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Indotyphlops pammeces (GÜNTHER, 1864)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Asiatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesSouth India Worm Snake 
SynonymTyphlops tenuis GÜNTHER 1864: 176 (preoccupied by Typhlops tenuis SALVIN 1860)
Typhlops pammeces GÜNTHER 1864 (Substitute name for T. tenuis)
Typhlops braminus pammeces - BOETTGER 1898
Typhlops psammophilus ANNANDALE 1906
Typhlops psammeces SMITH 1943: 48 (error typographicus)
Typhlops pammeces — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 113
Typhlops psammeces — SHARMA 2004
Typhlops pammeces — WALLACH et al. 2014: 768
Indotyphlops pammeces — HEDGES et al. 2014 
DistributionS India, Pakistan ?

Type locality: "Madras" [India]." 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.
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.11.34 
CommentSynonymy: Typhlops pammeces Günther, 1864:444 was listed as a synonym of T. braminus by Peters (1865:263), Blanford (1870:370), Boettger (1889:300), Boulenger (1893:16), Wall (1921:9), Loveridge (1957:244) and Mahendra (1984:41), but recognized as a valid species by Stoliczka (1871:426) and Smith (1943:48).

Distribution: Not in Pakistan fide KHAN 2002 (pers. comm.).

The original description is available online (see link below).

Type species: Typhlops pammeces GÜNTHER 1864 is the type species of the genus Indotyphlops HEDGES et al. 2014.

Diagnosis (genus). Species of Indotyphlops have (1) eye, distinct (sometimes indistinct), (2) snout, rounded, (3) head scale arrangement, non-circular, (4) frontorostral, absent, (5) nasal, completely or incompletely divided, (6) nasal suture origin, 2nd supralabial (sometimes preocular, or rarely 1st supralabial), (7) suboculars or subpreoculars, absent, (8) postoculars, 1 in all 18 species recorded, but variable (1–2) in 1 of those species, (9) preocular-labial contact, supralabials 2 & 3 (sometimes 3rd only), (10) midbody scale rows, 18–20 (22 in 1 species; average, 19.4), (11) scale row reduction, absent (sometimes present), (12) total scale rows, 229–468 (average, 345), (13) caudals, 7–15 (average, 10.8), (14) maximum total length, 91–285 (average, 175) mm, (15) total length/midbody diameter, 28–130 (average, 57.6), (16) total length/tail length, 22.3–76 (average, 46.4), (17) dorsal color, shades of brown (sometimes cream, gray, yellowish-brown, reddish brown, lavender-gray, or black), (18) ventral color, variable (white, cream, pale brown, lavender-gray), (19) dorsum darker than venter, (20) overall, uniform, but often with a darker median row of scales giving a slight lineate appearance (Tables 1–2); molecular phylogenetic support (Fig. 1).
From other genera of Asiatyphlopinae, Indotyphlops differs in having a single postocular (versus 2 or more). Exceptions are Cyclotyphlops, 3 species of Anilios, and 3 species of Ramphotyphlops. It also has the lowest number of midbody scales (19.4 versus 20.1–30.4 in others; averages), and no scale reduction (6 of 7 species recorded; versus reduction present in Acutotyphlops, Cyclotyphlops, Malayotyphlops, Grypotyphlops, and Xerotyphlops). In total length, Indotyphlops is one of the smallest genera (TL = 175 mm versus > 243 mm in all others except Cyclotyphlops). It is also the thinnest genus in the subfamily (TL/MBD = 57.6 versus < 56 in other genera). Indotyphlops lacks yellow on the venter (except one species) whereas Asiatyphlops, with which it is broadly sympatric, has yellow on the venter [HEDGES et al. 2014: 37]. For an alternative diagnosis see PYRON & WALLACH 2014: 56. 
EtymologyThe generic name is a masculine noun formed from the adjective indianus (a, um; i.e., ‘from India’) and the Greek noun typhlops (the blind). 
  • Annandale, Nelson 1906. Notes on the fauna of a desert tract in southern India. Part. I. Batrachians and reptiles, with remarks on the reptiles of the desert region of the North-West Frontier. Mem asiatic Soc Bengal Calcutta 1: 183-202 - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1898. Katalog der Reptilien-Sammlung im Museum der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Frankfurt/M. 2.Teil (Schlangen). Frankfurt/M (Gebr. Knauer), i-ix + 1-160. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 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
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • 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.
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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