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Leptotyphlops pitmani BROADLEY & WALLACH, 2007

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Leptotyphlopini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Pitman’s Thread Snake 
SynonymLeptotyphlops scutifrons pitmani BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 45
Glauconia emini — STERNFELD, 1912: 264
Leptotyphlops conjuncta — LOVERIDGE, 1933: 224
Leptotyphlops conjuncta conjuncta — LOVERIDGE, 1957: 246 (part)
Leptotyphlops conjuncta conjuncta — PITMAN 1974: 66
Leptotyphlops conjunctus conjunctus — LAURENT 1956: 82
Leptotyphlops emini emini — SPAWLS 1978: 3 (part)
Leptotyphlops conjunctus — MCDIARMID et al. 1999: 25 (part)
Leptotyphlops scutifrons — SPAWLS et al. 2002: 299 (part)
Leptotyphlops scutifrons pitmani BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007
Leptotyphlops pitmani — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 372 

Type locality: Bisu [= Biso], W Budongo Forest, Bunyoro, Uganda (01°44’N, 31°26’E, 1600 m).  
Reproductionoviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1935.10.11.4; Collected by C.R.S. Pitman, July 1935. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A subspecies of Leptotyphlops scutifrons distinguished from the typical form by its narrower wedge-shaped rostral (unguiform in typical L. scutifrons) and from the intervening subspecies L. scutifrons merkeri by having 10 scale rows on the tail. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)

Description (paratype variations in parentheses). Body cylindrical, with head and neck broadened and flattened, the short tail tapers slightly to a blunt terminal cone or very small spine.
Snout rounded, frontal fused with the wedge-shaped rostral, rostral moderate (0.40–0.47 head width, mean = 0.44), broader than the supranasals anteriorly and extending well beyond the eyes, but constricted posteriorly and only a quarter the width of the head at the level of the eyes, a weak preoral groove present inferiorly. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril midway between rostral and supralabial along nasal suture), a small anterior supralabial that reaches the level of the nostril, large ocular with the eye at the upper anterior edge, and tall posterior supralabial (posterior supralabial fused to parietal on right side of LIVM 1962.50.35). Supraoculars pentagonal, anteriorly wedged between rostral and hexagonal postfrontal, which is smaller than a supraocular and subequal to the hexagonal interparietal and interoccipital. Parietals oblique, subequal to the fused occipitals, in contact with the posterior supralabials. Temporal single. No mental, four infralabials.
Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales, reducing to 10 rows on the tail lateral to the subtriangulat cloacal shield. Middorsals 227 (217–272); subcaudals 19 (18–30). Length of holotype 140 + 10 = 150 mm.
Total length/diameter ratio 50 (40–86); total length/tail length ratio 15.0 (9,7–15.4).
Dorsum blackish-brown, venter dark brown; lower edge of upper lip, rostral and chin, cloacal shield and tail tip yellow (rarely only chin tip light). (Broadley & Wallach 2007)

Size. Largest specimen (BMNH 1963.948 — Entebbe) 172 + 13 = 185 mm. (Broadley & Wallach 2007) 
CommentSynonymy: Listed as synonym of L. scutifrons by WALLACH et al. 2014. However, Leptotyphlops pitmani was not closely related to L. scutifrons in the phylogenetic analysis of Adalsetinsson et al. 2009.

Habitat. Savanna. 
EtymologyNamed for Charles Robert Senhouse Pitman (1890–1975), author of ‘A Guide to the Snakes of Uganda’, whose efforts contributed greatly to the accumulation of Ugandan material in the museums in London, Liverpool, Bulawayo and Kampala. 
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  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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