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Ramphotyphlops multilineatus (SCHLEGEL, 1839)

IUCN Red List - Ramphotyphlops multilineatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Asiatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Hook-nosed blindsnake 
SynonymTyphlops multilineatus SCHLEGEL 1839: 40
Rhinotyphlops (Ramphotyphlops) multilineatus — FITZINGER 1843: 24
Onychocephalus multilineatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 276
Onychophis multicarinatus GRAY 1845: 134 (lapsus)
Typhlops bibroni JAN, in JAN & SORDELLI 1864
Typhlops multilineatus — JAN 1864
Typhlops multilineatus — BOULENGER 1893: 50
Typhlops multilineatus — DE ROOIJ 1917: 7
Ramphotyphlops multilineatus — ROBB 1966: 676
Typhlina multilineata — MCDOWELL 1974: 41
Ramphotyphlops multilineatus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 69
Ramphotyphlops multilineatus — HEDGES et al. 2014
Ramphotyphlops multilineatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 629 
DistributionIndonesia (Irian Jaya, Kai Island, Salawati)

Type locality: New Guinea (Irian Jaya)  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1067 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Species of Ramphotyphlops have (1) eye, distinct (rarely indistinct), (2) snout, rounded or beaked, (3) head scale arrangement, non-circular, (4) frontorostral, absent, (5) nasal, completely or incompletely divided, (6) nasal suture origin, supralabial 2 (sometimes 1 or 1/2 suture), (7) suboculars or subpreoculars, absent (rarely present), (8) postoculars, 2–3 (rarely 1; average, 2.15), (9) preocular-labial contact, supralabials 2–3 (rarely 3 only or fused with ocular or nasal), (10) midbody scale rows, 18–30 (average, 21.7), (11) scale row reduction, pres- ent or absent, (12) total scale rows, 206–653 (average, 419), (13) caudals, 8–36 (average, 19.8), (14) maximum total length, 117–480 (average, 302) mm, (15) total length/midbody diameter, 18–91.5 (average, 48.8), (16) total length/ tail length, 16.7–70 (average, 31.8), (17) dorsal color, usually dark brown (sometimes medium brown, tan, gray, or purplish), (18) ventral color, usually cream or yellowish-white (sometimes gray-green, pinkish, tan, or brown), (19) dorsum darker than venter, (20) overall, usually either patternless or with longitudinal lines (Tables 1–2); molecular phylogenetic support (Fig. 1).
Ramphotyphlops is part of a larger, more inclusive clade (Ramphotyphlops s.l.) that shares a solid, awn-like protrusible hemipenis and retrocloacal sacs (Robb 1966; McDowell 1974), although not all species have been examined for those traits. Presumably these characters distinguish it from other genera in the Asiatyphlopinae, except those three genera formerly in Ramphotyphlops s.l. and thus the closest relatives of Ramphotyphlops s.s.: Acutotyphlops, Anilios, and Sundatyphlops. From Acutotyphlops, Ramphotyphlops can be distinguished by lacking a frontorostral scale. From Anilios, it can be distinguished by its smaller maximum size (mean among species, 302 versus 354 mm TL), higher mean number of midbody scales (21.7 versus 20.1), and longer tails (TL/TA = 31.8 versus 49.7; averages). From Sundatyphlops, it can be distinguished by its smaller maximum size (302 versus 395 mm TL; only R. angusticeps, 455 mm TL, has a greater maximum size) [HEDGES et al. 2014: 39]. For an alternative diagnosis see PYRON & WALLACH 2014: 57. 
CommentType species: Typhlops multilineatus SCHLEGEL 1839 is the type species of the genus Ramphotyphlops FITZINGER 1843: 24.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic names Carrytyphlopea Hoser 2012, Funkityphlops Hoser 2012, Johnwilsontyphlops Hoser 2012, Maxhoserus Hoser 2012, Oxytyphlops Hoser 2012, Piersontyphlops Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected their use instead of Ramphotyphlops. 
EtymologyThe generic name is a masculine noun formed from the Greek adjective ramphos (curved beak or bill) and Greek noun typhlops (the blind), in reference to the pointed or beak-like snout in most species of this genus. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • de Rooij, N. DE 1917. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Il. Ophidia. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 334 S. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1844. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol.6. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 609 pp. - get paper here
  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, fasciculus primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller et Seidel, Wien: 106 pp. - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1845. Catalogue of the specimens of lizards in the collection of the British Museum. Trustees of die British Museum/Edward Newman, London: xxvii + 289 pp. - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B., Marion, A.B., Lipp, K.M., Marin, J. & Vidal, N. 2014. A taxonomic framework for typhlopid snakes from the Caribbean and other regions (Reptilia, Squamata). Caribbean Herpetology 49: 1–61 - 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
  • Jan, G. 1864. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 4. Livraison. J.B. Bailière et Fils, Paris - 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
  • Lang, Ruud de 2013. The snakes of the Moluccas (Maluku), Indonesia. Edition Chimaira, 417 pp. - 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.
  • McDowell, S. B. 1974. A catalogue of the snakes of New Guinea and the Solomons, with special reference to those in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Part l. Scolecophidia. Journal of Herpetology 8 (1): 1-57 - get paper here
  • O'Shea,M. 1996. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Independent Publishing, Port Moresby, xii + 239 pp. - get paper here
  • Pyron, R.A. & Wallach, V. 2014. Systematics of the blindsnakes (Serpentes: Scolecophidia: Typhlopoidea) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Zootaxa 3829 (1): 001–081 - get paper here
  • Robb,J. 1966. The generic status of Australasian typhlopids (Reptilia: Squamata). Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (13) 9: 675-679 - get paper here
  • Schlegel, H. 1839. Abbildungen neuer oder unvollständig bekannter Amphibien, nach der Natur oder dem Leben entworfen und mit einem erläuternden Texte begleitet. Arne and Co., Düsseldorf, xiv + 141 pp. - 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.
  • Werner, F. 1899. Ueber Reptilien und Batrachier aus Togoland, Kamerun und Deutsch-Neu-Guinea grösstentheils aus dem k. Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 49: 132-157 - get paper here
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