Liotyphlops anops (COPE, 1899)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Liotyphlops anops?
|Higher Taxa||Anomalepididae, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Cope's Blind Snake|
|Synonym||Helminthophis anops COPE 1899: 10|
Helminthophis anops — AMARAL 1924: 26
Liotyphlops metae DUNN 1944: 49
Liotyphlops anops Dunn 1944: 48
Liotyphlops anops — DIXON & KOFRON 1984: 259
Liotyphlops anops — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 50
Liotyphlops anops — FREIRE et al. 2007
Liotyphlops anops — WALLACH et al. 2014: 397
|Distribution||Colombia (Santander, Cundinamarca)|
Type locality: “near Bogota” (fide DIXON & KOFRON 1984).
metae: Type locality: “Villavicencio, Meta [Colombia], 498 meters”
|Types||Lectotype. AMNH R-17540, at least 200 mm TL (specimen broken); paralectotype: AMNH 9550|
Holotype: MLS 8 [metae]
|Diagnosis||Description: “We have examined 11 topotypes of L. metae (= L. anops), but were unable to secure the loan of the holotype. The syntypes of L. anops are lost. DUNN's (1944) original description of L. metae is extremely brief, and does not present the species salient features e cept to say that the head scales are similar to L. anops (see remarks). The number of dorsal scales of Liotyphlops anops vary from 547-589 (x̅ = 562.8). The number of scales around body vary from 24-24-22 (1), 26-24-22 (1), 26 -24-24 (5), 27-24-24 (3), to 28-24-24 (1). The total length varies from 125 to 395 and the diameter of midbody varies from 2.3 to 5.8 mm. The total length divided by the midbody diameter varies from 46.6-75.4 (x̅ = 61.9) times. The most obvious feature of L. anops is the presence of six (five in one specimen) scales in the first vertical row. With the exception of one specimen there are two scales bordering the posterior edge of the posterior section of the nasal scale (fig. 3), and four scales that border the posterior edge of the prefrontal. An anomolous condition was seen on one side in one specimen that had one scale bordering the posterior section of the nasal and five scales bordering the posterior edge of the prefrontal.” (Dixon & Kofron 1984)|
Colour: “the pigment of each scale is confined to the posterior one third to one fourth of each scale. The rostral, nasal, and prefrontal areas, and the anal and caudal tip areas are whitish. All Body scales are pigmented.” (Dixon & Kofron 1984)
Remarks: “COPE's (1899) description of L. anops states that "five scales border the prefrontal and first labial between the frontal and second labial". COPE figures these five scales (which includes the frontal) on the left side of the head. This character is unique to L. anops and to DUNN's (1944) description and figure of L. metae. However, both COPE and DUNN's figures are somewhat diagramatic. COPE's figure is inaccurate because he failed to recognize the first labial, which he illustrates as part of the nasal, and shows the nasal scale as being semidived. There are seven scales in the first vertical row of CoPE's figure if you include the first labial. However, COPE states that the left side has a peculiar division of the first (= second) labial. His figure of the ventral view of the head suggests that the right side is normal. The right side of COPE's specimen should contain six scales in the first vertical row, making it identical to DUNN's figure of L. metae. Additionally, DUNN states that L. meta has identical head scale arrangements of L. anops. DUNN (1944) also failed to recognize the first labial in COPE's figure, and suggests that the fourth (= fifth) small scale in COPE's figure is the fourth labial. DUNN indicated that L. metae has a different color pattern than L. anops. Liotyphlops metae is uniform dark brown above and below while L. anops has a dark dorsum and a light venter. Both COPE and DUNN suggest that the number of scales around the body of L. anops are 26, but DuNN also recorded one with 28. We have examined one specimen with 28 anterior scale rows, three with 27, five with 26, and one with 24. We have not examined specimens with more than 24 scales around the body at midbody or posteriorly. Therefore we assume that Cope and DUNN were stating the number of scales around the body anteriorly. Dunn's referral of two specimens from San Vicente and Paime to L. anops was probably an error. We have not been able to borrow these two specimens, but we suspect that they belong to a new species. We suggest this because all specimens that we have examined from the Magdalena Valley of Colombia have either four (L. albirostris) or five (Liotyphlops argaleus) scales in the first vertical row. However, if the two specimens DUNN examined have six scales in the first vertical row, then L. anops and L. metae may be distinct species, one cis-Andean and the other trans-Andean in distribution.” (Dixon & Kofron 1984)
Diagnosis: Liotyphlops anops is distinguished from L. albirostris, L. beui, L. bondensis, L. caissara, L. haadi, L. schubarti, L. taylori, L. ternetzii, and L. wilderi in having four (vs three) scales contacting the posterior edge of the prefrontal. It is further distinguished from L. argaleus and L. trefauti in having two scales (vs one scale) contacting the posterior edge of the nasal between the second supralabial and the prefrontal. It is distinguished from L. palauophis sp. nov. in having the frontal scale single and 26/24/24 scales around the body (vs frontal scale divided and 28/26/26 scales around the body, and from L. sousai in having 562–597 dorsal scales and 531–572 ventral scales (vs 439 dorsal scales and 427 ventral scales).
Coloration in alcohol. Dorsal and ventral body brown to pale cream. Head pale cream. Scales near opening of cloaca pale cream.
|Comment||Synonymy: Dixon and Kofron (1984: 259) synonymized metae with anops.|
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