Gerrhopilus ater (SCHLEGEL, 1839)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Gerrhopilus ater?
|Higher Taxa||Gerrhopilidae, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Black blindsnake|
|Synonym||Typhlops ater SCHLEGEL 1839: 39|
Typhlops (Gerrhopilus) ater — FITZINGER 1843: 24
Typhlops ater — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 312
Anilios ater — GRAY 1845: 136
Typhlops (Typhlops) ater — JAN 1863: 11
Typhlops ater — BOULENGER 1893: 53
Typhlops ater — BOULENGER 1897: 217
Typhlops ater — DE ROOIJ 1917: 13
Typhlops ater ater BRONGERSMA 1934
Typhlops ater — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 91
Typhlops ater — LANG & VOGEL 2005
Gerrhopilus ater — VIDAL et al. 2010
Typhlops ater — KOCH 2012
Gerrhopilus ater — DE LANG 2013
Gerrhopilus ater — WALLACH et al. 2014: 307
Gerrhopilus ater — WYNN 2021
|Distribution||Indonesia (Java, Ternate, Sulawesi, Irian Jaya, Bali [HR 27: 155]), Papua New Guinea (Vogelkop Peninsula and adjacent islands)|
Type locality: Java, Indonesia
|Types||Holotype: RMNH 3714|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis (genus): presence of gland-like structures ‘peppered’ over the scales of the head (minimally the rostral and nasals, but often other scales on the head and chin). A divided preocular and/or ocular is common and all species have overlap|
of the preocular (or subpreocular when present) by the second supralabial (except G. tindalli).
Diagnosis (genus). Gerrhopilus can be distinguished from all other typhlopoids by the numerous distinct sebaceous glands (cephalic papillae) covering the head shields (not just beneath the sutures at the base of head shields as in all other typhlopoids). Small to moderate-sized (total length 87–331 mm), moderate-bodied (length/width ratio 17–89) snakes with 16–28 scale rows (usually without reduction), total middorsals 190–780, short to long tail (1.5–5.1% total length) with 9–29 subcaudals (length/width ratio 1.0–4.0), and with or without an apical spine. Dorsal and lateral head profile either rounded or pointed, sometimes with a ventral beak, sagittate rostral narrow to moderate (0.26–0.63 head width), nasals usually in contact behind rostral or overlapping one another, preocular in contact with subocular or second and third supralabials, eye present as a dark spot or small eye with distinct pupil, subocular often present, T-II or T-V SIP, and postoculars 1–4. Lateral tongue papillae present; left lung absent, tracheal lung unicameral or paucicameral (with 8–35 pockets), cardiac and right lungs unicameral; testes unsegmented; hemipenis eversible, lacking retrocloacal sacs; rectal caecum small (0.2–4.4% SVL), and rarely absent. Coloration of dorsum uniformly brown, reddish-brown, chocolate-brown or black; venter normally lighter, usually golden brown, light brown or tan; snout, supralabials, chin, cloacal region and/or tail tip white or yellow [fide PYRON & WALLACH 2014: 43]
|Comment||Type species: Typhlops ater SCHLEGEL 1839 is the type species of the genus Gerrhopilus FITZINGER.|
Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic names Billmacordus Hoser 2012, Cyrilhoserus Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected their use instead of Gerrhopilus. Wynn 2021 removed Typhlops ater suturalis BRONGERSMA 1934: 195 from the synonymy of G. ater.
Type genus: Gerrhopilus is also the type genus of the family Gerrhopilidae VIDAL, WYNN, DONNELLAN & HEDGES 2010.
Phylogenetics: for a phylogenetic analysis of Gerrhopilus species and the rest of Typhopidae, see Sidharthan & Karanth 2021 who show that the species of Gerrhopilus are highly divergent genetically, so that each species could be a separate genus.
|Etymology||Named after its color, Latin “ater, atra, atrum” = dark or black.|
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