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Gerrhopilus mirus (JAN, 1860)

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Higher TaxaGerrhopilidae, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Jan's Worm Snake 
SynonymTyphlops (Diaphorotyphlops) mirus JAN, in JAN & SORDELLI 1860
Typhlops mirus — GÜNTHER 1864: 176
Typhlops mirus — BOULENGER 1893: 52
Typhlops mirus — WALL 1921: 7
Typhlops mirus — SMITH 1943: 55
Typhlops ceylonicus SMITH 1943
Typhlops ceylonicus — TAYLOR 1947: 285
Typhlops mirus — TAYLOR 1947: 284
Typhlops mirus — TAYLOR 1950
Typhlops ceylonicus — DAS 1996
Typhlops mirus — DAS 1996
Typhlops mirus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 111
Typhlops ceylonicus — JANZEN et al. 2007
Typhlops mirus — JANZEN et al. 2007
Gerrhopilus mirus — VIDAL et al. 2010
Gerrhopilus mirus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 309 
DistributionSri Lanka.

Type locality: “Peradeniya, Ceylon” (JAN 1860)  
TypesHolotype: RMNH 3721 
DiagnosisDescription: Snout rounded, strongly projecting; nostrils lateral. Rostral broad, aboutt as broad as the head, nearly reaching to the level of the eyes; nasal completely divided, the lower suture passing to the 2nd labial; ocular and preocular small, much shorter than the posterior nasal, the latter separated from the labials by a subocular which is wedged in between them above and is in contact with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th labials below; eye scarcely distinct, the ocular shield in contact with the 4th labial only; prefrontal in contact with the rostral. Tail bluntly pointed, without spine; 18 scales round the body, the diameter of which is contained 40-50 times in the total length; 330-360 transverse rows of scales (Smith 1943: 55).

Coloration: Brown above, paler below; snout and anal region whitish (Smith 1943: 55). 
CommentSynonymy after WALLACH (pers. comm.) 
EtymologyThe species epithet mirus is a Latin adjective, meaning unexpected finding or surprise, apparently referring to the unexpected discovery of this species. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Castoe, T.A.; W. Gu, A.P.J. de Koning, J.M. Daza, Z.J. Jiang, C.L. Parkinson, D.D. Pollock 2009. Dynamic Nucleotide Mutation Gradients and Control Region Usage in Squamate Reptile Mitochondrial Genomes. Cytogenet Genome Res 127 (2-4): - get paper here
  • Das, I. & De Silva, A. 2005. Photographic guide to snakes and other reptiles of Sri Lanka. New Holland Publishers, 144 pp.
  • de Silva, A. 1998. Snakes of Sri Lanka: a checklist and an annotated bibliography. Dept. Wildlife Conservation/ GEF /UNDP/ FAO, Colombo.
  • Douglas, D.A.; Janke, A. & Arnason, U. 2006. A mitogenomic study on the phylogenetic position of snakes. Zoologica Scripta 35: 545–558 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1860. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 1. Livraison. J.B. Bailière et Fils, Paris - get paper here
  • Janzen, P.; Klaas, P. & Ziesmann, S. 2007. Sri Lankas Schlangenfauna. Draco 7 (30): 56-64 - get paper here
  • Jayaneththi, Hareschandra Bandula 2015. Vertebrate fauna of Morankanda-Mukalana secondary forest patch in Sri Lanka: A checklist reported from 2004-2008 survey. RUHUNA JOURNAL OF SCIENCE 6: 21- 41 - get paper here
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan D. M. S. and A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe 2011. A PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF THE REPTILE FAUNA IN NILGALA FOREST AND ITS VICINITY, MONARAGALA DISTRICT, SRI LANKA. Taprobanica 3 (2): 69-76 - 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.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Taylor, E.H. 1947. Comments on Ceylonese snakes of the genus Typhlops with descriptions of new species. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 31 (13): 283-298 - get paper here
  • Taylor, Edward H. 1950. The snakes of Ceylon. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 33 (14): 519-603 - get paper here
  • Vidal, Nicolas; Julie Marin, Marina Morini, Steve Donnellan, William R. Branch, Richard Thomas, Miguel Vences, Addison Wynn, Corinne Cruaud and S. Blair Hedges 2010. Blindsnake evolutionary tree reveals long history on Gondwana. Biology Letters 6: 558–561 - get paper here
  • Wall, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages - 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
  • Wallach, Van 1999. Typhlops meszoelyi, A new species of blind snake from northeastern India (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Herpetologica 55 (2): 185-191 - 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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