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Malayotyphlops andyi WYNN, DIESMOS & BROWN, 2016

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Asiatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Andy’s Blind Snake 
SynonymMalayotyphlops andyi WYNN, DIESMOS & BROWN 2016 
DistributionPhilippine Islnds (Luzon)

Type locality: Luzon island, Cagayan Province, Munici- pality of Gattaran, Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Barangay Nassiping, Nassiping Reforestation Project area (18.054° N, 121.641° E; datum: WGS 84; Fig. 1 in WYNN et al. 2016)  
TypesHolotype: PNM 9779 (field collector number ACD 3231; formerly KU 328597), collected 30 June 2006 by Arvin C. Diesmos, Kyle Hesed, Jason Fernandez, and party. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and Comparison with Other Species.—External charac- ters indicate that Malayotyphlops andyi is a member of the genus Malayotyphlops as restricted above. Malayotyphlops andyi is superficially similar to M. luzonensis, having a similar size and coloration, but it can be distinguished from M. luzonensis by contact between the postnasal and third supralabial in M. andyi, and a more strongly tapered rostral in M. andyi than in M. luzonensis (best visualized in specimens of M. luzonensis by the bordering gland rows, which are roughly parallel under the lateral free edges of the rostral for most of its anterior-to-posterior length, contrasted to underlying gland rows in M. andyi that converge along the anterior-to-posterior length of the rostral). The dorsal stripe also appears to be wider in M. luzonensis, all specimens having a dorsal stripe that is 15 rows wide anteriorly, with only scattered, unpigmented scales in the seventh row (and scattered, pigmented scales in the eighth row in KU 328595), but a stripe that is only 13 rows wide (with only a few scattered, pigmented rows in the seventh row) in the holotype of M. andyi.
Like M. luzonensis, in M. ruber the gland rows underlying the lateral edges of the rostral are roughly parallel (compared to convergent in M. andyi), the dorsal stripe is wider in M. ruber (15 rows wide anteriorly in M. ruber, 13 rows wide in M. andyi), and the coloration on the dorsal tail in M. andyi is more irregular. Malayotyphlops andyi can be distinguished from M. collaris by the lower number of middorsal scales (392 in M. andyi vs. 412–461 in M. collaris) and the absence of an unpigmented ‘‘collar’’ behind the head in M. andyi. Malayotyphlops castanotus has fewer middorsals (300–345), and a dorsal stripe that is narrower (nine or 11 rows in width, without an anterior–posterior width reduction), darker, and more sharply demarcated, whereas the dorsal stripe in M. andyi is 13 rows in width anteriorly reducing to 11 slightly before the vent, and the stripe has a more poorly defined lateral edge because of pigmentation reduction in the lateralmost two rows. Malayotyphlops hypogius has 26 scale rows around the anterior body (vs. 28 in M. andyi), 327 middorsals (vs. 392), at least 17 rows in the dorsal stripe along the length of the body (vs. 13 behind the head in M. andyi), and overlap of the second supralabial by the preocular.
Malayotyphlops andyi can be distinguished from M. ruficaudus and M. canlaonensis by its lower number of longitudinal scale rows posterior to the head (typically 30 in M. ruficaudus and M. canlaonensis, 28 in M. andyi), its more diffusely edged dorsal stripe due to reduced pigmentation in the two lateralmost longitudinal scale rows, and more extensive pigmentation on the tail in M. andyi. A key for distinguishing Philippine species of the genus Malayotyphlops is presented in Appendix 2 in WYNN et al. 2016. 
EtymologyName after the late Charles Andy Ross, a friend and colleague of the authors, in recognition of his contributions to Philippine herpetology. The specific epithet is a noun in the genitive case. 
  • Weinell, Jeffrey L.; Errol Hooper, Alan E. Leviton, Rafe M. Brown 2019. Illustrated Key to the Snakes of the Philippines. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 66 (1): 1-49 - get paper here
  • Wynn, Addison H.; Arvin C. Diesmos, and Rafe M. Brown 2016. Two New Species of Malayotyphlops from the Northern Philippines, with Redescriptions of Malayotyphlops luzonensis (Taylor) and Malayotyphlops ruber (Boettger). Journal of Herpetology 50 (1): 157-168. - get paper here
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