Leptotyphlops howelli BROADLEY & WALLACH, 2007
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Leptotyphlops howelli?
|Higher Taxa||Leptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Leptotyphlopini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Howell’s worm snake|
|Synonym||Leptotyphlops howelli BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 30|
Leptotyphlops macrops — BROADLEY & WALLACH 1996: 162 (part)
Leptotyphlops macrops — SPAWLS et al., 2002: 303 (part)
Leptotyphlops howelli — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Leptotyphlops howelli — WALLACH et al. 2014: 367
Leptotyphlops howelli — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 367
|Distribution||Tanzania (Rufiji District)|
Type locality: Mchungu Forest Reserve, Rufiji District, Piwani Region, Tanzania, (07°44'S, 39°17'E, elevation 15 m). In camp in woodland on surface after rain.
|Types||Holotype: NMZB 10455, a male, collected by K.M. Howell (field no. 7041), 5 September 1990.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: A member of the Leptotyphlops macrops complex, distinguished by its low total middorsal scale count (229–237) from L. pembae (247–269) and L. macrops (272–322). It also differs from both these taxa in numerous visceral characters. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)|
Description. The head shield arrangement does not differ from that of Leptotyphlops macrops. Head slightly wider than neck, with a moderate bulge over the eye in dorsal view.
Snout rounded in lateral view, with a shallow concavity to preoral portion of rostral; rostral broad (0.48– 0.50 head width, mean = 0.49), subrectangular, truncated at the level of the centre of the eye posteriorly; supranasal subequal in width to the ocular. Behind rostral, lip bordered by infranasal (nostril nearer to rostral than supralabial along nasal suture), moderate anterior supralabial twice as high as long and equal in width along lip to that of infranasal, broad ocular, and tall posterior supralabial that reaches the level of the centre of the eye dorsally; eye large and distinct, bulging beyond dorsal head profile, with a clearly defined iris; supraoculars smaller than frontal and postfrontal; interparietal slightly wider than frontal and postfrontal; parietals oblique, in contact with supralabials; occipitals fused and enlarged. Temporal single. Prominent tubercles on rostral, nasals and oculars. No mental, five infralabials, third largest. Paratype variations in parentheses below.
Total dorsals 237 (229); 14 scale rows round body; 10 scale rows round middle of tail; subcaudals 32 (30). (Broadley & Wallach 2007)
Size: Total length 158 mm (140 mm); tail 18 mm (15 mm), slightly tapering, then ending abruptly in a sharp point; midbody diameter 2.6 mm (2.1 mm).
Total length/diameter 61 (67); total length/tail length 8.8 (9.3). (Broadley & Wallach 2007)
Coloration: Dorsum and venter uniformly black, except for a small white patch on the chin. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)
|Comment||Habitat: Coastal forest/savanna mosaic (holotype) or gallery forest (paratype).|
|Etymology||Named for the collector K.M. Howell (1945-2022), in recognition of his major contributions to Tanzanian herpetology. For an obituary see Stuart et al. 2023.|