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Typhlops leptolepis DOMINGUEZ, FONG & ITURRIAGA, 2013

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Typhlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common Names 
SynonymTyphlops leptolepis DOMINGUEZ, FONG & ITURRIAGA 2013
Typhlops leptolepis — HEDGES et al. 2014 
DistributionE Cuba (Holgin, Granma)

Type locality: Altiplanicie del Toldo (20°27'33''N, 74°53'60'' W, 830 m elevation), Moa Municipality, Holguín Province, Cuba Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
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: CZACC 4.5395 (field number AFG 303; Fig. 1) collected by A. Fong, N. Viña Dávila, and N. Viña Bayés on 5.X.1996. Paratypes. CZACC 4.5388 collected by L.F. de Armas and L. Echenique on 17.II.1996. CZACC 4.5396 (AFG 379) (20°28'27"N, 74°53'32"W, 860 m elevation) collected by A. Fong and G. Garcés on 24.II.1997. CZACC 4.5528 (20o28'N, 74o54' W, approximately 830 m elevation) collected by L.F. de Armas on 16.III.1996. BSC.H 756–57 (AFG 293–94) (20o27'33''N, 74o53'60'' W, 830 m elevation) collected by N. Viña Bayés and A. Fong on 2.X.1996. BSC.H 759 (AFG 329; Fig. 2) (20o28' N, 74o54' W, 900 m elevation) and BSC.H 899 (AFG 451) (20o27'N, 74o53' W, 860 m elevation) collected by A. Fong and N. Viña Dávila on 18.X.1996 and 14.III.1997, respectively. BSC.H 884 (AFG 421) (20o27'17'' N, 74o53'53'' W, 810 m elevation) and BSC.H 1068 (AFG 522) (20o27'08'' N, 74o53'58'' W, 820 m elevation) collected by A. Fong on 6.III.1997 and 16.VI.1997, respectively. BSC.H 860 (AFG 378) (20o27'08'' N, 74o53'58'' W, 820 m elevation) collected by G. Garcés and A. Fong on 21.II.1997. BSC.H 1048 (AFG 504) (20o27'49'' N, 74o54'75'' W, 900 m elevation) collected by A. Fong and L.O. Melián on 11.VI.1997. MNCN 45491 (20o28'38.4'' N, 74o53'20.4'' W, 871 m elevation) collected by Jorgelino Damez Diez (nickname Canelo) on 21.III.2012. All specimens collected in same locality as holotype. CZACC 4.5389–5390 from La Vigía, Sierra del Cristal, Frank País Municipality, Holguín Province, Cuba, collected by M. Martínez Reyes on VIII.1998 and IX.1999, respectively. BSC.H 1307–08 (AFG 729–30) from cabezadas del río Jaguaní (20o28'32'' N, 74o55'19'' W, 800 m elevation), Sierra de Moa, Moa Municipality, Holguín Province, Cuba collected by A. Fong on 22.XI.1997. 
CommentDiagnosis. The small size (< 215 mm TL), a single preocular in contact with third supralabial only, 20 anterior scale rows reducing posteriorly to 18 scale rows, and < 310 middorsal scale counts associates Typhlops leptolepis with species in the Typhlops lumbricalis species group: T. lumbricalis (Bahamas Islands); T. oxyrhinus and T. pachyrhinus (Cuba); T. schwartzi, T. tetrathyreus, and T. titanops (Hispaniola).
The new species can be distinguished from other species in the group by its narrow oval rostral (0.45–0.60 RWD/RLD) in dorsal view with parallel to curved sides, a strong tapering toward anterior tip (Fig. 1), and a distinctive dark umber coloration. It also differs in having a venter color undifferentiated from dorsum, head and neck coloration differentiated from body in ventral view, and a white spot ventrally covering the tail and cloacal opening (Fig. 2).
Typhlops leptolepis also differs from those species by a combination of characters (Table 1), e.g. body size, thin body, snout pattern, number and size of the parietals and occipitals, number of postoculars, divergent postnasal pattern, moderate to high middorsal scale counts (> 250, 278 mean), and reduction of the anterior scale rows at midbody or posterior to midbody (67% TL maximum, 57% mean). 
EtymologyIn Greek lepto = narrow and lepis = scale, in allusion to distinctive rostral pattern in dorsal view. 
  • DOMÍNGUEZ, MICHEL; ANSEL FONG G. & MANUEL ITURRIAGA 2013. A new blind snake (Typhlopidae) from Northeastern Cuba. Zootaxa 3681: 136–146 - 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
  • Iturriaga, Manuel. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Typhlops leptolepis. Herpetological Review 46 (3): 387
  • Rodríguez Schettino, Lourdes, Carlos A. Mancina & Vilma Rivalta González 2013. REPTILES OF CUBA: CHECKLIST AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (144): 1-96
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