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Ramphotyphlops willeyi (BOULENGER, 1900)

IUCN Red List - Ramphotyphlops willeyi - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Asiatyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymTyphlops willeyi BOULENGER in WILLEY 1900
Typhlina willeyi — MCDOWELL 1974: 47
Ramphotyphlops willeyi — BAUER & VINDUM 1990
Ramphotyphlops willeyi — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 75
Ramphotyphlops willeyi — WYNN et al. 2012
Ramphotyphlops willeyi — HEDGES et al. 2014
Ramphotyphlops willeyi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 630 
DistributionLoyalty Islands (Mare and Lifu), New Caledonia

Type locality: Lifu, Loyalty Islands  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.10.80 (formerly 1900.5.29.1) 
DiagnosisSize: Maximum total length approximately 195 mm (holotype), body length 35-40 times body diameter (Bauer & Sadlier 2000: 247).

Scalation: 22 scale rows around body. Nasal cleft not contacting preocular. Preocular much broader than the ocular, in contact with the second and third labials (Fig. 61A). Prefrontal, frontal, and interparietal not larger than scales ofbody; supraocular a little larger, parietal twice as large, four upper labials, 3rd and 4th nearly equal and in contact with the ocular. 369-375 dorsal scales, 14-15 subcaudal scales (Bauer & Sadlier 2000: 247).

Color: Olive or mid brown above, yellowish beneath. One specimen has yellowish patches around the lips, chin, and vent (Bauer & Sadlier 2000: 247).

Variation: Unknown (Bauer & Sadlier 2000: 247).

Comparison with other species: May be distinguished From Ramphotyphlops braminus by the greater number of midbody scale rows (22 versus 20) and the configuration of the head shields (Bauer & Sadlier 2000: 247). 
CommentTyphlops becki TANNER 1948 has been removed from the synonymy of R. willeyi. 
Etymologynamed after Arthur Willey, Lecturer on biology in Guy’s Hospital, London, who “presented” the type specimen to the British Museum. 
  • Bauer, A. M. & SADLIER, R. A. (eds.) 2000. The herpetofauna of New Caledonia. Contributions to Herpetology, 17; Society for Study Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Bauer, A.M. 1999. The terrestrial reptiles of New Caledonia: The origin and evolution of a highly endemic herpetofauna. In: Ota,H. (ed) Tropical Island herpetofauna..., Elsevier, pp. 3-25 - get paper here
  • Bauer, Aaron M.;Vindum, Jens V. 1990. A checklist and key to the herpetofauna of New Caledonia, with remarks on biogeography. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 47 (2): 17-45 - get paper here
  • 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. 1900. On a new blind snake from Lifu, Loyalty Islands. Willey’s Zool. Results, 2: 603 - 604 [1902 fide BAUER 1985] - 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.
  • McDowell, S. B. 1974. A catalogue of the snakes of New Guinea and the Solomons, with special reference to those in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Part l. Scolecophidia. Journal of Herpetology 8 (1): 1-57 - get paper here
  • Sadlier R A. Bauer A M. 1997. The terrestrial herpetofauna of the Loyalty Islands. Pacific Science 51 (1): 76-90.
  • Shea, Glenn M.; Wallach, Van 2000. Reexamination of an anomalous distribution: resurrection of Ramphotyphlops becki (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Pacific Science 54(1):70-74
  • Tanner, V. M. 1948. Pacific Islands Herpetology No. I. Mariana Islands. Great Basin Naturalist 9 (1-2): 1-20 - 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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