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Leptotyphlops nursii (ANDERSON, 1896)

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Myriopholini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesNurse's Blind Snake 
SynonymGlauconia nursii ANDERSON in BOULENGER 1896: 591
Glauconia cairi — WERNER 1907: 42 (part.)
Leptotyphlops nursii - PARKER 1938: 481
Leptotyphlops macrorhynchus — CORKILL & COCHRANE 1966: 496.
Leptotyphlops macrorhynchus macrorhynchus — HAHN 1978: 483 (part)Leptotyphlops macrorhynchus macrorhynchus — GASPERETTI 1988: 200 (part).
Leptotyphlops blanfordi nursi — HAHN 1978: 486 (part), fig. 8
Leptotyphlops blanfordi nursii — LEVITON & ALDRICH 1984: xxiv
Leptotyphlops blanfordi nursii — ARNOLD 1987: 252
Leptotyphlops blanfordii nursii — SCHÄTTI & GASPERETTI 1994: 382
Leptotyphlops blanfordii nursii — SCHÄTTI & DESVOIGNES 1999: 78.
Leptotyphlops nursii — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 39
Leptotyphlops nursii — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 20
Leptotyphlops nursii — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 431
Leptotyphlops nursii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 369 
DistributionYemen, Southern Arabian Peninsula, Oman, N Somalia (at border to Ethiopia), Eritrea (Dahlak Archipelago in the Red sea), (elevation 50-1525 m)

Type locality: Aden [= Yemen] (12°46’N, 45°01’E, elevation near sea level). 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.
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.1.16.91 (formerly BMNH 1895.11.27.1), collected by C.G. Nurse;
Anderson, 1896: 64. 
CommentHas been considered a “race” of Leptotyphlops blanfordi (HAHN 1978).

Diagnosis. A member of the Leptotyphlops longicaudus species group, resembling L. blanfordii in having 12 scale rows on the tail, but differing in its skull, with two supraoccipitals and a large frontoparietal foramen. The snout is rounded in lateral profile. Leptotyphlops nursii differs from L. burii (with which it is sympatric at ad-Dali) in having only 281–378 middorsal scales and much smaller rostral and frontal shields (from BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007).

Distribution: Dahlak fide Erez Maza (pers. comm., 12 Jan 2010). 
Etymologynamed after the collector of the types, C.G. Nurse. 
  • 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
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Corkill, N. L. and Cochrane, J. A. 1966. The snakes of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 62 (3): 475-506 (1965) - get paper here
  • Egan, D. 2007. Snakes of Arabia. Motivate Publishing, Dubai, 208 pp.
  • Gasperetti,J. 1988. Snakes of Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 9: 169-450
  • Hahn D. E. & V. WALLACH, 1998. Comments on the systematics of Old World Leptotyphlops (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae), with description of a new species. Hamadryad 23: 50-62 - get paper here
  • Hahn,D.E. 1978. A brief review of the genus Leptotyphlops (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) of Asia, with description of a new species. Journal of Herpetology 12 (4): 477-489 - 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
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Leviton, A.E., & Aldrich, M.L. 1984. Checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the Arabian Peninsula. in Anderson, John, Herpetology of Arabia (Soc. for the Study of Amphs. and Reps., Athens, OH): xv-xxv.
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Parker, H.W. 1938. Reptiles and amphibians of the southern Hejaz. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (11) 1: 481-492 - get paper here
  • Schätti, B. & Gasperetti, J. 1994. A contribution to the herpetofauna of Southwest Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 14: 348-423
  • Schätti, B., Desvoignes, A. 1999. The herpetofauna of southern Yemen and the Sokotra Archipelago. Muséum d'histoire naturelle Genéve, Genéve.
  • Scortecci,Giuseppe 1933. Leptotyphlops yemenicus sp. n. Atti Soc. ital. Sci. nat., Milano, 72: 165-166
  • van der Kooij, Jeroen 2001. The herpetofauna of the Sultanate of Oman: Part 4: The terrestrial snakes. Podarcis 2 (2): 54-64
  • 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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