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Rhinotyphlops unitaeniatus (PETERS, 1878)

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Higher TaxaTyphlopidae (Afrotyphlopinae), Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Yellow-striped blind-snake, Kenya Beaked Snake 
SynonymTyphlops (Letheobia) unitaeniatus PETERS 1878: 205
Typhlops unitaeniatus — BOULENGER 1893: 55
Typhlops unitaeniatus — SCORTECCI 1931: 15
Typhlops unitaeniatus unitaeniatus — LOVERIDGE 1936: 227
Typhlops unitaeniatus unitaeniatus — BOGERT 1942
Rhinotyphlops unitaeniatus — ROUX-ESTÈVE 1974: 241
Rhinotyphlops unitaeniatus — LARGEN & RASMUSSEN 1993
Rhinotyphlops unitaeniatus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 88
Rhinotyphlops unitaeniatus — SPAWLS et al. 2001
Letheobia unitaeniatus — BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007
Letheobia unitaeniata — PYRON & BURBRINK 2013
Rhinotyphlops unitaeniatus — HEDGES et al. 2014
Rhinotyphlops unitaeniatus — PYRON & WALLACH 2014
Rhinotyphlops unitaeniatus — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 362 
DistributionSomalia, SE Ethiopia ?, E Kenya, NE Tanzania; elevation 20–1600 m.

Type locality: “Taita” [Kenya], (ca. 03°25’S, 38°25’E)  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 9246 
DiagnosisDescription. Snout very prominent, with an acutely angular horizontal keratinised edge on rostral, rostral very large, longer than broad and extending well beyond the lovel of the eyes, ventrally rostral more than half width of head at level of nostrils; frontal crescentic, separated from the nasal by two supraoculars, the lower with its lateral apex between nasal and preocular; eye visible beneath the upper anterior edge of the nasal; nasal suture arising from the second labial; SIP X (N1, P, O, O). Scale rows usually 26-24-24; MD 467–586 (mean 501.26). L/D ratio 8–77. Dark brown to black dorsally, slightly lighter below, with a bright yellow vertebral stripe, three to five scales wide, running from the back of the head to about 1 cm before the tail tip. For abbreviations see L. caeca. From BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007. 
CommentHabitat: Mainly Acacia- Commiphora deciduous bushland and thicket, but also entering coastal mosaic. Sympatric with Letheobia ataeniata on the sandy levees on the west bank of the Juba River (Hoevers & Johnson 1982).

Not in Ethiopia fide BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007. 
  • Bogert, Charles M. 1942. Snakes secured by the Snyder East African Expedition in Kenya Colony and Tanganyika Territory. American Museum Novitates (1178): 1-5 - 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 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
  • 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
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988] - get paper here
  • Largen,M.J. & Rasmussen,J.B. 1993. Catalogue of the snakes of Ethiopia (Reptilia Serpentes), including identification keys. Tropical Zoology 6: 313-434 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, Arthur 1929. East African reptiles and amphibians in the United States National Museum. Bull. US Natl. Mus. (151): 1-135 - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1936. Scientific results of an expedition to rain forest regions in Eastern Africa. V. Reptiles. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harvard 79 (5): 209-337 - 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.
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1878. Über die von Hrn. J. M. Hildebrandt während seiner letzten ostafrikanischen Reise gesammelten Säugethiere und Amphibien. Mber. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1878: 194-209
  • Pyron, R. Alexander; Frank T. Burbrink 2013. Early origin of viviparity and multiple reversions to oviparity in squamate reptiles. Ecology Letters 17 (1): 13–21 (published online 2013, in print 2014), DOI: 10.1111/ele.12168 - 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 - get paper here
  • Roux-Estève, R. 1974. Révision systématique des Typhlopidae d'Afrique. Reptilia. Serpentes. Mém. nation. Hist. nat., Paris, (sér.A.) 87: 1-313
  • 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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