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Epictia undecimstriata (SCHLEGEL, 1839)

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Eleven-striped Blind Snake 
SynonymTyphlops undecimstriatus SCHLEGEL 1839: 36
Epictia undecimstriata — GRAY 1845: 140
Leptotyphlops undecimstriatus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 173
Leptotyphlops undecimstriatus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 45
Epictia undecimstriata — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Epictia undecimstriata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 279 

Type locality: Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.  
TypesHolotype: lost (previously MNHN, according to HAHN 1980); not located at MNHN (I. Ineich, March 2019) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Species of Epictia have 14 midbody scale rows, 10 (12 rarely) midtail scale rows, 155–396 middorsal scale rows, 10–30 subcaudals, two supralabials, large anterior supralabials, 109–341 mm maximum adult total length, a body shape of 28–90 (total length/width), relative tail length 3.3–11.5%, a tail shape of 2.1–6.1, striped pattern, multiple dorsal colors common (including reds and yellows), and brown ventral color (rarely white) (Table 2 in ADALSTEINSSON et al. 2009). Members also have normal-sized supraoculars (supraocular is lacking in E. nasalis), and this trait distinguishes Epictia from the other genus in the subtribe, Siagonodon, which lacks a supraocular. Other traits distinguishing the two genera show overlap, but species of Epictia tend to have more midtail scale rows, larger first supralabial (L), and a darker venter (Table 2). The support for this group was 97% BP and 100% PP for the four-gene tree (Fig. 3) and 100% BP and 100% PP for the nine-gene tree (Fig. 4). 
CommentType species: Typhlops undecimstriatus SCHLEGEL 1839 is the type species of the genus EPICTIA GRAY 1845.

Abundance: only known from the type specimen (Koch et al. 2016).

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic name Crishagenus Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected its use instead of Epictia. 
EtymologyApparently named after Latin undecim = 11 for having 11 stripes (Latin stria = stripe, notch, groove).

The generic name is feminine and derived from the Latin e (without) and pictus (painted), apparently in allusion to absence of colors (only a brown dorsum) in the type species, Epictia undecimstriata. This name is ironic because most species in this genus, unknown at that time (Gray 1845), are among the most colorful in the family. 
  • Adalsteinsson, S.A.; Branch, W.R.; Trapé, S.; Vitt, L.J. & Hedges, S.B. 2009. Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of snakes of the Family Leptotyphlopidae (Reptilia, Squamata). Zootaxa 2244: 1-50 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - 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
  • Hoser, R.T. 2012. A review of the extant scolecophidians (“blindsnakes”) including the formal naming and diagnosis of new tribes, genera, subgenera, species and subspecies for divergent taxa. Australasian J. Herpetol. 15: 1–64. - get paper here
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • KOCH, CLAUDIA; ROY SANTA CRUZ, & HEIDY CÁRDENAS 2016. Two new endemic species of Epictia Gray, 1845 (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) from Northern Peru. Zootaxa 4150 (2): 101–122 - 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.
  • Peters, James A.; Donoso-Barros, Roberto & Orejas-Miranda, Braulio 1970. Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: Part I Snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 297: 347 pp. - get paper here
  • Schlegel, H. 1839. Abbildungen neuer oder unvollständig bekannter Amphibien, nach der Natur oder dem Leben entworfen und mit einem erläuternden Texte begleitet. Arne and Co., Düsseldorf, xiv + 141 pp. - 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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