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Gerrhopilus addisoni KRAUS, 2017

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Higher TaxaGerrhopilidae, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymGerrhopilus addisoni KRAUS 2017
Typhlops depressiceps — WALLACH 1996: 110 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Milne Bay Province)

Type locality: Panaete Island, Deboyne Group (10.68° S, 152.35° E; 0–50 m a.s.l.), Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: USNM 195953, Adult female, collected on 24 March 1969 by H. Heatwole. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. This species belongs to Gerrhopilus based on the presence of head glands in the centers of the anterior head shields in addition to their anterior margins (McDowell 1974; Wallach 1996b). A relatively robust (adult L/M = 58) species of Gerrhopilus having the unique combination of a rostrate snout with a transverse keel on the ventral margin of the rostral that extends ventral to the rictus, angle of pre-oral snout in lateral aspect horizontal to the body axis, a vestigial eye lacking a distinct pupil, preocular covering two-thirds of the eye in lateral view, longitudinal scale rows 24/22/20, transverse scale rows posterior to the rostral 627, supralabial imbrication pattern T-V, subocular scale one, presubocular scale absent, prefrontals and supraoculars larger than frontal and parietals and interparietal, subcaudal scales 26, L/W ratio 80, and tail spine oriented ventrally at an angle of 90 ̊ to axis of anteroventral surface of that terminal scale (and, hence, to body axis). Refer to Table 1 for additional diagnostic qualitative and quantitative features.

Comparisons. Gerrhopilus addisoni may be distinguished from all other members of Gerrhopilus except G. depressiceps and G. mcdowelli in having a transverse keel on the ventral margin of the rostral, which gives the snout a beaked appearance in lateral aspect, and in having a posterior reduction of four longitudinal scale rows from head to vent. Gerrhopilus addisoni may be distinguished from G. depressiceps by its vestigial eye lacking a distinct pupil (eye well-defined and with a pupil in G. depressiceps); anterior two-thirds of eye covered by preocular in lateral view (vs. preocular barely touching anterior margin of eye in G. depressiceps); convex posterior margin of the rostral (vs. concave in G. depressiceps); narrower body (L/W = 80 in G. addisoni vs. 57–67 in G. depressiceps); prefrontal and supraoculars larger than frontal, parietals, and interparietal; and tail spine pointed ventrally at 90° to axis of anteroventral surface of that terminal scale (vs. posteroventrally at 70° in G. depressiceps). Gerrhopilus addisoni may be distinguished from G. mcdowelli by its greater length (304 mm vs. 94– 199 mm in G. mcdowelli), greater number of mid-dorsal scale rows (627 vs. 431–464 in G. mcdowelli), narrower body (L/W = 80 in G. addisoni vs. 44–53 in G. mcdowelli), pre-oral snout oriented horizontally (vs. inclined at 30° from horizontal in G. mcdowelli), and rostral keel pointing directly downward (vs. anteroventrally in G. mcdowelli). 
CommentHabitat: the holotype was collected under the bark of a tree 4.5 m above ground. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a genitive honorific for Addison Wynn of the United States National Museum in recognition of his work on scolecophidian snakes. 
References
  • KRAUS, FRED 2017. New Species of Blindsnakes (Squamata: Gerrhopilidae) from the offshore islands of Papua New Guinea Zootaxa 4299 (1): 075–094
  • Wallach, V. 1996. Two new Blind snakes of the Typhlops ater species group from Papua new Guinea (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 3 (2):107-118. - get paper here
 
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