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Typhlops proancylops THOMAS & HEDGES, 2007

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Typhlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesLa Selle Blindsnake 
SynonymTyphlops proancylops THOMAS & HEDGES 2007: 7
Typhlops proancylops — HEDGES et al. 2014
Typhlops proancylops — WALLACH et al. 2014: 769 
DistributionHispaniola (from the proximal Tiburon Peninsula, west to the uplands south of Port au Prince, to the type locality on the Dominican-Haitian border and east into the Dominican Republic, to the region of Puerto Escondido). Elevation 300 to 600 m.

Type locality: Soliette, 5 km airline NW Fond Verettes, 363 m, Dépt. du Sud-Est, Haiti.  
TypesHolotype: KU 272267, an adult male, collected on 13 July 1979 by Haitian collectors. 
CommentDiagnosis: A large, 20-scale-row species of Typhlops, having no posterior reduction. This species was previously included within T. hectus (Thomas, 1974) and the major comparison is with that species (Table 1). Typhlops proancylops is allopatric with T. hectus and differs from that species in having a narrower rostral that is widest more anteriorly than in T. hectus and which tapers towards the tip, in contrast to the clavate rostral of T. hectus that widens towards the tip (Figs. 3, 6A). It has a larger, broader anterior projection of the preocular that is not smoothly rounded but has two angles near the apex, in contrast to T. hectus, which has, on the average, a more acuminate apex (Fig.3). The posterior nasal-preocular suture has an angled deflection, rather than a continuously curved suture as in T. hectus. The suture between the preocular and the 3rd infralabial is relatively long in comparison to T. hectus (Fig. 6B). The edges of the posterior nasals flanking the rostral tend to be straight or very slightly divergent, whereas those of T. hectus are more bowed out. Also, T. proancylops is more heavily pigmented, with pigment in the facial region on the preoculars, posterior nasals, and rostral, in contrast to the pale-snouted T. hectus (excepting the Morne Salagnac snakes referred to above). The hemipenes of T. proancylops are distinctive in being trumpet-shaped and capitate with a fleshy rim around the apex; no other West Indian species is known to have this morphology (Thomas, 1976). Other species of West Indian Typhops have trumpet-shaped organs that are flat apically (Thomas, 1976); in one species, T. rostellatus Stejneger, the organ is domed or rounded apically, but none have a comparable rim. 
EtymologyProancylops is from the Greek pro, before, ancistros, bent, and ops, eye, in reference to the bent or broken outline of the preocular. 
  • 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
  • THOMAS R. & S.B. HEDGES 2007. Eleven new species of snakes of the genus Typhlops (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) from Hispaniola and Cuba. Zootaxa 1400: 1-26 - 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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