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Leptotyphlops merkeri (WERNER, 1909)

IUCN Red List - Leptotyphlops merkeri - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Leptotyphlopini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesMerker’s Thread Snake 
SynonymGlauconia merkeri WERNER 1909: 61
Glauconia conjuncta — BOULENGER 1893: 67 (part.)
Stenostoma conjuncta — TORNIER 1896: 67
Glauconia scutifrons — LÖNNBERG 1907: 14
Glauconia signata — STERNFELD 1908: 243
Glauconia merkeri — BOULENGER 1915: 617
Glauconia signata — WERNER 1917: 203 (part.)
Glauconia merkeri — LOVERIDGE 1923: 874
Glauconia distanti — LOVERIDGE 1929: 18
Glauconia emini — LOVERIDGE 1916: 82 (part.)
Leptotyphlops distanti — BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1928: 109
Leptotyphlops conjuncta — LOVERIDGE 1933: 224 (part)
Leptotyphlops conjuncta — LOVERIDGE 1936: 232
Leptotyphlops conjuncta conjuncta — BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1946: 116 (part.)
Leptotyphlops scutifrons merkeri - BROADLEY & WATSON 1976: 484
Leptotyphlops conjunctus conjunctus — SPAWLS 1978: 2 (part).
Leptotyphlops emini emini — SPAWLS 1978: 3 (part.)
Leptotyphlops conjuncta conjuncta — HALLERMANN & RÖDEL 1995: 7
Leptotyphlops signatus — HAHN 1980: 26 (part.)
Leptotyphlops scutifrons merkeri — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 22
Leptotyphlops scutifrons — MCDIARMID et al., 1999: 41 (part)
Leptotyphlops scutifrons — SPAWLS et al. 2002: 299 (part.)
Leptotyphlops scutifrons merkeri — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 43
Leptotyphlops merkeri — ADALSTEINSSON et al. 2009
Leptotyphlops scutifrons merkeri — MALONZA et al. 2011 
DistributionSC-Kenya, E Tanzania.

Type locality: Moschi [= Moshi], base of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (03°12’S, 37°22’E, 810 m). Elevation: 0-1500 m. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
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.
 
Reproduction 
TypesLectotype: SMNS 4170, collected by H. Merker, 1904–1905. 
CommentSynonymy: Listed as synonym of Leptotyphlops scutifrons by WALLACH et al. 2014: 377.

Phylogenetics: Leptotyphlops merkeri was not closely related to L. scutifrons in the phylogenetic analysis of Adalsetinsson et al. 2009.

Diagnosis (merkeri): A subspecies of Leptotyphlops scutifrons, distinguished from the typical form by having 12 scale rows on the tail and a narrower wedge-shaped rostral (unguiform in the typical form), it is also smaller in average size. Size: Largest specimen (NMK/O. 2854 — Naivasha, Kenya) 220 + 11 = 231 mm. 
Etymologynamed after the collector of the type, H. Merker. 
References
  • 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
  • Barbour,T. & LOVERIDGE.A. 1928. A comparative study of the herpetological fauna of the Uluguru and Usambara mountains, Tanzania Territory with descriptions of new species. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool. Cambridge (Massachusetts), 50 (2): 85-265 - 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, G.A. 1915. A list of the snakes of East Africa, north of the Zambesi and south of the Soudan and Somaliland, and of Nyasaland. Proc. Zool. Soc. London,1915, 611–640 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. & WATSON,G. 1976. A revision of the Worm Snakes of South-eastern Africa (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Occ. Pap. nation. Mus. Rhodesia Bulawayo, (BS) 1976: (8): 465-510
  • 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
  • Hahn,D.E. 1980. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Anomalepididae, Leptotyphlopidae, Typhlopidae. Das Tierreich, De Gruyter (Berlin) 101: 45
  • Lönnberg, E. 1907. Reptilia and Batrachia. In: Sjöstedt, Y. (Hrsg.): Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der Schwedischen Zoologischen Expedition nach dem Kilimandjaro, dem Meru und den umgebenden Massaisteppen 1905-1906. - Upsala, No. 4, 1-28
  • Loveridge, Arthur 1929. East African reptiles and amphibians in the United States National Museum. Bull. US Natl. Mus. (151): 1-135 - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1933. Reports on the scientific Results of an Expedition to the Southwestem Highlands of Tanganyika Territory. VII. Herpetology. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 74: 197-415 - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1936. Scientific results of an expedition to rain forest regions in Eastern Africa. V. Reptiles. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harvard 79 (5): 209-337 - get paper here
  • Malonza, Vincent; Beryl A. Bwong, Vincent Muchai 2011. Kitobo Forest of Kenya, a unique hotspot of herpetofaunal divers. Acta Herpetologica 6 (2): 149-160 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Schlüter, A. & Hallermann, J. 1997. The Type Specimens in the Herpetological Collection of the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart. Stuttgarter Beitr. Naturk. Ser. A (553): 1-15 - get paper here
  • Spawls, S. 1978. A checklist of the snakes of Kenya. East Afr. Natur. Hist. Soc. and Natl. Mus., Nairobi, J. no. 167 18 pp.
  • Sternfeld, R. 1908. Neue und ungenügend bekannte afrikanische Schlangen. S. Ber. Ges. naturforsch. Freunde Berlin, 4: 92-95 - get paper here
  • Werner,F. 1909. Beschreibung neuer Reptilien aus dem Kgl. Naturalienkabinett in Stuttgart. Jahreshefte Ver. vaterl. Naturk. Württ. 65: 55-63 - get paper here
 
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