Madatyphlops arenarius (GRANDIDIER, 1872)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Madatyphlops arenarius?
|Higher Taxa||Typhlopidae (Madatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||Sand Worm Snake|
|Synonym||Onychocephalus arenarius GRANDIDIER 1872: 9|
Typhlops arenarius — BOULENGER 1893: 49
Typhlops arenarius — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 349
Typhlops arenarius — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 91
Typhlops arenarius — WALLACH et al. 2014: 758
Madatyphlops arenarius — HEDGES et al. 2014
Type locality: “Mouroundava”
|Types||Holotype: MNHN 1895-216|
|Comment||Habitat: extremely arid coastal thornbush savannah|
Synonymy: Typhlops boettgeri Boulenger (1893) was recognized as a valid species until 1958 when it was synonymized with T. arenarius by Guibé. These two taxa are perhaps sibling species because they are very similar with considerable variation and overlap in many characters. Typhlops boettgeri exhibits 20–21 midbody scale rows, T. arenarius has 20–24 midbody rows, T. mucronatus has 24–26 midbody rows, and T. decorsei has 26–28 midbody rows; none of the remaining species in Madagascar varies in midbody scale rows.
Sympatry: Typhlops boettgeri and T. arenarius are known to be sympatric from at least four localities (Andrahomana, Mahafaly, Tsimanapetsotsa, and Vohisandria: see Appendix). Typhlops boettgeri can be distinguished from T. arenarius by the following characters: coloration (bicolored with distinct separation of dorsal and ventral colors vs. unicolored), lateral head shape (not depressed and domed vs. depressed and obtusely pointed), dorsal rostral shape (circular vs. parallel), lateral rostral shape (angled vs. curved), position of eyes (prefrontal vs. frontal-prefrontal suture), “X”-shaped cross on head dorsum (absent vs. present), body proportion (< 50 vs. > 50), lateral tongue papillae (present vs. absent), anterior liver lobe extension (0–4% vs. 15–25%), right systemic arch junction craniad of heart tip (5–6% vs. 3–4%), total lung midpoint (29–35% vs. 28–29%), right lung midpoint (40–46% vs. 38–39%), posterior tip of lung (50–62% vs. 47–49%), and total kidney length (8–9% vs. 5–7%). WALLACH & GLAW (2009) therefore do not recognize the synonymy of T. boettgeri and T. arenarius and consider Typhlops boettgeri to be a valid species.
Type species: Onychocephalus arenarius GRANDIDIER 1872: 9 is the type species of the genus Madatyphlops HEDGES et al. 2014: 42.
Type genus: Madatyphlops HEDGES et al. 2014: 42 is the type genus of the subfamily Madatyphlopinae HEDGES et al. 2014: 41.
|Etymology||The generic name is a masculine noun formed from the adjective madagascarianus (a, um; ‘from Madagascar’) and the Greek noun typhlops (the blind).|