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Anilios insperatus VENCHI, WILSON & BORSBOOM, 2015

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Asiatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Fassifern Blind Snake 
SynonymAnilios insperatus VENCHI, WILSON & BORSBOOM 2015 
DistributionAustralia (SE Queensland)

Type locality: Warrill View, Department of Primary Industries Animal Genetic Centre Farm (2749' S, 15237' E),  
TypesHolotype: QM J54987 (Queensland Museum), collected on 19 May 1992 by A. Borsboom. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Anilios insperatus sp. nov. is a small, slender blind snake characterized by the following combined characters: 16 midbody scale rows, 442 paravertebral scales, snout slightly trilobed from above and bluntly angular in profile, nasal scale not completely divided, nasal cleft not visible from above and joining the second supralabial scale, small, inconspicuous eyes, located within the ocular scale at its junction with the preocular and the supraocular scales, light uniform colouration with no differentiation between dorsal and ventral surfaces.

Comparisons: Only four Australian species of Anilios have 16 scales at midbody, but all are geographically distant. No other species occurring in Queensland has 16 midbody scales and lacks pigmentation, but there are some that are likely to be sympatric with A. insperatus, namely A. affinis, ligatus, nigrescens, proximus, wiedii. All these species, except A. affinis, differ in having the nasal cleft visible from above. For more details see Venchi et al. 2015. 
CommentOnly known from the holotype. 
EtymologyThe Latin word insperatus means unexpected, unanticipated, unhoped, unlooked-for, unforeseen. This alludes to the unexpected discovery of a new species of snake in an intensively surveyed, easily accessible area less than 100 km from an Australian capital city. Used as a noun in apposition. The common name is derived from the type locality, Fassifern Valley. 
  • VENCHI, ALBERTO; STEVE K. WILSON & ADRIAN C. BORSBOOM 2015. A new blind snake (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) from an endangered habitat in south-eastern Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa 3990 (2): 272–278 - get paper here
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