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Typhlops sylleptor THOMAS & HEDGES, 2007

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Typhlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesPestel Blindsnake 
SynonymTyphlops sylleptor THOMAS & HEDGES 2007: 10
Typhlops sylleptor — HEDGES et al. 2014
Typhlops sylleptor — WALLACH et al. 2014: 772 
DistributionHaiti (karst region between Baradères and Pestel in low but hilly, mesic habitat (375–420 m elevation).

Type locality: 8.0 km WSW Baradères, Dépt. de la Grande Anse, Haiti, 420 m elevation. 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: USNM 564804 (field tag number 192317), collected 7 June 1991, by M. Leal and R. Thomas. 
CommentDiagnosis: This is a moderate sized 20 scale-row species of Typhlops having no posterior reduction. Typhlops sylleptor is sympatric with T. hectus. It differs from T. hectus in being more blunt-snouted, having smaller eyes, and having a narrowly oval rostral (Fig. 3D in THOMAS & HEDGES 2007), in contrast to the clavate rostral of T. hectus (Fig. 3A) that widens towards the tip. A large, broadly rounded anterior projection of the preocular also differentiates it from T. hectus, which has preocular with sharply pointed apex (Fig. 3A). These differences can be seen also in graphs of RW1/RL1 versus HR (Fig. 6F), RWP versus RW1/RL1 (Fig. 6G), and PD versus HR (Fig. 6H). Typhlops sylleptor is also a shorter tailed species (TL/TA 27–43, males) than either T. hectus or T. proancylops (TL/TA 20–24, males). From T. proancylops (Fig. 3B), T. sylleptor also differs in having a preocular scale without a bent edge, and a relatively larger preocular angle and smaller preocular diameter (Fig. 6I). The edges of the posterior nasals flanking the rostral are parallel-sided or slightly divergent in T. sylleptor compared with T. proancylops. From T. agoralionis (Fig. 3C), T. sylleptor differs in having differently-shaped rostral and preocular scales, a larger, non-overlapping, rostral wide point (0.39–0.47 versus 0.14–0.32), and a wider rostral in relation to rostral length, reflected in graphs of RWP versus RW1/RL1 (Fig. 6G) and RL1 versus RW1 (Fig. 6J). Also, pigmentation in T. sylleptor is heavy, with pigment on the facial region extending irregularly across the venter. 
EtymologyFrom the Greek, sylleptor, meaning a companion, in reference to the other 20-row Typhlops of similar morphology found on the distal part of the Tiburon Peninsula. 
  • 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
  • Kornilios, P.; S. Giokas, P. Lymberakis, R. Sindaco 2013. Phylogenetic position, origin and biogeography of Palearctic and Socotran blind-snakes (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68 (1): 35–41 - 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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