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Grypotyphlops acutus (DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1844)

IUCN Red List - Grypotyphlops acutus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Afrotyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesBeaked Worm Snake, Beaked Blind Snake 
SynonymOnychocephalus acutus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 333
Onychocephalus unilineatus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 278
Typhlops (Onychocephalus) unilineatus - JAN 1863: 13
Typhlops russellii GRAY 1845: 132
Onychocephalus westermanni LÜTKEN 1863
Typhlops excipiens JAN 1864
Onychocephalus malabaricus BEDDOME in GÜNTHER 1875 (nom. nud.)
Grypotyphlops acutus - PETERS 1881: 70
Typhlops acutus - BOULENGER 1890: 242
Typhlops unilineatus - BOULENGER 1893: 15
Typhlops acutus - BOULENGER 1893: 56
Typhlops psittacus WERNER 1903: 248
Typhlops acutus - SMITH 1943
Typhlops acuta - CONSTABLE 1949: 113
Typhlops acutus — WALLACH 1994
Rhinotyphlops acutus — WALLACH 1994
Rhinotyphlops acutus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 77
Typhlops unilineatus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 123
Grypotyphlops unilineatus — WALLACH 2003
Grypotyphlops acutus — WALLACH 2003
Letheobia acutus — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007
Grypotyphlops acutus — HEDGES et al. 2014
Grypotyphlops acutus — PYRON & WALLACH 2014 
DistributionIndia (widespread but endemic to peninsular India; see map in WALLACH 1994; Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: unknown (fide DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844, but shown on a map in WALLACH 1994)

unilineatus (invalid): see comment; Type locality: “Cayenne”. In error fide DIXON & HENDRICKS 1979. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: ZMUC 52183
Holotype: MNHN 1064 [unilineatus] 
CommentDistribution: The original type locality “Cayenne” is in French Guiana and thus in error. T. unilineatus is not listed by GASC & RODRIGUES 1980. Not listed for French Guiana by STARACE 1998.

Synonymy: fide WALLACH 2003 and HEDGES et al. 2014: 37.

Type species: Onychocephalus acutus DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 333 is the type species of the genus Grypotyphlops PETERS 1881.

Diagnosis (genus). Species of Grypotyphlops have (1) eye, distinct or indistinct, (2) snout, beaked, (3) head scale arrangement, non-circular, (4) frontorostral, absent, (5) nasal, completely or incompletely divided, (6) nasal suture origin, 2nd supralabial, (7) suboculars or subpreoculars, present, (8) postoculars, 4 (rarely 3 or 5; average, 4.0), (9) preocular-labial contact, supralabials 2 & 3, (10) midbody scale rows, 24–30, (11) scale row reduction, present, (12) total scale rows, 448–526 (average, 487), (13) caudals, 7–13 (average, 10.0), (14) maximum total length, 630 mm, (15) total length/midbody diameter, 30–66 (average, 48.0), (16) total length/tail length, 17–133 (average, 75.1), (17) dorsal color, gray, brown, or golden brown, (18) ventral color, grayish-white, yellow, or pale brown, (19) dorsum darker than venter, (20) overall, coloration is uniform, although pale scale centers may appear as weakly-defined lines (Tables 1–2); no molecular phylogenetic information is available.
From other genera of Asiatyphlopinae except Acutotyphlops and Cyclotyphlops, Grypotyphlops differs in having subocular scales (versus absent). Grypotyphlops differs from Acutotyphlops in lacking a frontorostral and from Cyclotyphlops in having non-circular head scales (versus circular arrangement). Although one species of Xe- rotyphlops has a subocular scale, Grypotyphlops differs from that genus in having more postoculars (3–5 versus 2), more midbody scale rows (29 versus 23.5, averages), and more total scale rows (448–526 versus 206–435). At 630 mm TL, Grypotyphlops also stands out in its large size [HEDGES et al. 2014]. For an alternative diagnosis see PYRON & WALLACH 2014: 52. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “acuere” = sharp, or “acutus” = sharpened, pointed, or “acumen” = tip, or “acus” = needle.

The generic name is a masculine noun formed from the Greek adjective grypos (hook-nosed) and Greek noun typhlops (the blind), in reference to the beaked snouts of these blindsnakes. 
References
  • Bhupathy, Subramanian & N. Sathishkumar 2013. Status of reptiles in Meghamalai and its environs, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5 (15): 4953-4961 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V. 2007. A review of East and Central African species of Letheobia Cope, revived from the synonymy of Rhinotyphlops Fitzinger, with descriptions of five new species (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Zootaxa 1515: 31–68 - get paper here
  • Constable, JOHN D. 1949. Reptiles from the Indian Peninsula in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 103: 59-160. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1844. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol.6. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 609 pp. - 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
  • Jan, G. 1864. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 4. Livraison. J.B. Bailière et Fils, Paris - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1865. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 9. Livraison. J.B. Bailière et Fils, Paris [1864] - get paper here
  • Jan,G. 1863. Elenco Sistematico degli Ofidi descriti e disegnati per l'Iconografia Generale. Milano, A. Lombardi. vii + 143 pp.
  • Lütken, C. 1863. Nogle nye krybdyr og padder. Videnskabelige Meddelelser f ra den Naturhistoriske Forening i Kjöbenhavn (20—22): 292—311
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Peters, WILHELM C. H. 1881. Einige herpetologische Mittheilungen. 1. Uebersicht der zu den Familien der Typhlopes und Stenostomi gehörigen Gattungen oder Untergattungen. 2. Ueber eine neue Art von Tachydromus aus dem Amurlande. 3. Ueber die von Herrn Dr. finsch aus Polynesien g Sitzungs-Ber. Gesellsch.Naturforsch. Freunde Berlin, 1881 (4): 69-72.
  • Pyron, R.A. & Wallach, V. 2014. Systematics of the blindsnakes (Serpentes: Scolecophidia: Typhlopoidea) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Zootaxa 3829 (1): 001–081
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 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.
  • Thakur, Sanjay 2011. A note on snakes of Kanha National Park and surrounding areas. Reptile Rap (11): 2-4 - get paper here
  • Vyas, Raju 2007. Herptofauna of Puma Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat, India. Reptile Rap (8): 10-15 - get paper here
  • Wall, F. 1918. A Popular Treatise on the Common Indian Snakes. Part XXIV. Typhlops. (With Plate XXIV and Diagram.). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 25: 375-382 - get paper here
  • Wallach V. 1994. The status of the Indian endemic Typhlops acutus (Dumeril and Bibron) and the identity of Typhlops psittacus Werner (Reptilia, Serpentes, Typhlopidae). BULLETIN DE L'INSTITUT ROYAL DES SCIENCES NATURELLES DE BELGIQUE BIOLOGIE. 1994. vol. 64, pp. 209-229.
  • Wallach, V. 2003. Scolecophidia miscellanea. Hamadryad 27 (2): 222-240 - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1903. Neue Reptilien und Batrachier aus dem naturhistorischen Museum in Brüssel. Zool. Anz. 26: 246-253 - get paper here
  • Whitaker, Romulus<br />and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
 
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