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Epictia phenops (COPE, 1875)

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymStenostoma phenops COPE 1875: 129
Stenostoma phenops COPE 1876: 128 (fide HAHN 1980)
Stenostoma phaenops — COPE 1879: 271
Stenostoma albifrons — BOCOURT in DUMÉRIL et al. 1882: 505 (part)
Stenostoma phenops
Glauconia albifrons — BOULENGER 1893: 63 (part)
Leptotyphlops albifrons — AMARAL 1930: 138 (part)
Leptotyphlops albifrons — GAIGE 1936: 298
Leptotyphlops bakewelli — OLIVER 1937: 17 (in part)
Leptotyphlops phenops - SMITH 1939: 28
Leptotyphlops phenops phenops - SMITH 1943: 444
Leptotyphlops ater phenops — DUNN & SAXE 1950: 159
Leptotyphlops phenops phenops — MERTENS 1952
Leptotyphlops goudotii goudotii — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 169
Leptotyphlops goudotii phenops — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 170
Leptotyphlops phenops - WILSON & HAHN 1973: 120
Leptotyphlops goudoti phenops — HENDERSON & HOEVERS 1975: 32
Leptotyphlops goudoti — FERGUSON 1977: 497
Leptotyphlops goudoti — HAHN 1979: 230.2–3 (part)
Leptotyphlops goudotii phenops — HAHN 1980: 15
Leptotyphlops bakewelli — HAHN 1980: 15.
Leptotyphlops gadowi — HAHN 1980: 16
Leptotyphlops goudotii bakewelli — HAHN 1980: 15.
Leptotyphlops phenops bakewelli — HAHN 1980: 16.
Leptotyphlops pheonops (sic) — HIMMELSTEIN 1980: 33
Leptotyphlops goudotii — HARTSHORN 1984: 145
Leptotyphlops goudotti (sic) — VILLA et al. 1988: 85 (part)
Leptotyphlops goudotti (sic) phenops — PÉREZ-HIGAREDA & SMITH 1991: 28(part)
Leptotyphlops goudotti phenops — PÉREZ-HIGAREDA & SMITH 1991: 28
Leptotyphlops gaudoti (sic) — CASAS-ANDREU et al. 1996: 34 (part)
Leptothyphlops (sic) goudotti (sic) — IUCN 1999: 37
Leptotyphlops goudotii phenops — LEE 2000
Leptotyphlops goudottii (sic) — FUNDE 2004: 8
Epictia goudotii — ADALSTEINSSON et al. 2009:10) (in part)
Epictia phenops — PINTO et al. 2010: 22) (in part)
Epictia ater — MCCRANIE 2011:43) (in part)
Epictia goudotti phenops — PINTO & CURCIO 2011: 61
Epictia goudoti — CONABIO 2012: 52 (part)
Epictia phenops — WALLACH et al. 2014: 278
Epictia phenops — MCCRANIE 2015
Epictia phenops — MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2016 
DistributionHonduras, Guatemala, Mexico (Coastal and foothill regions on Atlantic slopes from central Veracruz, including Yucatan; and on Pacific slopes from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec into N Chiapas, Oaxaca, Queretaro, Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Cozumel Island), El Salvador

Type locality: Tehuantepec and “Coban, Guatemala”, restricted to “Santo Domingo Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico” by lectotype designation, 16°19’28"N, 95°14’21"W, elevation 50 m.  
Reproduction 
TypesLectotype: USNM 30290, designated by MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2016; Syntypes: USNM 12444, 30289-94; 
CommentSynonymy: mostly after WALLACH 2016: 250. KLUGE 1984 listed Leptotyphlops bakewelli OLIVER 1937 as a synonym of L. goudotii phenops.

Distribution: see map in MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2016: Fig. 4, Wallach 2016: 255 (Map 5). Not listed for Yucatan state (Mexico), fide Gonzalez-Sanchez et al. 2017.

Diagnosis. Epictia phenops is one of the three species of the E. goudotii complex under study herein that lack rostral-frontal fusion (= has a frontal scale present). Epictia ater and E. bakewelli are distinguished from E. phenops in having rostral-frontal fusion. Epictia goudotii and E. magnamaculata are the two species that agree with E. phenops in having a frontal scale (= lack rostral-frontal fusion). Epictia phenops differs from E. goudotii in having the pale tail spot almost always larger ventrally than dorsally, covering 0–1 scales dorsally and 7–15 scales ventrally (versus pale tail spot, when present, larger dorsally than ventrally, covering 1–4 scales dorsally, 0–1 scales ventrally in E. goudotii). Epictia phenops differs from E. magnamaculata in usually having indistinct dark brown body stripes on a paler brown ground color, an indistinct to absent pale snout spot that is usually confined to the rostral when present, and a usually distinct pale tail spot that is almost always larger ventrally than dorsally (versus distinct alternating black and dark brown zig-zag body stripes, pale snout spot distinct with the spot almost always extending from the rostral onto adjacent edges of upper nasal scales, and a distinct pale tail spot that is almost always larger dorsally than ventrally, covering 2–6 scales dorsally and 2–5 scales ventrally in E. magnamaculata). The rare specimens (3 of 54 individuals) of E. phenops that have rostral-frontal fusion can be difficult to distinguish from E. ater and E. bakewelli, except that some E. phenops tend to have the anterior third of the venter paler brown than the adjacent dorsum (these surfaces usually about same color in E. ater) [from MCCRANIE & HEDGES 2016: 11].

Diagnosis: (1) scale row formula = 14-14-14; (2) midtail scale rows = 10; (3) total length = 53–195 (x– = 131.5) mm; (4) total midodrsals = 216–277 (x– = 243.5); (5) subcaudals = 12–22 (x– = 16.3); (6) relative body pro- portion = 33–77 (x– = 56.9); (7) relative tail length = 3.5%–7.8% (x– = 5.5%); (8) relative tail width = 2.0–5.4 (x– = 3.5); (9) relative rostral width = 0.22–0.48 (x– = 0.37); (10) relative eye size = 0.34–0.46 (x– = 0.42); (10) rostral sagittate with truncated apex; (11) supralabials 2, moderate anterior supralabial reaching mid-eye level; (12) frontal hexagonal, as wide than long; (13) supraoculars large and pentagonal, twice as broad as deep, with posterior borders oblique to those of supranasals; (14) widest anteriormost vertebral scale 4th; (15) parietals and occipitals subequal, with transverse or oblique orientation; (16) infralabials 4; (17) cloacal shield semilunate in shape; (18) head brown, usually with a yellow spot covering entire rostral; (19) dorsum with 3 middorsal brown stripes of triangular-shaped spots bordered by 4 narrow to broad zigzag yellow stripes, 2 midlateral scale rows forming a solid brown stripe (= 5 dark stripes); (20) venter uniform pale brown; (21) midbody stripe formula (3 + 1/1 + 0) and middorsal pattern (3D + 4L); (22) tail with a pale terminal spot covering the 0–3.5 (x = 1.2) dorsal scales and 0–13.5 (x– = 8.5) ventral scales (ventral/dorsal ratio 7.1); and (23) apical spine a small compressed spike (Wallach 2016: 251). 
EtymologyThe origin of the name for this species is derived from the Greek phae, meaning brown, and the Greek nops, meaning blind, referring to a brown blind snake. 
References
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