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Epictia vanwallachi KOCH, VENEGAS & BÖHME, 2015

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymEpictia vanwallachi KOCH, VENEGAS & BÖHME 2015 
DistributionPeru (Pataz)

Type locality: Vijus Village, Pataz Province, La Libertad Region, Peru (S 07°43’11.6’’, W 077°39’51.1’’, elevation 1290 m.a.s.l.)  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: CORBIDI 14682, collected by E. Hoyas Granda, A. Beraún and C. Koch on 10 January 2010. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: (1) 14 midbody scale rows; (2) 10 midtail scale rows; (3) 2 supralabials, first large and in broad contact with supraocular; (4) 16 subcaudals; (5) 188 mid-dorsal scale rows; (6) dorsal scales of head, body and tail brown with thin white or yellowish margins; (7) rostral uniformly grayish-brown; (8) terminal spine dorsally and ventrally and last three subcaudals yellow; (9) ventral scales of head, body and tail grayish-brown with creamish- white margins.

Comparisons [conditions for other Epictia in brackets]: By having 188 mid-dorsal scales, the new species has a higher number than E. collaris [155–166] and a lower number than E. albipuncta [213–285], E. alfredschmidti [267–279], E. borapeliotes [256–282], E. columbi [240–265], E. diaplocia [205–233], E. subcrotilla [318–333], E. melanura [395–396], E. rufidorsa [255–270], E. septemlineata [257], E. striatula [216–265], E. teaguei [232–259], E. tenella [198–299], E. tesselata [258–283] and E. tricolor [285–310]. By having 16 subcaudal scales it further differs from E. columbi [22–25], E. melanura [18–20], E. munoai [10–14], E. nasalis [21] and E. tricolor [18–23]. By lacking a yellow dorsal blotch on the anterior region of the head this species differs from Epictia septemlineata, E. alfredschmidti, E. borapeliotes, E. clinorostris, E. collaris, E. diaplocia, E. goudotii, E. magnamaculata, E. nasalis, E. peruviana, E. rubrolineata, E. signata, E. striatula, E. subcrotilla, E. teaguei, E. tenella, E. tesselata, E. tricolor, E, undecimstriata and E. vellardi. It further differs from E. septemlineata [dorsum with seven black longitudinal stripes] and E. rubrolineata [dorsum red with 5 longitudinal black stripes] by having a color pattern with grayish-brown dorsal scales with thin white or yellowish margins.

This species does not have striped pattern and multiple colors as mentioned by Adalsteinsson et al. (2009) as diagnostic characters for the genus Epictia, but it shares all other diagnostic characters with its congeners. 
EtymologyThis species name is a patronym for Van Wallach, American herpetologist, in recognition of his outstanding contributions towards systematics of the snake family Leptotyphlopidae. 
  • KOCH, CLAUDIA; PABLO J. VENEGAS & WOLFGANG BÖHME 2015. Three new endemic species of Epictia Gray, 1845 (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) from the dry forest of northwestern Peru. Zootaxa 3964 (2): 228–244 - get paper here
  • KOCH, CLAUDIA; PABLO J. VENEGAS, ROY SANTA CRUZ, WOLFGANG BÖHME 2018. Annotated checklist and key to the species of amphibians and reptiles inhabiting the northern Peruvian dry forest along the Andean valley of the Marañón River and its tributaries. Zootaxa 4385 (1): 001–101 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2016. Liste der im Jahr 2015 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2016 (3): 56-67 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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