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Tricheilostoma bicolor (JAN, 1860)

IUCN Red List - Tricheilostoma bicolor - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesTwo-colored Blind Snake 
SynonymStenostoma (Tricheilostoma) bicolor JAN 1860
Stenostoma (Tricheilostoma) gracile JAN 1860
Stenostoma brevicauda BOCAGE 1887: 194
Glauconia brevicauda - BOULENGER 1890: 92
Glauconia bicolor - BOULENGER 1890: 92
Glauconia brevicauda — BOULENGER 1893: 67
Glauconia bicolor — BOULENGER 1893: 68
Glauconia bicolor gruveli CHABANAUD 1917
Glauconia gruveli - BOULENGER 1920
Leptotyphlops bicolor - LEESON 1950
Leptotyphlops brevicauda - LEESON 1950: 20
Leptotyphlops brevicauda — HUGHES & BARRY 1969
Leptotyphlops cairi — HAHN 1980: 7
Leptotyphlops brevicaudus — HAHN 1980: 9
Leptotyphlops bicolor — HAHN & WALLACH 1998
Leptotyphlops bicolor — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 21
Leptotyphlops brevicaudus — ULLENBRUCH et al. 2010
Tricheilostoma bicolor — HEDGES 2011
Leptotyphlops bicolor — SEGNIAGBETO et al. 2012: 348
Tricheilostoma bicolor — WALLACH et al. 2014: 737 
DistributionTogo, Benin, SW Chad, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Ivory Coast, Mali, Guinea, possibly Cameroon (Hughes 1983)

brevicaudus: Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria; Type locality: Dahomey. Type locality: Dahomey

Type locality: Boutry, Gold Cost (= Butre, Ghana) 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.
TypesHolotype: RMNH 3682
Holotype: MBL. destroyed according to HAHN 1980 [brevicaudus]
holotype: MNHN 1916.196 [Glauconia bicolor gruveli] 
CommentSynonymie: brevicauda and bicolor have been synonymized by HAHN & WALLACH 1998.

Distribution: Leptotyphlops brevicauda has been erroneously listed for Benin but does not occur there (Hughes 2013).

Type species: Stenostoma (Tricheilostoma) bicolor JAN 1860 is the type species of the genus Tricheilostoma HEDGES, ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH 2009 (designated by HEDGES 2011). Note that the same speces had been designated as type species of Guinea previously. However, Guinea is a homonym of the hymenopteran genus Guinea Koçak & Kemal, 2008. Also, Loveridge (1957) mistakenly designated Stenosoma macrolepis as type species of Tricheilostoma, referring to the journal article (Jan 1861b). Pinto et al. (2010) acknowledged the mistake but considered his type designation to be valid based on Art. 70.2 of the ICZN which states that an earlier, overlooked, type fixation should be accepted and any later fixations treated as invalid. However, that article is irrelevant here because no type was ever correctly fixed. What was called Tricheilostoma by HEDGES et al. 2009 is now called Trilepida sp.

Diagnosis (genus): Species of Tricheilostoma have 14 midbody scale rows, 12 midtail scale rows, 173–288 middorsal scale rows, 6–16 subcaudals, three (two in G. greenwelli) supralabials, small anterior supralabials (large in G. sundewalli), 112–188 mm maximum adult total length, a body shape of 24–69.2 (total length/width), a relative tail length of 2.4–7.0 %, a tail shape of 1.4–4.3, no striped pattern, a brown dorsum (unpigmented in G. greenwelli), and paler brown venter (Table 2). They are distinguished from the other genus in this tribe, Rhinoleptus, by having 14 midbody scale rows (versus 16), 12 midtail rows (versus 14), 173–288 middorsal rows (versus 302–546), 6–16 subcaudals (versus 21–28), and a body shape of 24–69.2 (versus 67–77). Only one species was included in the molecular phylogenetic analyses (Figs. 3–4). [adapted from ADALSTEINSSON et al. 2009]. 
EtymologyEtymology (genus): The generic name refers to the presence of three supralabials. 
  • 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
  • Bocage, J.V.B. du 1887. Melanges erpetologiques. I. Reptiles et Batraciens du Congo. II. Reptiles de Dahomey. III. Reptiles de l’Ile du Prince. IV. Reptiles et Batraciens de Quissange (Benguella) envoyés par M. J. d’Anchieta. Jorn. Sci. math. phys. nat., Lisboa, 11: 177-211
  • Böhme, Wolfgang, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Christian Brede & Philipp Wagner 2011. The reptiles (Testudines, Squamata, Crocodylia) of the forested southeast of the Republic Guinea (Guinée forestière), wit a country-wide checklist. Bonn zoological Bulletin 60 (1): 35-61 - get paper here
  • 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. 1919. A List of the snakes of West Africa from Mauritania to the French Congo. Proc. zool. Soc. London, 1919: 267-298 - 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
  • Broadley, Donald G. 2004. A specimen of Leptotyphlops bicolor (Jan) from Ghana with a "subocular" (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae), with a note on the skull of this species. African Journal of Herpetology 53 (1): 87-89 - get paper here
  • Chabanaud,P. 1916. Enumération des Ophidiens non encore étudiés de l'Afrique occidentale, appartenant aux Collections du Muséum avec le description des espèces et des variétés nouvelles. Bull. Mus. natn. Hist. nat. Paris 22: 362-382 - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. 2009. Inventaire des reptiles de la région de la Réserve de Biosphère Transfrontalière du W (Niger/Bénin/Burkina Faso: Afrique de l’Ouest). [Herpetological survey of the W Transfrontier Biosphere Reserve area (Niger/Benin/Burkina Faso: West Africa]. Bull. Soc. Herp. France (132): 13-41 - 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
  • HEDGES, S. BLAIR 2011. The type species of the threadsnake genus Tricheilostoma Jan revisited (Squamata, Leptotyphlopidae). Zootaxa 3027: 63–64 - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 1983. African snake faunas. Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 34: 311-356 - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 2013. Snakes of Bénin, West Africa. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 144: 101-159
  • Hughes, B. & Barry,D.H. 1969. The snakes of Ghana: a checklist and key. Bull. Inst. Franc. Afrique Noire A, 31: 1004-1041
  • Jan, G. 1860. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 1. Livraison. J.B. Bailière et Fils, Paris - get paper here
  • Leeson, Frank 1950. Identification of Snakes of the Gold Coast. Crown Agents for the Colonies, London, x + 142 pp.
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Segniagbeto GLazcano. H., Trape J. F., David P., Ohler A., Dubois A. & Glitho I. A. 2011. The snake fauna of Togo: systematics, distribution and biogeography, with remarks on selected taxonomic problems. Zoosystema 33 (3): 325-360. DOI: 10.5252/z2011n3a4 - get paper here
  • Trape J-F and Mané Y. 2015. The snakes of Niger. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 9(2) [Special Section]: 39–55 (e110) - get paper here
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mané, Y. 2006. Guide des serpents d’Afrique occidentale. Savane et désert. [Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger]. IRD Editions, Paris, 226 pp. - get paper here
  • TRAPE, JEAN-FRANÇOIS & CELLOU BALDÉ 2014. A checklist of the snake fauna of Guinea, with taxonomic changes in the genera Philothamnus and Dipsadoboa (Colubridae) and a comparison with the snake fauna of some other West African countries. Zootaxa 3900 (3): 301–338
  • Wallach, V. & D. E. Hahn 1997. Leptotyphlops broadleyi, a new species of worm snake from Cote d'Ivoire (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). African Journal of Herpetology 46 (2): 103-109. - 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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