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Mitophis leptepileptus (THOMAS, MCDIARMID & THOMPSON, 1985)

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: La Selle Threadsnake, Haitian Border Threadsnake 
SynonymLeptotyphlops leptepileptus THOMAS, MCDIARMID & THOMPSON 1985: 211
Leptotyphlops leptipilepta — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 620
Leptotyphlops leptipileptus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 34
Mitophis leptipileptus — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Mitophis leptipileptus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 456
Mitophis leptepileptus — HEDGES et al. 2019
Mitophis lepitepileptus — MARTINS et al. 2019 (in error)
DistributionHispaniola (SE Haiti)

Type locality: Soliette, 5 km airline NW Fond Verrettes, 366 m, Département de l'Ouest, Haiti.  
TypesHolotype: USNM 236661. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Relatively slender (SVL/MBD 72-94), small-eyed, silvery tan or piebald Leptotyphlops of the bilineatus group having 3 supra- and 3 infralabials, second supralabial in subocular position; high number of middorsal scales (377-414); far posterior reduction from 14 to 12 scale rows (84-95% SVL) by fusion of rows 0 and 1; large, protuberant rostral; slightly decurved snout; triangular supranasal; small, pentagonal ocular; temporal-parietal suture length equal to '/j or less length of parietal-occipital suture; no anal or ventral tubercles; no anal spurs; pelvic vestiges usually absent. 
CommentFor illustrations see Thomas, McDiarmid, and Thompson, 1985. 
EtymologyLeptepileptus is from the Greek meaning extremely thin, literally "thin-upon-thin.'' 
  • 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
  • Hedges SB, Powell R, Henderson RW, Hanson S, and Murphy JC 2019. Definition of the Caribbean Islands biogeographic region, with checklist and recommendations for standardized common names of amphibians and reptiles. Caribbean Herpetology 67: 1–53
  • Martins A, Passos P, Pinto R 2019. Moving beyond the surface: Comparative head and neck myology of threadsnakes (Epictinae, Leptotyphlopidae, Serpentes), with comments on the ‘scolecophidian’ muscular system. PLoS ONE 14(7): e0219661 - get paper here
  • Martins, A., Koch, C., Joshi, M., Pinto, R., Machado, A., Lopes, R., & Passos, P. 2021. Evolutionary treasures hidden in the West Indies: Comparative osteology and visceral morphology reveals intricate miniaturization in the insular genera Mitophis Hedges, Adalsteinsson, & Branch, and Tetracheilostoma Jan, 1861 (Leptotyphlopidae: Epicti The Anatomical Record - 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.
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Thomas, R., R. W. McDiarmid, and F. G. Thompson. 1985. Three new species of thread snakes (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) from Hispaniola. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 98: 204-220. - 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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