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Leptotyphlops sylvicolus BROADLEY & WALLACH, 1997

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Leptotyphlopini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Forest Thread Snake, Southern forest wormsnake 
SynonymLeptotyphlops sylvicolus BROADLEY & WALLACH 1997
Leptotyphlops sylvicolus — BROADLEY & BROADLEY 1999: 27
Leptotyphlops sylvicolus — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 67
Leptotyphlops sylvicolus — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Leptotyphlops sylvicolus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 369
Leptotyphlops cf. sylvicolus — CONRADIE et al. 2020 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal; from Lake Sibaya south to Port St Johns; Eastern Cape)

Type locality: Hlogwene Forest. Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.  
TypesHolotype: NMZB UM 11903 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. This small species is closely related to L. scutifrons, but it is distinguished by its visceral arrangement, very low middorsal count (171-194), more robust build and forest habitat. Snout rounded. The posterior supralabial reaches the level of the eye. There are 18-22 subcaudals and 10 scale rows on the tail, which tapers to the small terminal spine. Total length/diameter ratio 32-58; total length/tail ratio 8.7-12.3. (Broadley & Broadley 1999) 
CommentHabiat: Leptotyphlops sylvicolus inhabits forest, whereas all other local congeners are savanna forms.

Diversity: Busschau et al. 2020 retrieved 10–12 putative species nested within the L . sylvicolus species complex without describing any of them as new though. 
  • 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
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Broadley D G. Wallach V. 1997. A review of the genus Leptotyphlops (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with the description of a new forest-dwelling species. Durban Museum Novitates 22: 37-42.
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Broadley, Sheila 1999. A review of the Arican wormsnakes from South of Latitude 12°S (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Syntarsus 5: 1-36
  • 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
  • Busschau, T., Conradie, W., & Daniels, S. R. 2020. One species hides many: Molecular and morphological evidence for cryptic speciation in a thread snake (Leptotyphlopidae: Leptotyphlops sylvicolus Broadley & Wallach, 1997). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research - get paper here
  • Conradie, Werner; Brain Reeves, Sandile Mdoko, Lwandiso Pamla, Oyama Gxabhu 2020. Herpetological survey of the Ongeluksnek (Malekgalonyane) Nature Reserve on the foothills of the Drakensberg, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Herpetology Notes 13: 717-730 - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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
  • Venter, Jan A.; Werner Conradie 2015. A checklist of the reptiles and amphibians found in protected areas along the South African Wild Coast, with notes on conservation implications. Koedoe 57 (1): 1-25. doi: 10.4102/koedoe.v57i1.1247 - 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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