Epictia albifrons (WAGLER, 1824)
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|Higher Taxa||Leptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Guyana Blind Snake, Wagler's Blind Snake|
Portuguese: Cobra-Cega, Cobra-Cega-da-Guiana, Minhoca
|Synonym||Stenostoma albifrons WAGLER 1824: 68|
Typhlops albifrons — WAGLER 1830: 195
Typhlops albifrons — GRAY 1831: 77
Epictia albifrons — GRAY 1845: 140
Glauconia albifrons — BOULENGER 1893: 63 (part.)
Glauconia albifrons — BOULENGER 1896: 591 (part.)
Glauconia albifrons — BARBOUR & COLE 1906: 150 (part.)
Leptotyphlops albifrons — AMARAL 1925: 3 (part),
Leptotyphlops albifrons — AMARAL 1929 (part.)
Leptotyphlops albifrons — BEEBE 1946: 12
Leptotyphlops tenella — PETERS et al., 1970: 167
Leptotyphlops tenella — VANZOLINI 1986: 10
Leptotyphlops albifrons — MCDIARMID et al. 1999: 19
Leptotyphlops albifrons — BOOS 2001
Epictia albifrons — ADALSTEINSSON et al. 2009
Epictia albifrons — WALLACH et al. 2014: 279
Epictia albifrons — NATERA-MUMAW et al. 2015: 291
Epictia albifrons — WALLACH 2016: 315
Epictia albifrons — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019
Type locality: vicinity of Belém, state of Pará, Brazil
|Types||Neotype: MCZ R-2885, designated by Natera-Mumaw et al. (2015); Wallach 2016: 316 designated BYU 11490 as neotype, a 154 mm (LOA) female topotype collected between 1946 and 1953 in the vicinity of Belém, state of Pará, Brazil. Wallach 2016: 316 rejected the neotype designation of Mumaw et al. citing ICZN Art. 75.3.3, Art. 75.3.6, and Recommendation 75B of the Code (see Wallach 2016: 325 for a discussion). The designation by Wallach 2016, however, is invalid, as only the ICZN Commission can invalidate a designated neotype and designate a new one under the plenary powers (M. Hoogmoed, pers. comm., 5 Sep 2017). Original holotype: ZSM 1348/0 (lost), collected by Spix and Martius expedition to Brazil, 1817-1820.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: (1) scale row formula = 14-14-14; (2) midtail scale rows = 10; (3) total length = 63–168 (x– = 121.0) mm; (4) total midodrsals = 206–218 (x– = 212.6); (5) subcaudals = 11–15 (x– = 13.1); (6) relative body propor- tion = 35–49 (x– = 40.0); (7) relative tail length = 4.3%–6.4% (x– = 5.4%); (8) relative tail width = 2.1–3.6 (x– = 2.7); (9) relative rostral width = 0.25–0.37 (x– = 0.31); (10) relative eye size = 0.35–0.37 (x– = 0.42); (10) rostral sagittate with truncated apex; (11) supralabials 2, anterior supralabial reaching eye level but not in contact with supraocular; (12) frontal separate from rostral; (13) supraoculars large and pentagonal, twice as broad as deep, with posterior border parallel to that of supranasal; (14) frontal, interparietal, and interoccipital hexagonal in shape, broader than deep; (15) parietals slightly longer than occipitals, oriented obliquely; (16) infralabials 4; (17) cloacal shield semilu- nate in shape; (18) head brown with a moderate pale spot on rostral; (19) dorsum with 7 dark brown stripes, formed from connected diamond-shaped spots, separated by 6 moderate to broad yellow zigzag stripes (= 7 dark stripes); (20) venter pale brown, each scale outlined in yellow; (21) midbody stripe formula (7 + 0) and middorsal pattern (3); (22) tail brown, above and below, with a small, pale terminal spot covering the last 0–1 (x– = 1.0) dorsal scales and 1–4 (x– = 2.5) ventral scales (subcaudal/dorsocaudal ratio 2.5); and (23) apical spine a horizontal thorn with minute point (Wallach 2016: 316).|
|Comment||Illustrations: Klauber, 1939.|
Synonymy: after WALLACH 2016: 315 who considers this species as valid, while many others list it as synonym of E. tenella. FRANCO & PINTO 2010 and subsequent authors considered Stenosoma albifrons as a nomen dubium. The status does not seem to be unambiguous, see Wallach 2016: 325 for a detailed discussion. Although Wallach considers albifrons as valid, he does not present any phylogenetic data (although he refers to Adalsteinsson et al. 2009 and others) and he doesn’t present any direct comparative illustrations of the species in this species complex (albifrons, tenella, goudotii, and phenops). Murphy et al. (2016) show that E. tenella from Trinidad and specimens from Guyana belong to the same taxon and should indeed be named E. albifrons.
Distribution: Wallach 2016: 322 states that “presently is a Brazilian endemic, known with certainty only from the type locality in northern Brazil (Pará), elevation near sea level (Map 13).” Other authors included the following countries as part of the distribution of E. albifrons: Ecuador (Peters, 1960; Miyata, 1982; Almendaríz, 1991, but see Purtschert, 2007, and Cisneros-Heredia, 2008, for rebuttal), Peru (Carrillo de Espinoza and Icochea, 1995; Lehr, 2002, but see Lamar, 1997, for rebuttal), Bolivia (Fugler and Riva, 1990, and Fugler et al., 1995, but see Börschig, 2007, and Embert, 2007, for rebuttal), Paraguay (Serié, 1915, but see Aquino et al., 1996, for rebuttal), Uruguay (Vaz-Ferreira and Soriano, 1960, but see Carreira et al., 2005, for rebuttal), and Argentina (Abalos et al. 1964, Abalos and Mischis, 1975; Di Fonzo de Abalos and Bucher, 1981; Cei, 1986, 1994; Williams and Francini, 1991; McDiarmid et al., 1999; but see Giraudo, 2002 and Giraudo and Scrocchi, 2002 for rebuttal). See Wallach 2016: 322 for discussion. See previous map in ARREDONDO & ZAHER 2010. Reports from Ecuador are most likely based on misidentifications (CISNEROS-HEREDIA 2008). Not in Paraguay (Cacciali et al. 2016). See map in Nogueira et al. 2019.
Habitat: This species inhabits lowland tropical rainforest (Cunha and Nascimiento, 1978).
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