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Mitophis pyrites (THOMAS, 1965)

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesThomas' Blind Snake 
SynonymLeptotyphlops pyrites THOMAS 1965: 2
Leptotyphlops pyrites — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 621
Leptotyphlops pyrites — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 40
Mitophis pyrites — WALLACH et al. 2014: 456 
DistributionHispaniola (SE Haiti, SW Dominican Republic).

Type locality: Pedernales, Pedernales Province, Dominican Republic, Hispaniola.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 77239. 
CommentFor illustrations see Thomas, 1965.

Type species: Leptotyphlops pyrites THOMAS 1965 is the type species of the genus Mitophis pyrites HEDGES, ADALSTEINSSON & BRANCH 2009.

Diagnosis. Species of Mitophis have 14 (rarely 16) midbody scale rows, 12 midtail scale rows, 262–414 middorsal scale rows, 14–22 subcaudals, four (3–4 in M. leptepileptus) supralabials, moderate anterior supralabials, 143–205 mm maximum adult total length, a body shape of 43–94 (total length/width), a relative tail length of 3.8–5.0 %, a tail shape of 2.3–4.3, no striped pattern (except M. pyrites), a pale brown or unpigmented dorsum, and a brown or unpigmented venter (Table 2 in ADALSTEINSSON et al. 2009). They are distinguished from the other genus in this subtribe, Tetracheilostoma, by having a high number of middorsal scales (262–414 versus 170– 192), thinner body (43–94 versus 31–54), and a pale brown or unpigmented dorsum (not dark brown). The support for this group was 100% BP and 100% PP for the four-gene tree (Fig. 3) and 100% BP and 100% PP for the nine-gene tree (Fig. 4). [from ADALSTEINSSON et al. 2009]. 
EtymologyEtymology (genus): The generic name is masculine and derived from the Greek nouns mitos (thread) and ophis (snake). 
  • 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
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Schwartz,A. & Henderson,R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Thomas, R. 1965. The genus Leptotyphlops in the West Indies with description of a new species from Hispaniola (Serpentes, Leptotyphlopidae). Breviora (222):1-12. - get paper here
  • 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. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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