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Rhinotyphlops lalandei (SCHLEGEL, 1839)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Afrotyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Delalande's Beaked Blind Snake 
SynonymTyphlops Lalandei SCHLEGEL 1839: 38
Rhinotyphlops lalandei — FITZINGER 1843: 24
Onychocephalus delalandii DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 273 (Emendation)
Onychophis franklinii GRAY 1845: 132
Onychophis fordii GRAY 1845: 134
Onychophis lalandeii — GRAY 1845
Typhlops smithi Jan, in JAN & SORDELLI 1860
Typhlops Lalandei — JAN 1864
Typhlops lalandei paucisquamosa BOETTGER 1883
Typhlops (Onychocephalus) delalandei — BOETTGER 1887: 154
Typhlops delalandii — BOULENGER 1887: 173
Typhlops delalandii — BOULENGER 1893: 45
Typhlops delalandei var. paucisquamata BOETTGER 1898: 5 (error typographicus)
Typhlops delalandii — FITZSIMONS 1966
Rhinotyphlops lalandei — ROUX-ESTÈVE 1974: 158
Typhlops lalandei — AUERBACH 1987: 145
Rhinotyphlops lalandei — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 81
Rhinotyphlops lalandei — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2009
Rhinotyphlops lalandei — HEDGES et al. 2014
Rhinotyphlops lalandei — WALLACH et al. 2014: 654
Rhinotyphlops lalandei — SCHLEICHER 2020 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa, SW Zimbabwe, Mozambique,
E Botswana, Namibia ?

Type locality: “Vorgebirge der guten Hoffnung” [= Cape of Good Hope, South Africa].  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 1492, MNHN-RA 3214 and MNHN-RA 3214A, MNHN-RA 6992 and MNHN-RA 6992A, RMNH 3715A–B, collected by Lalande and Van Horstolk 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Species of Rhinotyphlops have (1) eye, distinct, (2) snout, beaked (rarely rounded), (3) head scale arrangement, non-circular, (4) frontorostral, absent, (5) nasal, completely or incompletely divided, (6) nasal suture origin, 2nd supralabial (sometimes 1st supralabial), (7) suboculars or subpreoculars, absent (sometimes present), (8) postoculars, 4–6 (rarely 2–3; average 4.21), (9) preocular-labial contact, supralabials 2 & 3 (sometimes 2nd or 2–4), (10) midbody scale rows, 22–34 (average, 25.0), (11) scale row reduction, present (sometimes absent), (12) total scale rows, 311–586 (average, 425), (13) caudals, 14–15 (average, 14.5), (14) maximum total length, 220– 455 (average, 323) mm, (15) total length/midbody diameter, 27–77 (average, 48.9), (16) total length/tail length, 50.2–78.5 (average, 65.0), (17) dorsal color, brown (sometimes yellowish, greenish, or reddish), (18) ventral color, white or yellowish (sometimes brownish or black), (19) dorsum darker than venter, (20) overall, either patternless or with longitudinal lines (Tables 1–2); molecular phylogenetic support (Fig. 1 in HEDGES et al. 2014).
From Letheobia, Rhinotyphlops is distinguished by having a distinct eye (versus indistinct), lacking subocular scales (versus present), having a higher average number of midbody scale rows (25.0 versus 22.3), having a higher average number of caudals (14.5 versus 11.1), and having a dark (versus pale) dorsum. From Afrotyphlops, Rhinotyphlops is distinguished by having more caudals (14.5 versus 9.6) and smaller size (323 versus 481 mm average TL). [HEDGES et al. 2014: 31] For an alternative diagnosis see PYRON & WALLACH 2014: 48. 
CommentDescription in BROADLEY & WALLACH 2009.

Type species: Typhlops lalandei Schlegel 1839:38 is the type species of the genus Rhinotyphlops Fitzinger 1843.

Type species: Typhlops Lalandei SCHLEGEL 1839: 38 is the type species of the genus Rhinotyphlops FITZINGER 1843. 
EtymologyThe generic name is a masculine noun formed from the Greek adjective rhinos (beaked) and Greek noun typhlops (the blind), in reference to the beak-shaped snout of these blindsnakes. 
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  • Boettger, O. 1898. Katalog der Reptilien-Sammlung im Museum der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Frankfurt/M. 2.Teil (Schlangen). [type catalogue] Frankfurt/M (Gebr. Knauer), i-ix + 1-160. - get paper here
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  • Schleicher, Alfred 2020. Reptiles of Namibia. Kuiseb Publishers, Windhoek, Namibia, 271 pp.
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