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Amerotyphlops brongersmianus (VANZOLINI, 1976)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Typhlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: South American Striped Blindsnake, Brongersma's Worm Snake
Portuguese: Cobra-Cega, Cobra-Cega-de-Espinho-Comum, Cobra-Cega-de-Espinho-Marrom, Cobra-Cega-Marrom, Cobra-da-Terra 
SynonymTyphlops brongersmai VANZOLINI 1972
Typhlops brongersmianus VANZOLINI 1976 (nom. subst.)
Typhlops brongersmianus — LEYNAUD & BUCHER 1999: 13
Typhlops brongersmianus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 94
Typhlops brongersmianus — ROCHA et al. 2004
Typhlops brongersmianus— ZAHER et al. 2011
Altmantyphlops (Goldsteintyphlops) kirnerae wellingtoni HOSER 2012
Altmantyphlops (Goldsteintyphlops) kirnerae HOSER 2012
Typhlops brongersmianus — GIRAUDO et al. 2012
Typhlops brongersmianus — COLE et al. 2013
Amerotyphlops brongersmianus — HEDGES et al. 2014
Typhlops brongersmianus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 759
Amerotyphlops brongersmianus — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionColombia, NE Venezuela, Guyana, Trinidad, Brazil (Alagoas, Bahia, Rio Grande do Sul, Goias, Ceará, Mato Grosso do Sul, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Santa Catarina, Sergipe, Tocantins, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piaui), elsewhere east of the Andes, Bolivia, Argentina (Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Rios, Buenos Aires, Formosa, Chaco, Salta, Tucumán, Córdoba), Peru, Paraguay

Type locality: “Barra de Itaipe, Ilheus, Bahia, Brasil”  
TypesHolotype: MZUSP 5218 (Museu de Zoologia de Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brasil) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Species of Amerotyphlops have (1) eye, distinct or indistinct, (2) snout, rounded, (3) head scale arrangement, non–circular, (4) frontorostral, absent, (5) nasal, completely or incompletely divided, (6) nasal suture origin, supralabial 2 (sometimes 1 or 1/2 suture), (7) suboculars or subpreoculars, absent (rarely present), (8) pos- toculars, 1–2 (rarely 3–4, average, 1.69), (9) preocular–labial contact, supralabials 2 & 3, (10) midbody scale rows, 16–22 (average, 19.1), (11) scale row reduction, absent (rarely present), (12) total scale rows, 170–556 (average, 327), (13) caudals, 6–15 (average, 9.4), (14) maximum total length, 101–522 (average, 287) mm, (15) total length/ midbody diameter, 16–77 (average, 38.7), (16) total length/tail length, 23–270 (average, 66.8), (17) dorsal color, brown or yellow, (18) ventral color, white, cream, or yellow, (19) dorsum darker than venter, (20) overall color pat- tern often consists of spots, lines, reticulations, and/or a band over region of eyes (Tables 1–2); molecular phyloge- netic support (Figs. 1, 3).
This genus is distinguished from two other genera of the subfamily Typhlopinae, Antillotyphlops and Typhlops, in that the preocular contacts supralabials 2 and 3 (versus preocular contact with supralabial 3 only) (Thomas 1968; 1976; Dixon & Hendricks 1979; Thomas & Hedges 2007). Although Amerotyphlops can be distinguished from those genera, it is more difficult to separate it from the primarily Cuban genus Cubatyphlops. It shares with that genus the preocular contact with supralabials 2 and 3, and presence of a single postocular in some species. However, it can be nearly completely distinguished from Cubatyphlops in total scale rows: there are minimally 453 in 11 of the 12 species of that genus (C. caymanensis, 351–408) whereas in Amerotyphlops, the maximum number of total scale rows is 441, except in one species, A. microstomus (487–556). Concerning the two overlap species, C. caymanensis is separated from Amerotyphlops in the molecular phylogeny, and A. microstomus is separated from Cubatyphlops in having 2 postoculars instead of 1 postocular. Also, 8 of the 14 species of Amerotyphlops can be distinguished from Cubatyphlops in having either an incompletely divided nasal scale (A. minuisquamus, A. paucis- quamus, A. reticulatus, and A. yonenagae) or a patterned (lines or spots) dorsum and/or head (A. brongersmianus, A. minuisquamus, A. paucisquamus, A. reticulatus, A. tasymicris, A. tenuis, A. trinitatus, and A. yonenagae) or both. In Cubatyphlops, the nasal is completely divided and there is no distinct pattern [HEDGES et al. 2014: 43]. For an alternative diagnosis see PYRON & WALLACH 2014: 45. 
CommentSynonymy: Typhlops brongersmai Vanzolini is preoccupied by Typhlops florensis brongersmai MERTENS, 1920.

Type species: Typhlops brongersmianus VANZOLINI 1976 is the type species of the genus Amerotyphlops HEDGES et al. 2014: 43.

Molecular data are available for only 3 of 14 species in this genus, which remains a gap in knowledge. Nonetheless, the suite of characters shared by the species, noted above, indicates that it is a monophyletic group with a geographic cohesiveness [HEDGES et al. 2014: 44]. 
EtymologyNamed after Leo Daniel Brongersma (1907-1994) [obituary in Copeia 1995: 513 and Zool. Med. Leiden 69: 177].

The generic name is a masculine noun formed from the adjective americanus (a, um; ‘from America’) and Greek noun typhlops (the blind).
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