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Rhinophis oxyrhynchus (SCHNEIDER, 1801)

IUCN Red List - Rhinophis oxyrhynchus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Schneider's Earth Snake 
SynonymTyphlops oxyrhynchus SCHNEIDER 1801: 341
A[nguis]. (Rhinophis) oxyrrhynchus — HEMPRICH 1820: 119
Rhinophis oxyrhynchus — EICHELBERG 1842: 295
Dapatnaya lanka-divana KELAART 1853
Rhinophis oxyrhincus [sic!] — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 156
Dapatnaya lankadivana — KELAART 1854: 137
Mytilia (?Rhinophis) unimaculata GRAY 1858: 379
Rhinophis oxyrhynchus — BEDDOME 1886: 5
Rhinophis oxyrhynchus — BOULENGER 1893: 141
Rhinophis oxyrhynchus — WALL 1921: 32
Rhinophis oxyrhynchus — SMITH 1943
Rhinophis oxyrhynchus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 138
Rhinophis oxyrhynchus — KARUNARATHNA & AMARASINGHE 2011
Rhinophis oxyrhynchus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 651 
DistributionSri Lanka (Northern and Eastern Provinces, Mullaitivu; Vavoniya; Trincomalee)

Type locality: India orientali" [Typhlops oxyrhynchus SCHNEIDER 1801]
Type locality: ,,Trincomalie, and [. . .] the Kandyan Province" [Dapatnaya lanka-divana KELAART]
Type locality: „Ceylon” [Mytilia (?Rhinophis) unimaculata GRAY]  
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 3825-3826 (fide Pyron et al. 2016: 482)
Holotype: lost (fide GANS 1966)
Syntypes: [Dapatnaya lanka-divana KELAART] Lost (fide GANS 1966)
Syntypes: BMNH 1946.1.16.90, 1946.1.17.1 [Mytilia (?Rhinophis) unimaculata GRAY] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Rhinophis can be distinguished from all other amniotes by the characters given for the family, and from other uropeltids by united oculars, nasals separated by rostral or barely in contact, no temporal, no mental groove, dorsal scales in 15-19 rows at midbody, Oberhäutchen dentitions that are < 1.7 mm and < 50% of the total cell size for all species examined thusfar (R. saffragamus, R. sanguineus, R. travancoricus, R. drummondhayi, R. blythii, R. philippinus, R. oxyrhynchus, and R. homolepis; Gower 2003), and shortened, dorsally compressed tail that exhibits a distinct, rugose, keratinous disc at the end, clearly separated from the surrounding ventral and dorsal scales, for which the degree of enlargement and rugosity varies among species and ontogenetically, and more anterior junction of systemic arches (mean of –3.37% SVL) compared to other uropeltid genera (mean of –1.52%) (Pyron et al. 2016: 479).

Original description: see Bauer & Lavilla 2021 
CommentType species: Typhlops oxyrhynchus SCHNEIDER 1801: 341 is the type species of the genus Rhinophis HEMPRICH 1820.

Key: Cyriac et al. 2020 and Sampaio et al. 2020 provide keys to the Indian species of Rhinophis. 
  • Bauer, A.M. & Lavilla, E.O. (eds.) 2021. J. G. Schneider’s Historiae Amphibiorum: Herpetology at the Dawn of the 19th Century. SSAR, 848 pp. - get paper here
  • Beddome, R.H. 1886. An account of the earth snakes of the Peninsula of India and Ceylon. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (5) 17: 3-33. - 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
  • Duméril, A.M.C., G. BIBRON & A.H.A. DUMÉRIL 1854. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. Vol. 7 (partie 1). Paris, xvi + 780 S. - get paper here
  • Dunaev E.A., Orlova V.F. 2003. Diversity of snakes (on the materials of the exposition of the Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University). Moscow: Moscow State University Press, 376 pp
  • Gray, J.E. 1858. On a new genus and several new species of Uropeltidae in the collection of the British Museum. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1858: 260-265. - get paper here
  • Gray,J.E. 1858. On a new genus and several new species of Uropeltidae in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 2: 376-381 - get paper here
  • Hemprich, F.W. 1820. Grundriss der Naturgeschichte fur hohere Lehranstalten. August Rücker, Berlin. viii, 432.pp. [Posthumous edition published in 1829 with 535 pp.]
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan D. M. S. and A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe 2011. A PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF THE REPTILE FAUNA IN NILGALA FOREST AND ITS VICINITY, MONARAGALA DISTRICT, SRI LANKA. Taprobanica 3 (2): 69-76 - get paper here
  • Kelaart, EDWARD FRED 1853. Description of new or little-known species of reptiles collected in Ceylon. J. Ceylon Branch Roy. Asiatic Soc., Colombo, 22 (6): 102-116
  • Kelaart, EDWARD FRED 1853. Prodromus Faunae Zeylanicae: Descriptions of new or little known reptiles. Colombo, 2 (1): 11-22, [1854] - get paper here
  • Kelaart, EDWARD FRED 1853. Description of new or little-known species of reptiles collected in Ceylon. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (2) 13 (3): 25-31, [1854] (a modified version of this paper was reproduced in Prodromus Faunae Zeylanicae, Appendix) - get paper here
  • Kelaart, EDWARD FRED 1854. Catalogue of reptiles collected in Ceylon. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (2) 13: 137-140 - 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.
  • SAMPAIO, FILIPA L.; SURYA NARAYANAN, VIVEK PHILIP CYRIAC, GOVINDAPPA VENU, DAVID J. GOWER 2020. A new Indian species of Rhinophis Hemprich, 1820 closely related to R. sanguineus Beddome, 1863 (Serpentes: Uropeltidae). Zootaxa 4881 (1): 1–24 - get paper here
  • Schneider, JOHANN GOTTLOB 1801. Historiae Amphibiorum naturalis et literariae. Fasciculus secundus continens Crocodilos, Scincos, Chamaesauras, Boas. Pseudoboas, Elapes, Angues. Amphisbaenas et Caecilias. Frommanni, Jena. 374 pp. - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Wall, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages - 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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