatán, Utila; Islas del Cisne [Swan Islands]: Isla Pequeña [Little Swan], and Isla Grande [Big Swan]);
Colombia (Isla San Andres, Isla Providencia, Santa Catalina)

Type locality: Isla Utila, Islas de la Bahia, Honduras, 16°06'N, 86°55'W, elevation 0–20 m Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: USNM 54760, female 
CommentDistribution: this species is an island endemic; not on the Mesoamerican mainland (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua), nor Costa Rica or Panama, but only on offshore islands fide Savage (2002, and pers. comm. 15. Aug 2015). Not in Venezuela either (Natera-Mumaw et al. 2015). See map in MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2016: Fig. 4. Not on Trinidad, Bonaire I, Margarita I, fide Wallach 2016: 246.

Diagnosis. Epictia magnamaculata is distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: snout slightly truncate in dorsal and ventral view, rounded in lateral view; supraocular present, not in contact with first supralabial; first supralabial longer, reaching eye level; rostral scale subtriangular in dorsal view; ocular hexagonal with straight shape at the eye level; supraocular longer than frontal scale; temporal indistinct; fused caudals absent; two supralabials (1+1); four infralabials; 245–262 middorsal scales; 237–246 midventral scales; 15–18 subcaudal scales; 10 scales around the middle of tail; seven dorsal scale rows dark brown in the centre of scales with paler border forming longitudinal zig-zag lines; seven lateroventral scale rows brown in the centre of scales with border lighter forming soft zig-zag lines; gular region paler than venter (from PINTO-RICHARD et a. 2010).

Diagnosis. Epictia magnamaculata, along with E. goudotii and E. phenops, are the three species of the E. goudotii Species complex studied herein that have a frontal (prefrontal) scale. Epictia magnamaculata differs from E. goudotii in always having distinct black and brown body stripes on an overall black ground color, a distinct pale snout spot that almost always extends onto the adjacent edges of the upper nasal scales, and a distinct pale tail spot (versus pale snout spot very indistinct to distinct, spot usually confined to rostral, extending onto adjacent edges of upper nasal in one of five; pale tail spot nearly absent to indistinct in E. goudotii). Epictia magnamaculata differs from E. phenops in always having distinct black and brown body stripes on an overall black ground color, a distinct pale snout spot that almost always extends onto the adjacent edges of the upper nasal scales, and a distinct pale tail spot that is usually larger dorsally than ventrally (versus dark brown body stripes usually indistinct, pale snout spot very indistinct to distinct with the spot usually confined to rostral when distinct, and pale tail spot larger ventrally than dorsally in E. phenops). The rare E. magnamaculata specimen that lacks a frontal scale (3 of 58 individuals) differs from the two species that also lack a frontal (prefrontal) scale (E. ater and E. phenops) in having distinct black and brown body stripes, a distinct pale snout spot that almost always extends onto the adjacent edges of the upper nasal scales, and a distinct pale tail spot [MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2016: 15].

Diagnosis: (1) scale row formula = 14-14-14; (2) midtail scale rows = 10; (3) total length = 76–220 (x– = 141.5) mm; (4) total midodrsals = 219–262 (x– = 238.7); (5) subcaudals = 15–21 (x– = 17.3); (6) relative body propor- tion = 38–72 (x– = 53.6); (7) relative tail length = 4.8%–8.5% (x– = 6.2%); (8) relative tail width = 2.8–5.9 (x– = 3.8); (9) relative rostral width = 0.22–0.50 (x– = 0.35); (10) relative eye size = 0.40–0.54 (x– = 0.47); (10) rostral sagittate with rounded apex; (11) supralabials 2, moderate anterior supralabial reaching mid-eye level; (12) frontal subtran- gular, as long as broad; (13) supraoculars large and pentagonal, 11⁄2 times as broad as deep, with posterior borders parallel to posterior borders of supranasal; (14) widest anteriormost vertebral scale 5th; (15) parietals and occipitals subequal, oriented transversely; (16) infralabials 4; (17) cloacal shield subtriangular in shape; (18) head brown, with large pale rostral spot covering scales adjacent to rostral; (19) dorsum with 11 brown stripes of rectangular- or diamond-shaped spots bordered by broad yellow stripes (= 11 dark stripes); (20) midventral 3 rows uniform pale brown or gold; (21) midbody stripe formula (3 + 3/3 + 1/1) and middorsal pattern (3D + 4L); (22) tail with a pale terminal spot covering the 0–6 (x– = 4.2) dorsal scales and 0–7 (x– = 3.9) ventral scales (ventral/dorsal ratio 0.9); and (23) apical spine horizontally-compressed into broad vertical blade, sometimes with paired points (Wallach 2016: 241). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is derived from the Latin magnus, meaning large, and macula, meaning spot, a reference to the large yellow spot on the snout of the snake. 
References
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  • FRANCISCO, BÁRBARA CRISTINA S.; ROBERTA R. PINTO & DANIEL S. FERNANDES 2012. Taxonomy of Epictia munoai (Orejas-Miranda, 1961) (Squamata: Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Zootaxa 3512: 42–52 - get paper here
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  • McCranie, James R. 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed. Zootaxa 3931 (3): 352–386 - get paper here
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  • Roze, J. A. 1952. Contribución al conocimiento de los ofidios de las familias Typhlopidae y Leptotyphlopidae en Venezuela. Mem. Soc. Cien. nat. La Salle, Caracas, 12 (32): 143-158
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