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Leptotyphlops keniensis BROADLEY & WALLACH, 2007

IUCN Red List - Leptotyphlops keniensis - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Leptotyphlopini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mount Kenya worm snake 
SynonymLeptotyphlops keniensis BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 38
Glauconia nigricans — ANGEL 1925: 31
Leptotyphlops emini emini — LOVERIDGE 1957: 247 (part).
Leptotyphlops nigricans nigricans — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 22 (part)
Leptotyphlops keniensis — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Leptotyphlops keniensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 368
Leptotyphlops keniensis — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 367 
DistributionKenya (Central Province)

Type locality: Nyeri, Central Province, Kenya (00°25' S, 36°56' E, just below 2000 m elevation).  
TypesHolotype: NMK/O. 2903, an adult female, collected by F.J. McCartney, 24 February 1983. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A member of the Leptotyphlops nigricans species group, distinguished from all other northern taxa except L. aethiopicus by its high middorsal counts (29–265), differing from the latter species in lacking a white patch below the tail tip. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)

Description. Body cylindrical, with head and neck broadened and flattened, the short tail tapers slightly before a blunt tail cone.
Snout rounded, rostral moderate (0.36 head width) and truncated, much wider than supranasals and extending to a line connecting centre of eyes, a preoral groove present ventrally. Behind rostral, upper lip bor- dered by infranasal (nostril midway between rostral and supralabial along nasal suture), small anterior supralabial that reaches level of nostril with width along lip equal to that of infranasal, large ocular with eye central in upper half, and tall posterior supralabial. Supraoculars pentagonal, slightly larger than the hexago- nal frontal and postfrontal, which are slightly smaller than the interparietal and interoccipital. Parietals trans- verse, subequal to the fused occipitals with scalloped posterior border, in contact with the posterior supralabials. Temporal single. No mental.
Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, subimbricate, subequal scales. Reduction to 10 rows on the tail takes place lateral to the subtriangular cloacal shield. Total middorsals 239–265; subcaudals 20–26.
Total length/diameter ratio 47–70; total length/tail ratio 11–13.5.
Dorsum brown and venter light brown, all scales outlined in white, upper lip, anterior tip of chin, and clo- acal shield white. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)

Size. Largest specimen (female holotype) 175 + 14 = 189 mm. (Broadley & Wallach 2007) 
CommentHabitat: Mosaic of East African evergreen bushland and secondary Acacia wooded grassland. 
Etymologynamed after its type locality. 
  • Adalsteinsson, S.A.; Branch, W.R.; Trapé, S.; Vitt, L.J. & Hedges, S.B. 2009. Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of snakes of the Family Leptotyphlopidae (Reptilia, Squamata). Zootaxa 2244: 1-50 - get paper here
  • Angel, Fernand 1925. Résultats Scientifiques. Vertebrata. Reptiles et Batraciens. [Mabuia (Mabuiopsis) jeanneli, Lygosoma graueri quinquedigitata, Ablepharus massaiensis]. In: Voyage de Ch. Alluaud et R. Jeannel en Afrique Orientale (1911-1912). - Paris, 2: 1-63.
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V. 2007. A revision of the genus Leptotyphlops in northeastern Africa and southwestern Arabia (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Zootaxa 1408: 1–78 - 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
  • Loveridge, A. 1957. Check list of the reptiles and amphibians of east Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika, Zanzibar). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 117 (2): 153-362 - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - 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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