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Indotyphlops pammeces (GÜNTHER, 1864)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Asiatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: South India Worm Snake 
SynonymTyphlops tenuis GÜNTHER 1864: 176 (preoccupied by Typhlops tenuis SALVIN 1860)
Typhlops pammeces GÜNTHER 1864 (Substitute name for T. tenuis)
Typhlops braminus pammeces — BOETTGER 1898
Typhlops psammophilus ANNANDALE 1906
Typhlops psammeces SMITH 1943: 48 (error typographicus)
Typhlops pammeces — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 113
Typhlops psammeces — SHARMA 2004
Typhlops pammeces — WALLACH et al. 2014: 768
Indotyphlops pammeces — HEDGES et al. 2014 
DistributionS India, Pakistan ?

Type locality: "Madras" [India]."  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.11.34 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Species of Indotyphlops have (1) eye, distinct (sometimes indistinct), (2) snout, rounded, (3) head scale arrangement, non-circular, (4) frontorostral, absent, (5) nasal, completely or incompletely divided, (6) nasal suture origin, 2nd supralabial (sometimes preocular, or rarely 1st supralabial), (7) suboculars or subpreoculars, absent, (8) postoculars, 1 in all 18 species recorded, but variable (1–2) in 1 of those species, (9) preocular-labial contact, supralabials 2 & 3 (sometimes 3rd only), (10) midbody scale rows, 18–20 (22 in 1 species; average, 19.4), (11) scale row reduction, absent (sometimes present), (12) total scale rows, 229–468 (average, 345), (13) caudals, 7–15 (average, 10.8), (14) maximum total length, 91–285 (average, 175) mm, (15) total length/midbody diameter, 28–130 (average, 57.6), (16) total length/tail length, 22.3–76 (average, 46.4), (17) dorsal color, shades of brown (sometimes cream, gray, yellowish-brown, reddish brown, lavender-gray, or black), (18) ventral color, variable (white, cream, pale brown, lavender-gray), (19) dorsum darker than venter, (20) overall, uniform, but often with a darker median row of scales giving a slight lineate appearance (Tables 1–2); molecular phylogenetic support (Fig. 1).
From other genera of Asiatyphlopinae, Indotyphlops differs in having a single postocular (versus 2 or more). Exceptions are Cyclotyphlops, 3 species of Anilios, and 3 species of Ramphotyphlops. It also has the lowest number of midbody scales (19.4 versus 20.1–30.4 in others; averages), and no scale reduction (6 of 7 species recorded; versus reduction present in Acutotyphlops, Cyclotyphlops, Malayotyphlops, Grypotyphlops, and Xerotyphlops). In total length, Indotyphlops is one of the smallest genera (TL = 175 mm versus > 243 mm in all others except Cyclotyphlops). It is also the thinnest genus in the subfamily (TL/MBD = 57.6 versus < 56 in other genera). Indotyphlops lacks yellow on the venter (except one species) whereas Asiatyphlops, with which it is broadly sympatric, has yellow on the venter [HEDGES et al. 2014: 37]. For an alternative diagnosis see PYRON & WALLACH 2014: 56. 
CommentSynonymy: Typhlops pammeces Günther, 1864:444 was listed as a synonym of T. braminus by Peters (1865:263), Blanford (1870:370), Boettger (1889:300), Boulenger (1893:16), Wall (1921:9), Loveridge (1957:244) and Mahendra (1984:41), but recognized as a valid species by Stoliczka (1871:426) and Smith (1943:48).

Distribution: Not in Pakistan fide KHAN 2002 (pers. comm.).

The original description is available online (see link below).

Type species: Typhlops pammeces GÜNTHER 1864 is the type species of the genus Indotyphlops HEDGES et al. 2014. 
EtymologyThe generic name is a masculine noun formed from the adjective indianus (a, um; i.e., ‘from India’) and the Greek noun typhlops (the blind). 
  • Annandale, Nelson 1906. Notes on the fauna of a desert tract in southern India. Part. I. Batrachians and reptiles, with remarks on the reptiles of the desert region of the North-West Frontier. Mem asiatic Soc Bengal Calcutta 1: 183-202 - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1898. Katalog der Reptilien-Sammlung im Museum der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Frankfurt/M. 2.Teil (Schlangen). [type catalogue] Frankfurt/M (Gebr. Knauer), i-ix + 1-160. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - 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
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • 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
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • 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.
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