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Leptotyphlops emini (BOULENGER, 1890)

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Leptotyphlopini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Emin Pasha’s worm snake 
SynonymGlauconia emini BOULENGER 1890
Glauconia emini — BOULENGER 1893: 64
Stenostoma emini — TORNIER 1896: 67
Glauconia monticola CHABANAUD 1916: 366
Leptotyphlops nigricans — SCHMIDT 1923 (fide ROUX-ESTEVE 1975)
Leptotyphlops emini — LOVERIDGE 1933: 223
Leptotyphlops emini emini — LOVERIDGE 1941: 177
Leptotyphlops conjunctus conjunctus — BROADLEY & BROADLEY, 1976: 490 (part.)
Leptotyphlops emini — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 29
Leptotyphlops emini — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 34
Leptotyphlops monticolus — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 35
Leptotyphlops emini — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Leptotyphlops monticolus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 368
Leptotyphlops emini — WALLACH et al. 2014: 367
Leptotyphlops emini — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 366 
DistributionRepublic of South Sudan (RSS), south through W Uganda to W Tanzania, Kenya, E/S Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), extreme N Zambia.

monticolus: Type locality: Volcans de Kivori, Congo-Belge [= E. Kivu Region, Democratic Republic of the Congo], elevation 1500 m.

Type locality: Karagwe, Victoria Nyanza, Tanzania.  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.1.10.87 (designated by BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007)
Holotype: MNHN 1916.213, collected by Gromier and Le Petit, 1911 [monticolus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A member of the Leptotyphlops nigricans species group. Differs from L. kafubi in its fused parietal bones, lower middorsal counts and having the nostril separated from the rostral by a longer suture. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)

Description. Body cylindrical, with head and neck broadened and flattened, the short tail tapers slightly before a small spine or blunt tail cone.
Snout rounded, rostral moderate (0.43–0.53 head width, mean = 0.46), truncated posteriorly, much wider than nasals and extending to a line connecting centre of eyes, a preoral groove present ventrally. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril midway between rostral and supralabial along nasal suture), small anterior supralabial that reaches level of nostril with a width along lip 2.0–3.0 times that of infranasal, large ocular with eye central in upper half, and large posterior supralabial. Supraoculars pentagonal, slightly larger than the hexagonal frontal and postfrontal, which are slightly smaller than the interparietal and interoccipital (note that the postfrontal is fused wuith the interparietal in the lectotype). Parietals oblique, subequal to the fused occipitals, in contact with the posterior supralabial. Temporal single. No mental.
Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales. Reduction to 10 rows on the tail takes place lateral to the subtriangular cloacal shield. Total middorsals 198–244; subcaudals 20–32.
Total length/diameter ratio 38–74; total length/tail ratio 8.1–15.3.
Dorsum and venter uniformly dark brown to black, except upper lip, chin, and cloacal shield which are white.
Skull with fused parietal bones as in L. nigricans (Plate 4, Fig. 1A). (Broadley & Wallach 2007)

Size. Largest specimen (NMZB 14334 — Kyambura Game Reserve, Ankole, Uganda) 152 + 13 = 165 mm. (Broadley & Wallach 2007) 
CommentSynonymy: Has been synonymized previously with Leptotyphlops nigricans (e.g. HAHN 1980, BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991).

Habitat. Savanna.

BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007 recognized Glauconia monticola as valid species but gave an insufficient diagnosis: “A member of the Leptotyphlops nigricans species group, distinguished from neighbouring L. emini by its relatively higher middorsal counts.” 
EtymologyNamed after Eduard Schnitzer (1840-1892), a German physician who worked in Albania (then under Turkish rule) and who became later known as Emin Pasha, Emin meaning "faithful one." He also traveled to Africa where he became Governor (”Pasha”) of the southern Sudanese province of Equatoria (1878). Emin's claim to fame was that he abolished slavery in the territories he commanded-which is probably why he was beheaded by slave traders in the region of Lake Tanganyika. 
  • Adalsteinsson, S.A.; Branch, W.R.; Trapé, S.; Vitt, L.J. & Hedges, S.B. 2009. Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of snakes of the Family Leptotyphlopidae (Reptilia, Squamata). Zootaxa 2244: 1-50 - get paper here
  • 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. 1890. Description of a new Snake of the Genus Glauconia Gray, obtained by Dr. Emin Pasha on the Victoria Nyanza. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 6: 91-93. - 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. 1919. Descriptions d’Ophidien et d'un Batracien nouveaux de Congo. Rev. zool. afr., Bruxelles, 7 (2): 186-187
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Broadley, Sheila 1999. A review of the Arican wormsnakes from South of Latitude 12°S (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Syntarsus 5: 1-36
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V. 2007. A revision of the genus Leptotyphlops in northeastern Africa and southwestern Arabia (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Zootaxa 1408: 1–78 - get paper here
  • Chabanaud, P. 1916. Enumération des Ophidiens non encore étudiés de l'Afrique occidentale, appartenant aux Collections du Muséum avec le description des espèces et des variétés nouvelles. Bull. Mus. natn. Hist. nat. Paris 22: 362-382 - get paper here
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. [detaileld review in HR 51 (1): 161] - get paper here
  • Hahn D. E. & V. WALLACH, 1998. Comments on the systematics of Old World Leptotyphlops (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae), with description of a new species. Hamadryad 23: 50-62 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. & M. O. Roedel 1995. A new species of Leptotyphlops (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) of the longicaudus-group from West Africa. Stuttgarter Beitr. Naturk. Ser. A. (Biol.) 532: 1-8. - 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
  • Loveridge, A. 1941. New geckos (Phelsuma & Lygodactylus), snake (Leptotyphlops), and frog (Phrynobatrachus) from Pemba Island, Est Africa. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 54: 175-178 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1956. On snakes collected in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by J.S. Owen, Esq. Sudan Notes Rec. 36: 37-56 [1955]
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  • Pietersen, Darren, Verburgt, Luke & Davies, John 2021. Snakes and other reptiles of Zambia and Malawi. Struik Nature / Penguin Random House South Africa, 376 pp., ISBN 9781775847373
  • Pitman,C.R.S. 1974. A guide to the snakes of Uganda. Codicote, Wheldon & Wesley, L., 290 pp.
  • Roux-Estève,R. 1975. Serpents: Typhlopidae et Leptotyphlopidae. Fondation pour Favoriser les Recherches Scientifiques en Afrique, Bruxelles, Exploration du Parc Natl. des Virunga fasc. 24 (2.s.) 61 pp.
  • Scortecci ,G. 1939. Spedizione zoologica del Marchese Saverio patrizi nel Basso Giuba e nell'Oltre Giuba. Giugno-agosto 1934. XII. Rettili Ofidi. Annali Mus. civ. Stor. nat. Giacomo Doria 58: 263-291 - get paper here
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - 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.
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