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Myriopholis braccianii SCORTECCI, 1929

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Myriopholini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Scortecci’s Blind Snake 
SynonymGlauconia cairi — FLOWER 1900: 968 (part.)
Glauconia braccianii SCORTECCI 1929: 294
Glauconia variabilis SCORTECCI 1929: 295
Glauconia variabilis SCORTECCI 1929: 67
Glauconia fiechteri SCORTECCI 1929: 266 (part.)
Leptotyphlops fiechteri — PARKER 1932: 219
Leptotyphlops braccianii — PARKER 1949: 21
Leptotyphlops variabilis — PARKER 1949: 21
Leptotyphlops macrorhynchus — HAHN 1978: 482
Leptotyphlops longicaudus — HAHN 1980: 19 (part.)
Leptotyphlops braccianii — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007: 26
Myriopholis braccianii — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Leptotyphlops braccianii — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 427
Myriopholis braccianii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 463
Myriopholis braccianii — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 373 
DistributionEritrea, S Sudan (Jumhūriyyat), Republic of South Sudan (RSS), S/S Ethiopia, S Somalia, Kenya (south to the Tana River), elevation 100-1900 m.

Type locality: Adi Ugri, Eritrea (14°53’N, 38°49’E, 1900 m elevation).  
TypesHolotype: MSNM 3351 (Milano, formerly MSNM 1917), collected by G. F. Turati; Scortecci, 1930: 199.
Paratype: MSNM (Milano) [variabilis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Close to Leptotyphlops cairi, distinguished by its low number of middorsal scales (277–305 vs 322–370), occipitals usually fused (usually separate in L. cairi), small size (largest 144 mm in total length, whereas L. cairi attains a length of 253 mm). Skull with a large frontoparietal foramen like L. cairi. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)

Description. Body cylindrical, with head broadened and flattened, distinct from neck, the moderate tail tapers to a small downturned terminal spine.
Snout rounded, rostral moderate (0.30–0.40 head width, mean = 0.36), much wider than nasals and extending back to level of eyes, with distinct preoral groove ventrally. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril nearer rostral than supralabial along nasal suture), small anterior supralabial that is less than half as tall as the infranasal with width along lip 1.5 times that of inranasal, large ocular with small eyespot near upper anterior edge, and moderate posterior supralabial. Supraoculars about as long as wide, anteriorly wedged between upper nasal and ocular, posteriorly wedged between the subequal hexagonal frontal and post- frontal, which are smaller than the interparietal and interoccipital. Parietals transverse, subequal in size to the fused occipitals (which are sometimes not fused), in contact with the posterior supralabials. Temporal single.
No mental, five infralabials.
Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales, reducing to 10
rows on the tail. Total middorsals 277–305; subcaudals 28–33.
Total length/tail ratio 10.7–13.7; total length/diameter ratio 63–111.
Middorsal five to eleven (usually seven) scale rows brown to pale brown or tan, venter pale yellow, cream or white. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)

Size. Largest specimens (LIVM 1997.118.1 — Gambela, Ethiopia) 131 + 13 = 144 mm and (MZUF 2585 — Belet Uen, Somalia) 133.5 + 10.5 = 144 mm. (Broadley & Wallach 2007)

Original description: Scortecci 1929: 294 [bracciani]
Original description: Scortecci 1929: 295 [variabilis] 
CommentHabitat: The type came from Afromontane vegetation in northern Eritrea. Others were from Sahel Acacia wooded grassland in Eritrea and the Upper Nile basin. In the Sudan, Sudanian woodland with abundant Isoberlinia in Equatoria Province, undifferentiated woodland in Darfur Province and western Ethiopia and in Acacia-Commiphora deciduous bushland and thicket in southern Ethiopia. 
EtymologyNamed after Luigi Bracciani, an Italian explorer who was on the Corni-Calciati-Bracciani expedition to Eritrea (1922-1923), where he collected the holotype. 
  • Adalsteinsson, S.A.; Branch, W.R.; Trapé, S.; Vitt, L.J. & Hedges, S.B. 2009. Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of snakes of the Family Leptotyphlopidae (Reptilia, Squamata). Zootaxa 2244: 1-50 - get paper here
  • Angel, F. 1936. Sur quelques Formes nouvelles de Reptiles et de batraciens du Sahara Central. Bull. Soc. Zool. France, Paris, 61: 273-277
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1890. Description of a new Snake of the Genus Glauconia Gray, obtained by Dr. Emin Pasha on the Victoria Nyanza. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 6: 91-93. - 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 revision of the genus Leptotyphlops in northeastern Africa and southwestern Arabia (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Zootaxa 1408: 1–78 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1844. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol.6. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 609 pp. - get paper here
  • Hahn D. E. & V. WALLACH, 1998. Comments on the systematics of Old World Leptotyphlops (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae), with description of a new species. Hamadryad 23: 50-62 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1862. Note sulla famiglia dei Tiflopidi, sui loro generi e sulle specie del genere Stenostoma. Arch. Zool. Anat. Fisiol. Genova 1 [1861]: 178-199 - get paper here
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Loveridge, A. 1956. On snakes collected in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by J.S. Owen, Esq. Sudan Notes Rec. 36: 37-56 [1955]
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Parker,H.W. 1932. Two collections af amphibians and reptiles from British Somaliland. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1932: 335-367
  • Parker,H.W. 1949. The snakes of Somaliland and the Sokotra islands. Zoologische Verhandelingen 6: 1-115 - get paper here
  • Scortecci, G. 1929. Rettili dell'Eritrea esistenti nelle Collezioni del Museo Civico de Milano. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano 67 (3-4): 290-339 [1928] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - get paper here
  • Trape, J.-F. 2002. Note sur le statut et la répartition de quelques Leptotyphlopidés (Serpentes: Scolecophidia) du Sahara et des savanes d’[Afrique de l’Ouest. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 102: 49-62 - get paper here
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mané, Y. 2006. Guide des serpents d’Afrique occidentale. Savane et désert. [Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger]. IRD Editions, Paris, 226 pp. - 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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