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Letheobia praeocularis (STEJNEGER, 1894)

IUCN Red List - Letheobia praeocularis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Afrotyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Léopoldville Beaked Snake 
SynonymTyphlops praeocularis STEJNEGER 1894: 709
Typhlops praeocularis lundensis LAURENT 1964: 90
Tphlops praeocularis praeocularis — LAURENT 1964
Rhinotyphlops praeocularis — ROUX-ESTÈVE 1974: 221
Rhinotyphlops praeocularis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 83
Letheobia praeocularis — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007
Letheobia praeocularis — HEDGES et al. 2014
Letheobia praeocularis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 381 
DistributionZaire (Leopoldville), Cameroon, Angola, Nigeria, W Democratic Republic of the Congo (= Zaire), Congo (Brazzaville), possibly Cameroon (because it occurs in Nigeria 50 km from the border [HR 28: 160]).

Type locality: "Leopoldville, or Stanley Pool, Congo Free State" [Kinshasa Province, Zaire]  
TypesHolotype: USNM 20799
Types: MD (Museu Dundo) [lundensis] 
DiagnosisOriginal diagnosis: “A preocular, not in contact with supralabials; no suboculars; ocular in contact with nasal below preocular, reaching lip behind second supralabial; snout with sharp horizontal edge.” (Stejneger 1894: 709)

Description. Snout very prominent and pointed, but not hooked, with sharp cutting edge; nostrils inferior, situated just beneath the cutting edge, between two large nasals almost at the point where the internasal suture joins the rostral; rostral very large, about two-thirds the width of the head, the portion visible from below wider than long; labial border of rostral concave, without the usual central prolongation backwards; anterior nasal half-moon shaped, the outer edge nearly parallel with the rostral, the nasal cleft proceeding from the lower border of the rostral, ending at the rostral just below the cutting edge; posterior nasal at the cutting edge as wide as the preocular and ocular together, becoming narrower above and below, in contact above with prefrontal and supraocular, below with second supralabial and ocular; preocular about as wide as ocular, below widely separated from the supralabials by the posterior nasal and ocular; ocular rather narrow, below anteriorly in contact with posterior nasal, and second supralabial reaching the lip behind the latter; eyes indistinguishable; first supralabial exceedingly small, forming the edge of the lip below the auterior nasal, anteriorly receding within the mouth behind the rostral, being separated from the corresponding labial on the other side by a small squarish scale behind the rostral; second supralabial rather larger, in contact with first supralabial, anterior and posterior nasal and ocular, its upper posterior corer wedged in between the two last mentioned shields; a long and narrow shield behind the lower posterior edge of the ocular represents what is ordinarily the fourth supralabial, its anterior point, however, barely reaching the lip; prefrontal and frontal subequal, wider than long ; subocular and parietal subequal, wider than long, somewhat wider than frontal: one mental; two sublabials; diameter of body at the middle 67 times in the total length, the body growing thicker posteriorly; tail very short, wider than long, ending in a short spine; 24 to 26 scales round the middle of the body. Uniform, pale brownish gray, scarcely paler below. Total length 340 millimeters.” (Stejneger 1894: 709) 
  • Ceríaco, Luis M. P.; Mariana P. Marques, Ilunga André, Esteves Afonso, David C. Blackburn & Aaron M. Bauer 2020. ILLUSTRATED TYPE CATALOGUE OF THE “LOST” HERPETOLOGICAL COLLECTIONS OF MUSEU DO DUNDO, ANGOLA. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 162 (7): 379-440 - get paper here
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. [detaileld review in HR 51 (1): 161] - 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
  • Laurent, R.F. 1964. Reptiles et batraciens de l'Angola (troisième contribution). Companhia de Di amantes de Angola (Diamang), Serviços Culturais, Museu do Dundo (Angola), No. 67, 165 pp.
  • Marques, Mariana P.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco , David C. Blackburn , and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. Diversity and Distribution of the Amphibians and Terrestrial Reptiles of Angola -- Atlas of Historical and Bibliographic Records (1840–2017). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (Ser. 4) 65: 1-501 (Supplement II)
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Rasmussen, Jens B. 1997. Geographic Distribution. Rhinotyphlops praeocularis. Herpetological Review 28 (3): 160 - get paper here
  • Roux-Estève, R. 1974. Révision systématique des Typhlopidae d'Afrique. Reptilia. Serpentes. Mém. nation. Hist. nat., Paris, (sér.A.) 87: 1-313
  • Stejneger, L. 1894. Description of a new species of blind snake (Typhlopidae) from the Congo Free State. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 16: 709-710 [1893] - get paper here
  • Trape, J.F. & R. ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995. Les serpents du Congo: liste commentée et clé de détermination. Journal of African Zoology 109 (1): 31-50
  • TRAPE, JEAN-FRANÇOIS & CELLOU BALDÉ 2014. A checklist of the snake fauna of Guinea, with taxonomic changes in the genera Philothamnus and Dipsadoboa (Colubridae) and a comparison with the snake fauna of some other West African countries. Zootaxa 3900 (3): 301–338 - get paper here
  • Wallach, V. & Gemel, R. 2018. Typhlops weidholzi n. inedit., a new species of Letheobia from the republic of Cameroon, and a synopsis of the genus (Squamata: Serpentes: Scolecophidia: Typhlopidae). Herpetozoa 31 (1/2): 27 - 46 - get paper here
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