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Anilios guentheri (PETERS, 1865)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Asiatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Top End Blind Snake 
SynonymTyphlops (Onychocephalus) güntheri PETERS 1865: 259
Typhlops guentheri — BOULENGER 1893: 20
Typhlops nigricauda BOULENGER 1895: 867
Typhlops guentheri — WAITE 1918: 9
Ramphotyphlops guentheri — ROBB 1966: 676
Typhlina guentheri — MCDOWELL 1974: 32
Ramphotyphlops guentheri — STORR 1981: 250
Ramphotyphlops guentheri — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 66
Ramphotyphlops guentheri — COGGER 2000: 592
Austrotyphlops guentheri — WALLACH 2006
Ramphotyphlops guentheri — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 412
Ramphotyphlops guentheri — MARIN et al. 2013
Anilios nigricaudus — PYRON & WALLACH 2014
Anilios nigricaudus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 40
Anilios guentheri — HEDGES et al. 2014
Ramphotyphlops guentheri — COGGER 2014: 802
Anilios guentheri — TIATRAGUL et la. 2023 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory, Western Australia)

Type locality: “Nordaustralien”

nigricaudus: Australia (Northern Australia); Type locality: "Daly River, North Australia"  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.10.88 (formerly BMNH, collected by J.R. Elsey.
Lectotype: BMNH 1946.1.11.33; paralectotypes: ZMUO K2011, BMNH (fide Pethon 1969) [nigricaudus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small, very slender, black-tailed blind-snake with 18 midbody scale rows and nasal cleft proceeding from second labial. Distinguishable from R. grypus by snout rounded (rather than beaked) in profile (from Storr 1981).

Description: Waite 1918: 24 
CommentSynonymy: Status not fully resolved; considered as valid by Wallach et al. 2014 and Pyron & Wallach 2014, then again synonymized with Ramphotyphlps / Anilios guentheri (e.g. by ELLIS 2016). Shea and Horner (1996) said that the eastern form may be called R. nigricauda and the western form R. guentheri. Pyron and Wallach (2014) presented some morphological data; however, there is significant overlap with the former senior synonym and the species is not presented in any phylogenetic trees or under specimens examined in their paper (Ellis 2016).

Not listed by COGGER 2014.

Type species: Typhlops guentheri Peters 1865 is the type species of the subgenus Mantyphlops Hoser 2013: 45 (subgenus of Libertadictus Wells & Wellington 1984), both synonyms of Anilios (fide SHEA 2015). 
EtymologyNamed after Albert Günther (1830-1914), German-born zoologist at the British Museum. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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. 1895. Descriptions of a new Snake and a new Frog from North Australia. Proc. zool. Soc. London 1895: 867 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Ellis, Ryan J. 2016. A New Species of Blindsnake (Scolecophidia: Typhlopidae: Anilios) from the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Herpetologica 72 (3): 271-278. - 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
  • Marin, J., Donnellan, S.C., Hedges, S.B., Puillandre, N., Aplin, K., Doughty, P., Hutchinson, M.N., Couloux, A. & Vidal, N. 2013. Hidden species diversity of Australian burrowing snakes (Ramphotyphlops). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, doi: 10.1111/bij.12132 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • McDowell, S. B. 1974. A catalogue of the snakes of New Guinea and the Solomons, with special reference to those in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Part l. Scolecophidia. Journal of Herpetology 8 (1): 1-57 - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1865. [Hr. W. Peters lieferte einen ferneren Nachtrag zu seiner Abhandlung über Typhlopina]. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1865 (Juni): 259-263 - get paper here
  • Pyron, R.A. & Wallach, V. 2014. Systematics of the blindsnakes (Serpentes: Scolecophidia: Typhlopoidea) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Zootaxa 3829 (1): 001–081 - get paper here
  • Robb,J. 1966. The generic status of Australasian typhlopids (Reptilia: Squamata). Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (13) 9: 675-679 - get paper here
  • Shea G M. Horner P. 1997. A new species of Ramphotyphlops (Squamata: Typhlopidae) from the Darwin Area, with notes on two similar species from northern Australia. The Beagle 13: 53-60 [1996]
  • Shea, G.M. 1999. Waite’s blind snakes (Squamata: Scolecophidia: Typhlopidae): identification of sources and correction of errors. Rec. Austral. Mus. 51 (1): 447-450 - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. 2009. Snakes of Darwin. Poster, University of Sydney
  • Storr G M 1981. The genus Ramphotyphlops (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) in Western Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 9 (3): 235-271 - get paper here
  • Tiatragul, S., Skeels, A., & Keogh, J. S. 2023. Paleoenvironmental models for Australia and the impact of aridification on blindsnake diversification. Journal of Biogeography - get paper here
  • Waite, E. R. 1918. Review of the Australian blind snakes. Rec. South Austral. Mus. 1: 1-34 - get paper here
  • Wallach, V. 2006. The nomenclatural status of Australian Ramphotyphlops (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 42 (1): 8-24 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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