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Rhinotyphlops scortecci (GANS & LAURENT, 1965)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Afrotyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Scortecci’s blind-snake 
SynonymTyphlops scorteccii GANS & LAURENT 1965: 56
Typhlops unitaeniatus – (not PETERS) LEPRI 1911: 318
Typhlops unitaeniatus – SCORTECCI 1930: 15 (part.)
Rhinotyphlops scorteccii — ROUX-ESTÈVE 1965: 246
Rhinotyphlops scortecci — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 87
Letheobia scortecci — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007
Rhinotyphlops scortecci — HEDGES et al. 2014
Letheobia scorteccii — WALLACH et al. 2014
Rhinotyphlops scorteccii — SPAWLS et al. 2023 
DistributionSomalia (Benadir). elevation 0-100 m.

Type locality: 10km south of Afgoi (40 km south of Mogadiscio), on sand dune road to Merca, Benadir Province, Somali.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 74455. 
DiagnosisDescription: Snout very prominent, with an obtusely angular keratinised edge on rostral; rostral very large, subrectangular, extending far beyond the eye spots, rostral ventrally almost as wide as the head at the level of the nostrils; frontal crescentic, supraocular oblique, its lateral apex between nasal and preocular; eye barely visible beneath the nasal, nasal suture arising from L2; SIP X (N1, P, P, P). Scale rows usually 26-24-24l; MD 11–405. L/D ratio 27–7. Dark to blackish brown dorsally, slightly lighter ventrally, with a bright yellow stripe running from top of head along the anterior half to three-quarters of the back. For abbreviations see L. caeca. From BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007. 
CommentHabitat: Somali Acacia-Commiphora bushland and thicket. 
EtymologyNamed after Prof. Giuseppe Scortecci, 1898-1973, Italian herpetologist. See Tortonese 1974 for an obituary. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V. 2007. A review of East and Central African species of Letheobia Cope, revived from the synonymy of Rhinotyphlops Fitzinger, with descriptions of five new species (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Zootaxa 1515: 31–68 - get paper here
  • Gans, C.; LAURENT, R.F. & PANDIT, H. 1965. Notes on a herpetological collection from the Somali Republic. Ann. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr., Sér. 8vo, Tervuren, (80) Zool., (134): 1-93
  • 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
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988] - get paper here
  • Lepri, G. 1911. Ofidii del Benadir. Bollettino della Società Zoologica Italiana (Camerino), (1910) (2) 11, 317–217
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Roux-Estève, R. 1974. Révision systématique des Typhlopidae d'Afrique. Reptilia. Serpentes. Mém. nation. Hist. nat., Paris, (sér.A.) 87: 1-313
  • Scortecci, Giuseppe 1931. Contributo alla conoscenza dei rettili e degli anfibi della Somalia, dell'Eritrea e dell'Abissinia. Boll. Mus. Zool. Univ. Torino, (ser. 3) 41 (10): 1-26 [1930]
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - get paper here
  • Tortonese, E. 1974. Prof. Giuseppe Scortecci 1898-1973. Copeia 1974 (1): 294 - get paper here
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