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Rhinotyphlops ataeniatus (BOULENGER, 1912)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Afrotyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Somali blind-snake 
SynonymTyphlops unitaeniatus var. ataeniatus BOULENGER 1912: 331
Typhlops somalicus – (not BOULENGER) CALABRESI 1918: 123
Typhlops unitaeniatus var. ataeniatus — SCORTECCI 1931: 15
Typhlops unitaeniatus ataeniatus – PARKER 1949: 22
Typhlops unitaeniatus ataeniatus – BATTERSBY 1954: 246
Typhlops unitaeniatus ataeniatus – LARGEN 1978: 59.
Typhlops ataeniatus – GANS & LAURENT 1965: 59
Typhlops ataeniatus – GANS & TAUB 1965: 107
Typhlops unitaenitus ataeniatus — SCORTECCI 1939: 264
Rhinotyphlops ataeniatus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 78
Rhinotyphlops ataeniatus — SPAWLS et al. 2001
Letheobia ataeniatus — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007
Letheobia ataeniata — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 443
Rhinotyphlops ataeniatus — HEDGES et al. 2014
Rhinotyphlops ataeniatus — PYRON & WALLACH 2014
Rhinotyphlops ataeniatus — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 361 
DistributionSomalia, E Ethiopia (Ogaden) NE Kenya; elevation: 25–1000 m

Type locality: Dolo, la frontiera Italo-Etiopica [= Somalia] (04°11’N, 42°05’E, elevation 200 m) [= near the Ethiopian-Somali border]  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.10.78 (ex-BMNH 1912.6.6.12) & MSNG (2 specimens); collected by Captain C. Citerni. 
DiagnosisDescription: Head shape and shield pattern similar to L. unitaeniata. Scale rows usually 26-24-24; MD 443–531 (mean 487.83). L/D ratio 34–72. Uniform yellow-brown to black, top of head with a short median orange or yellow stripe. For abbreviations see L. caeca. From BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007. 
CommentHas been considered as a synonym (or subspecies of Rhinotyphlops unitaeniatus).

Habitat: Somali Acacia-Commiphora bushland and thicket. Sympatric with L. unitaeniata on the sandy levees on the west bank of the Juba River (Hoevers & Johnson, 1982). 
  • Battersby, James Clarence 1954. Reptiles and amphibians collected in the northern frontier division of Kenya in 1951. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (12) 7: 241-248.
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1912. Missione per la frontiera Italo—Etiopica sotto il comando del Capitano Carlo Citerni. Risultati zoologici. List of the reptiles and batrachians. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova (3) 5:329-332. - get paper here
  • Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V. 2007. A review of East and Central African species of Letheobia Cope, revived from the synonymy of Rhinotyphlops Fitzinger, with descriptions of five new species (Serpentes: Typhlopidae). Zootaxa 1515: 31–68 - get paper here
  • Calabresi, E. 1918. Rettili Somali raccolti fra Gelib e Margherita (Riva sinistra del Guiba) dai dott. Mazzocchi e Scarsellati, nel 1912. Monitore Zoologico Italiano (Firenze), 29(8), 122–124 - get paper here
  • Gans, C. & Taub, A.M. 1965. Segmental correlation between integument and vertebral column in Typhlopids (Reptilia, Squamata). Copeia 1965 (1): 107–108 - get paper here
  • Gans, C.; LAURENT, R.F. & PANDIT, H. 1965. Notes on a herpetological collection from the Somali Republic. Ann. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr., Sér. 8vo, Tervuren, (80) Zool., (134): 1-93
  • 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
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Largen,M.J. 1978. The status of the family Typhlopidae (Reptilia: Serpentes) in Ethiopia. Monitore Zoologico Italiano (Nuova Serie) Supplemento 10: 43-68
  • 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. 1949. The snakes of Somaliland and the Sokotra islands. Zoologische Verhandelingen 6: 1-115 - get paper here
  • Pyron, R.A. & Wallach, V. 2014. Systematics of the blindsnakes (Serpentes: Scolecophidia: Typhlopoidea) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Zootaxa 3829 (1): 001–081
  • Scortecci ,G. 1939. Spedizione zoologica del Marchese Saverio patrizi nel Basso Giuba e nell'Oltre Giuba. Giugno-agosto 1934. XII. Rettili Ofidi. Annali Mus. civ. Stor. nat. Giacomo Doria 58: 263-291
  • Scortecci, Giuseppe 1931. Contributo alla conoscenza dei rettili e degli anfibi della Somalia, dell'Eritrea e dell'Abissinia. Boll. Mus. Zool. Univ. Torino, (ser. 3) 41 (10): 1-26 [1930]
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
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