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Letheobia wittei (ROUX-ESTÈVE, 1974)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Afrotyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: De Witte’s gracile blind-snake, Witte's Beaked Snake 
SynonymRhinotyphlops wittei ROUX-ESTÈVE 1974: 239
Typhlops vryjdaghi — WITTE 1966
Typhlops vrijdaghi ROUX-ESTÈVE 1974 (partim; spelling variation)
Rhinotyphlops wittei — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 88
Letheobia wittei — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2000
Letheobia wittei — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
Letheobia wittei — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007
Letheobia wittei — HEDGES et al. 2014
Letheobia wittei — WALLACH et al. 2014: 383 
DistributionDemocratic Republic of the Congo (Libenge Territory, Equateur Province), Congo (Brazzaville) ?

Type locality: Type locality: Vandia-Poshe, rég. riv. Liki-Bembe, terr. Libenge, Distr. Ubangi, Prov. Équateur, Zaire [= Democratic Republic of the Congo] (ca. 04°30’N, 19°00’E, elevation 520 m).  
TypesHolotype: IRSNB 2511; collected by Cremer & Neumann, 23 August 1948. 
DiagnosisDescription. Snout with an angular horizontal edge. Rostral very broad, rounded posteriorly; frontal very large and deep, crescentic, in broad contact with nasals; supraocular transverse, its lateral apex wedged between preocular and ocular, which is separated from the labials by a very large subocular; eye not visible; nasal suture arising from second labial; SIP II (N1, P, S, S); scale rows 20-20-20; MD 501–505; vertebrae 68–74; MD/V ratio 1.5–1.6; L/D ratio 68. Very faintly pigmented. For abbreviations see L. caeca (”characters”). 
CommentHabitat: Lowland rain forest. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Gaston-Francois de Witte (1897-1980), who worked in the Belgian Congo (1933-1935 and 1946-1949). He was originally a colonial administrator but served as a naturalist and collector for Institut des Pares Nationales Congo-Belge, Tervuren, from 1938. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. & Van Wallach 2000. A new blind snake (Serpentes: Typhlopidae) from montane forests of the Eastern Arc Mountains in Tanzania. African Journal of Herpetology 49 (2): 165-168 - 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
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • 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
  • Chirio, Laurent and Ivan Ineich 2006. Biogeography of the reptiles of the Central African Republic. African Journal of Herpetology 55(1):23-59. - 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.
  • Roux-Estève, R. 1974. Révision systématique des Typhlopidae d'Afrique. Reptilia. Serpentes. Mém. nation. Hist. nat., Paris, (sér.A.) 87: 1-313
  • Trape, J.F. & R. ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995. Les serpents du Congo: liste commentée et clé de détermination. Journal of African Zoology 109 (1): 31-50
  • 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
  • Witte, G. F. de 1966. Exploration du Parc National de la Garamba. Inst. Parc nation. Congo Expl. P. N. Garamba, Miss Saeg., 48 (Rept.): 1-108 - get paper here
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