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Gerrhopilus eurydice KRAUS, 2017

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

Type locality: Trobriand Islands, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 145954, Adult female (field number MCZ FS-F14319), collected by F. Parker. Paratype. AMNH 115054, immature, collected by F. Parker in Trobriand Islands, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, 1971. 
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 large, robust (adult L/M = 44) species of Gerrhopilus having the unique combination of a rostrate snout with a transverse keel on the ventral margin of the rostral that extends to the level of the rictus, angle of pre-oral snout in lateral aspect horizontal to the body axis, a distinct pupil in the eye, anterior 30–50% of eye covered by preocular in lateral view, longitudinal scale rows 24/22/22 or 24/22/20, transverse scale rows posterior to the rostral 601–647, supralabial imbrication pattern T-V, subocular scale one, presubocular scale absent, prefrontals and supraoculars larger than frontal and parietals and interparietal, flat or convex posterior margin of the rostral, subcaudal scales 23–25, L/W ratio 55–58, 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 eurydice may be distinguished from all other members of this genus except G. addisoni, 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 2–4 longitudinal scale rows from head to vent. Gerrhopilus eurydice may be distinguished from G. addisoni by its eye having a distinct pupil (vs. eye obscure, without a distinct pupil in G. addisoni), more robust size (L/W = 55–58 vs. 80 in G. addisoni), and anterior 30–50% of eye covered by preocular in lateral view (vs. 67% in G. addisoni); from G. depressiceps by its much greater relative adult mass (adult L/M = 44 vs. 70 in G. depressiceps), anterior 30–50% of eye covered by preocular in lateral view (vs. preocular barely touching anterior margin of eye in G. depressiceps), flat or convex posterior margin of the rostral (vs. concave in G. depressiceps), and tail spine pointed ventrally at 90° to body axis (vs. posteroventrally at 70° in G. depressiceps); and from G. mcdowelli by its greater length (186–319 mm vs. 94–199 mm in G. mcdowelli), snout profile rounded in dorsal view (vs. pointed 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). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is the name of the oak nymph who became the wife of Orpheus, died from a viper bite, and whom Orpheus unsuccessfully attempted to retrieve from the underworld. It is a proper noun in apposition. 
  • Kraus, Fred 2017. New Species of Blindsnakes (Squamata: Gerrhopilidae) from the offshore islands of Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa 4299 (1): 075–094 - get paper here
  • 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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