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Myriopholis longicauda (PETERS, 1854)

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Myriopholini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesLong-tailed Thread Snake 
SynonymStenostoma longicaudum PETERS 1854: 621
Glauconia longicauda - BOULENGER 1890
Glauconia longicauda — BOULENGER 1893: 66
Glauconia fiechteri SCORTECCI 1929: 266
Glauconia brevirostralis FITZSIMONS 1930: 38
Leptotyphlops fiechteri — PARKER 1932: 214
Leptotyphlops longicauda - LOVERIDGE 1953: 247
Leptotyphlops longicaudus — AUERBACH 1987: 149
Leptotyphlops longicaudus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 34
Myriopholis longicauda — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Myriopholis longicaudus — BROADLEY & BLAYLOCK 2013
Myriopholis longicauda — WALLACH et al. 2014: 463 
DistributionS Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Republic of South Africa (Transvaal, Swaziland), Zimbabwe, E Botswana, Zambia

Type locality: “Tete” [Mozambique] Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: ZMB 4827 
CommentThe primitive members of the longicaudus species group are characterised by an elongate skull with a postparietal bone separating the supraoccipitals, paired parietal bones more or less separated and sometimes the frontals also. There is a
discrete frontal shield, a small anterior supralabial, a moderate posterior supralabial, a semilunate cloacal shield, a small apical spine, and brown dorsal pigmentation, paler below.

Leptotyphlops longicaudus of southeastern Africa seems to be the most basal species, followed by the easternmost representative of the group, L. blanfordii, inhabiting southwestern Iran, eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern India (Hahn, 1978). In the remaining eastern members of the group the frontal and
parietal bones are widely separated and the roof of the braincase is unossified (the L. cairi complex).

Type species: Stenostoma longicaudum PETERS 1854 is the type species of the genus Myriopholis Hedges, Adalsteinsson, & Branch 2009.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 rejected the (sub-) generic names Longinidis Hoser 2012, Scanlonus Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected their use instead of Myriopholis.

Diagnosis. Species of Myriopholini and Myriopholis have 14 midbody scale rows, 10–12 midtail scale rows, 165–558 middorsal scale rows, 25–58 subcaudals, two supralabials (three in M. dissimilis), a small anterior supralabial (moderate in M. narirostris), 103–293 mm maximum adult total length, a body shape of 27–138 (total length/width), a relative tail length of 5.7–18.9 %, a tail shape of 5.0–11.7, no striped pattern, and usually a pale brown dorsum and white venter (Table 2). Members of this genus and tribe can be distinguished from the two other tribes in the subfamily Leptotyphlopinae by the presence of a higher average number of middorsal scales (165–558 versus 171–387) and subcaudals (25–58 versus 12–44). Also, members of the tribe usually have a white venter and semilunate cloacal shield whereas members of the Tribe Leptotyphlopini usually have a brown or pale brown venter and a heart-shaped or subtriangular cloacal shield (see fig. 2 in Broadley & Wallach, 2007). Members of the Tribe Myriopholini also can be distinguished from the Tribe Epacrophini by the presence of a small anterior supralabial (moderate in size in Epacrophini). 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 feminine and derived from the Greek adjective myrios (many, countless) and Greek noun pholis (scale), in allusion to the high number of middorsal and subcaudal scales typical of species in this genus. 
References
  • 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
  • Angel, Fernand 1925. Résultats Scientifiques. Vertebrata. Reptiles et Batraciens. [Mabuia (Mabuiopsis) jeanneli, Lygosoma graueri quinquedigitata, Ablepharus massaiensis]. In: Voyage de Ch. Alluaud et R. Jeannel en Afrique Orientale (1911-1912). - Paris, 2: 1-63.
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1890. Description of a new Snake of the Genus Glauconia Gray, obtained by Dr. Emin Pasha on the Victoria Nyanza. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 6: 91-93. - get paper here
  • Boycott, R.C. 1992. An Annotated Checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Swaziland. The Conservation Trust of Swaziland - get paper here
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Broadley D G. Wallach V. 1997. A review of the worm snakes of Mozambique (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) with the description of a new species. Arnoldia Zimbabwe 10 (11): 111-119
  • Broadley, D. & Blaylock 2013. The Snakes of Zimbabwe and Botswana. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 387 pp. [book review in Sauria 35 (2): 59 and Copeia 2014: 388] - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1959. The herpetology of Southern Rhodesia. Part I--the snakes. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 120 (1): 1-100 [reprint 1972] - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1962. On some reptile collections from the North-Western and North-Eastern Districts of Southern Rhodesia 1958-1961, with descriptions of four new lizards. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. South. Rhodesia 26 (B): 787-843
  • Broadley, D.G.; Doria, C.T. & Wigge, J. 2003. Snakes of Zambia. An Atlas and Field Guide. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 280 pp. [review in Sauria 26 (3): 21]
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Broadley, Sheila 1999. A review of the Arican wormsnakes from South of Latitude 12°S (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Syntarsus 5: 1-36
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V. 2007. A revision of the genus Leptotyphlops in northeastern Africa and southwestern Arabia (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Zootaxa 1408: 1–78 - get paper here
  • Fitzsimons, V. 1966. A check-list, with syntopic keys, to the snakes of southern Africa. Annals of the Transvaal Museum 25 (3): 35-79 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V. F. 1930. Descriptions of new South African Reptilia and Batrachia, with distribution records of allied species in the Transvaal Museum collection. Ann. Transvaal Mus. 14: 20-48. - get paper here
  • Hahn D. E. & V. WALLACH, 1998. Comments on the systematics of Old World Leptotyphlops (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae), with description of a new species. Hamadryad 23: 50-62 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. & M. O. Roedel 1995. A new species of Leptotyphlops (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) of the longicaudus-group from West Africa. Stuttgarter Beitr. Naturk. Ser. A. (Biol.) 532: 1-8. - get paper here
  • Hoser, R.T. 2012. A review of the extant scolecophidians (“blindsnakes”) including the formal naming and diagnosis of new tribes, genera, subgenera, species and subspecies for divergent taxa. Australasian J. Herpetol. 15: 1–64. - get paper here
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988]
  • Loveridge, A. 1953. Zoological Results of a fifth expedition to East Africa. III. Reptiles from Nyasaland and Tete. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 110 (3): 142-322. - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Parker,H.W. 1932. Scientific results of the Cambridge expedition to the east African lakes, 1930-31. 5. Reptiles and amphibians. Zool. J. Linnean Soc. 38: 213-229
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1854. Diagnosen neuer Batrachier, welche zusammen mit der früher (24. Juli und 17. August) gegebenen Übersicht der Schlangen und Eidechsen mitgetheilt werden. Ber. Bekanntmach. Geeignet. Verhandl. Königl.-Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1854: 614-628
  • Pietersen, Darren W.<br />Pietersen, Errol W.<br />Haacke, Wulf D. 2013. First herpetological appraisal of the Parque Nacional de Banhine, Gaza Province, southern Mozambique. Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 3: 153-163 - get paper here
  • Scortecci, G. 1929. Primo contributo alla conoscenza dei Rettili e degli Anfibi della Somalia italiana. Atti Soc. ital. Sci. nat. 68: 245-279
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - 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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