Leptotyphlops aethiopicus BROADLEY & WALLACH, 2007
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Leptotyphlops aethiopicus?
|Higher Taxa||Leptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Leptotyphlopini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Ethiopian worm snake|
|Synonym||Leptotyphlops aethiopicus BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 38|
Glauconia emini — STERNFELD, 1908: 239
Glauconia emini — BOULENGER 1915: 643
Glauconia emini — SCORTECCI 1939: 128
? Glauconia cairi — BOULENGER 1906: 441
? Glauconia cairi — WERNER 1908: 42 (part.)
Leptotyphlops emini — PARKER 1949: 20.
Leptotyphlops emini emini — LOVERIDGE, 1957: 247 (part.).
Leptotyphlops nigricans — LARGEN & RASMUSSEN 1993: 325 (part)
Leptotyphlops aethiopicus — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Leptotyphlops aethiopicus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 367
Leptotyphlops aethiopicus — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 366
|Distribution||Ethiopia (Harerge Region), 1900-2000 m elevation.|
Type locality: near Harrar [= Harar], Harerge Region, Ethiopia (09°18’N, 42°08’E, elevation ca. 2000 m)
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 19126.96.36.199, collected by Kristensen.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: A member of the Leptotyphlops nigricans species group, closest to to L. emini, but distinguished therefrom by its high middorsal count (239–261), slender build (total length/ diameter ratio 61–77) and white tail tip ventrally. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)|
Description (paratype variations in parentheses). Body cylindrical, with head and neck broadened and flattened, the short tail tapers slightly before a very small terminal spine.
Snout rounded, rostral broad (0.52–0.57 head width, mean = 0.55) and truncated, only slightly wider than supranasals anteriorly and not extending past a line connecting the eyes anteriorly, whereas the supranasals extend to a line connecting the eyes posteriorly, rostral lacking a preoral groove ventrally. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril midway between rostral and supranasal along nasal suture), small (moderate) anterior supralabial with width along lip equal to that of infranasal, large ocular with large eye cen- trally placed and tall posterior supralabial. Supraoculars pentagonal, anteriorly wedged between upper nasal and ocular, posteriorly wedged between hexagonal subequal frontal and postfrontal, which are larger than the supraocular, but smaller than the hexagonal interparietal, which is also larger than the interoccipital and the vertebral series of scales following it. Parietals oblique, subequal to the fused occipitals, in contact with the posterior supralabial. Temoral single. No mental, four infralabials.
Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales. Reduction to 10 scale rows on the tail takes place lateral to the subtriangular cloacal shield, which is entire. Total middorsals 250 (243–261), sub- caudals 24 (23–29).
Total length 145 mm; tail 13; diameter of body 2.2 mm.
Total length/diameter ratio 72 (62–77); total length/tail ratio 12.2 (10.1–12.9).
Dorsum and venter blackish-brown to dark brown except for the first infralabials, cloacal shield, and a patch of 14 (12–14) scales under the tail tip, which are white. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)
Size. Largest specimen (BMNH 1977.2250) 145 + 16 = 161 mm. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)
|Comment||Habitat. When the holotype was collected there was probably some of the climax Juniperus woodland around Harer, but this whole area is now intensively cultivated. The climax vegetation southeast of Dire Dawa and near Yabelo would be Podocarpus forest.|
|Etymology||The specific name is derived from the Latin aethiopicus = of Ethiopia, as this species is endemic to the Ethiopian highlands.|
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