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Letheobia somalica (BOULENGER, 1895)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Afrotyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Highland Beaked Snake, Ethiopian Blind Snake 
SynonymTyphlops somalicus BOULENGER 1895: 536
Typhlops acutirostris MOCQUARD 1905: 77
Typhlops acutirostris — CALABRESI 1925: 104
Tphlops somsalicu SCHMIDT 1923: 33 (error typographicus)
Rhinotyphlops somalicus — LARGEN & RASMUSSEN 1993
Rhinotyphlops somalicus — ROUX-ESTÈVE 1974: 200
Rhinotyphlops somalicus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 87
Letheobia somalica — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007
Letheobia somalica — HEDGES et al. 2014
Letheobia somalica — WALLACH et al. 2014: 382 
DistributionEthiopia (apparently endemic), elevation usually 1800–2200 m (but types were collected at 600 m).

Type locality: Beearso, Galla or Western Somali-land [= Bio Asse River, eastern Ethiopia] (06°53’N, 42°18’E, elevation 600 m).  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.11.54 (ex-BMNH 1895.6.11.5); collected by A. Donaldson-Smith, 19 December 1894. 
CommentErroneously reported from W-Somalia (Welch 1982).

Habitat: Ethiopian montane grassland and woodland, but entering Somali Acacia-Commiphora bushland and thicket along eastern drainage lines. 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution in Somalia. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1895. An account of the reptiles and batrachians collected by Dr. A. Donaldson Smith in western Somaliland and the Galla Country. Proc. zool. Soc. London 1895: 530-540 - get paper here
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V. 2007. A review of East and Central African species of Letheobia Cope, revived from the synonymy of Rhinotyphlops Fitzinger, with descriptions of five new species (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Zootaxa 1515: 31–68 - get paper here
  • Calabresi, Enrica 1925. Anfibi e rettili raccolti dal Signor Ugo Ignesti nell'Abissinia settentrionale. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano 64: 100-109 - get paper here
  • Franzen, M. & V. Wallach 2002. A new Rhinotyphlops from southeastern Turkey (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Journal of Herpetology 36 (2): 176-184 - 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.
  • Largen,M.J. & Rasmussen,J.B. 1993. Catalogue of the snakes of Ethiopia (Reptilia Serpentes), including identification keys. Tropical Zoology 6: 313-434 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Mocquard, M.F. 1905. Diagnoses de quelques espèces nouvelles de Reptiles. Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat., Paris, 11:76-79 - get paper here
  • Necas, Petr 1997. Five endemic montane snakes from Ethiopia. REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN MAGAZINE 49: 58-65
  • Roux-Estève, R. 1974. Révision systématique des Typhlopidae d'Afrique. Reptilia. Serpentes. Mém. nation. Hist. nat., Paris, (sér.A.) 87: 1-313
  • Schmidt, K. P. 1923. Contributions to the herpetology of the Belgian Congo based on the collection of the American Museum Congo Expedition, 1909-1915. Part II. Snakes, with field notes by Herbert Lang and James P. Chapin. Bull. Amer. Mus. nat. Hist. 49 (1): 1-146 - get paper here
  • Spawls, Stephen; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - 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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