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Madatyphlops rajeryi (RENOULT & RASELIMANANA, 2009)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Madatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymTyphlops rajeryi RENOULT & RASELIMANANA 2009
Typhlops rajeryi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 769
Madatyphlops rajeryi — HEDGES et al. 2014 

Type locality: Madagascar: Vatovavy Fitovinany Region, near the entrance to the Ranomafana National Park, 21°15.388’S, 47°25.308’E, elevation: 918 m.  
TypesHolotype: ZSM 1589/2008, an adult collected by J.P. Renoult on 27 December 2007. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Typhlops rajeryi sp. nov. differs from all other typhlopids by the combination of a T-V imbrication pattern of supralabial scales, 24 mid-body scale rows, between 400 and 420 paravertebral scales, 12 subcaudals, a solidly-built body with a total length/mid-body diameter ratio being less than 37, a rounded snout in dorsal and lateral view, an inferior nasal suture contacting second supralabial, an incomplete superior nasal suture, visible eyes and pupils, and a uniform pink coloration. Among Malagasy typhlopids, a T-V imbrication pattern of supralabial scales distinguishes Typhlops rajeryi from Xenotyphlops grandidieri (Mocquard, 1905) (T-0), Ramphotyphlops braminus (T-III), T. decorsei Mocquard, 1901 (TIII), T. ocularis (T-III) and the Comorian species T. comorensis Boulenger, 1889 (T-III). Compared to T. rajeryi, T. microcephalus (Werner, 1909) has fewer mid-dorsal scales (77–235 versus 412), a low number of scale rows (anterior: 20; mid-body: 20; posterior: 19–20 versus 22; 24; 22, respectively) and the pupil is not visible (distinct in T. rajeryi). Typhlops domerguei Roux-Estève, 1980 has fewer mid-dorsal scales (252–262), fewer subcaudals (6–7 versus 12) and has a short body (SVL: 150–176 versus 265). Typhlops reuteri Boettger, 1881 has also fewer mid-dorsal scales (345– 359) and subcaudals (8–9), has a short (198–222) and thin body (mid-body width: 4.5–5.0 versus 7.4). The type of T. madagascariensis Boettger, 1877 is longer (SVL: 410), has more mid-dorsal scales (580) and has a striped pattern (uniform in T. rajeryi). Typhlops arenarius (Grandidier, 1872) is shorter (SVL: 80–211), thinner (mid-body width: 4.5– 5.0) and has an ogival head shape in dorsal view and wedge shape in lateral view (rounded head shape in dorsal and lateral views in T. rajeryi). Typhlops mucronatus Boettger, 1880 has more scale rows (25–28; 24–28; 24–26), more middorsal scales (488–577), a truncated dorsal head shape and a brown coloration (pink coloration in living specimen, yellow to beige in alcohol for T. rajeryi). 
EtymologyThe species is named for Emile Rajeryiarison, an experimental naturalist working at Ranomafana, in honor of his outstanding effort and contribution to the improvement of the knowledge on the herpetofauna of the National Park. He has collaborated with many scientific expeditions in the area and across Madagascar. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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
  • Renoult, J.P. & Raselimanana, A.P. 2009. A new species of Malagasy blind snake of the genus Typhlops Oppel (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Zootaxa 2290: 65–68 - 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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