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Letheobia lumbriciformis (PETERS, 1874)

IUCN Red List - Letheobia lumbriciformis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Afrotyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Zanzibar gracile blind-snake, Wormlike Beaked Snake 
SynonymOnychocephalus (Letheobia) lumbriciformis PETERS 1874: 377
Typhlops lumbriciformis — BOULENGER 1893: 54
Typhlops kleebergi WERNER 1904: 465
Typhlops kleebergi — BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1928
Typhlops lumbriciformis — LOVERIDGE 1957
Rhinotyphlops lumbriciformis — ROUX-ESTÈVE 1974: 221
Rhinotyphlops lumbriciformis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 82
Rhinotyphlops lumbriciformis — SPAWLS et al. 2001
Letheobia lumbriciformis — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007
Letheobia lumbriciformis — HEDGES et al. 2014
Letheobia lumbriciformis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 380
Letheobia lumbriciformis — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 357 
DistributionE Kenya, NE Tanzania, Zanzibar, elevation 0-55 m.

Type locality: “Küste Zanzibar” [Tanzania]  
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 8045 + 63440 (2 specimens) 
DiagnosisDescription. Snout with an angular horizontal edge. Rostral very broad, truncated posteriorly; frontal very broad, subhexagonal, in contact with nasals; supraocular transverse, its lateral apex between nasal and the small ocular, whose lateral apex is wedged between the preocular and the very small subocular; eye not visible; nasal suture asising from second labial; SIP X (N1, P, P, S); scale rows 18-18-18; MD 490–607; vertebrae 333–394; MD/V ratio 1.47–1.61; L/D ratio 43–83. Lightly pigmented with pale brown above, colourless below. For abbreviations see L. caeca. From BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007. 
CommentHabitat: Coastal savanna and the dry Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin lumbricus = earthworm, based on the similarity to earthworms and their fossorial life style. 
  • Barbour, T. & LOVERIDGE.A. 1928. A comparative study of the herpetological fauna of the Uluguru and Usambara mountains, Tanzania Territory with descriptions of new species. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool. Cambridge (Massachusetts), 50 (2): 85-265 - 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
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V. 2007. A review of East and Central African species of Letheobia Cope, revived from the synonymy of Rhinotyphlops Fitzinger, with descriptions of five new species (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Zootaxa 1515: 31–68 - 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. 1957. Check list of the reptiles and amphibians of east Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika, Zanzibar). Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 117 (2): 153-362 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, Arthur 1929. East African reptiles and amphibians in the United States National Museum. Bull. US Natl. Mus. (151): 1-135 - get paper here
  • Malonza, Patrick K.; David M. Mulwa, Joash O. Nyamache, Georgina Jones 2017. Biogeography of the Shimba Hills ecosystem herpetofauna in Kenya. Zoological Research 38(5): 1-11 - 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.
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1874. Über einige neue Reptilien (Lacerta, Eremias, Diploglossus, Euprepes, Lygosoma, Sepsina, Ablepharus, Simotes, Onychocephalus). Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1874 (Juni): 368-377 - get paper here
  • Rasmussen,J.B. 1981. The snakes from the rainforest of the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania: a checklist and key. Salamandra 17 (3-4): 173-188 - get paper here
  • Roux-Estève, R. 1974. Révision systématique des Typhlopidae d'Afrique. Reptilia. Serpentes. Mém. nation. Hist. nat., Paris, (sér.A.) 87: 1-313
  • 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
  • Wallach, V. & Gemel, R. 2018. Typhlops weidholzi n. inedit., a new species of Letheobia from the republic of Cameroon, and a synopsis of the genus (Squamata: Serpentes: Scolecophidia: Typhlopidae). Herpetozoa 31 (1/2): 27 - 46 - get paper here
  • Werner,F. 1904. Beschreibung neuer Reptilien aus den Gattungen Acanthosaura, Calotes, Gastropholis und Typhlops. Zool. Anz. 27: 461-464 - get paper here
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