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Siagonodon cupinensis (BAILEY & CARVALHO, 1946)

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mato Grosso Blind Snake
Portuguese: Cobra-Cega 
SynonymLeptotyphlops cupinensis BAILEY & CARVALHO 1946
Leptotyphlops eupinensis BATTERSBY & SWINTON 1954 (error typographicus)
Leptotyphlops cupinensis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 27
Siagonodon cupinensis — ADALSTEINSSON, BRANCH, TRAPE, VITT & HEDGES 2009
Siagonodon cupinensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 666
Siagonodon cupinensis — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionBrazil (Amapa), Suriname (Lely Mountains).

Type locality: Rio Tapirape, tributary of Rio Araguaia, Mato Grosso, Brasil  
TypesHolotype: MNRJ 387, Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Siagonodon cupinensis can be distinguished from other congeners by the following combination of characters: body cylindrical; snout truncate in dorsal, lateral, and ventral views; supralabials two (1þ1); infralabials four (n = 62) or rarely three (n = 2); lacking supraocular scales; rostral subrectangular in dorsal view; ocular subheptagonal in lateral view, with pointed apex; eye absent (n = 39) or, when present, reduced to an ocular blot on anterodorsal portion of ocular scale (n = 24); frontal scale wider (n = 47) or the same width as rostral scale (n = 16); first supralabial scale shorter (n = 34) or the same height (n = 30) as infranasal scale; temporal indistinct; fused caudals absent; middorsal scales 255–283 (n = 12) in males, 247–293 (n = 33) in females; midventral scales 224–267 (n = 12) in males, 228–270 (n = 33) in females; subcaudal scales 12–15 (n = 12) in males, 12–16 (n = 33) in females; 14 scales around the body and tail; uniform color pattern golden (n = 40), yellow (n = 12), or pale yellow (n = 11) [Francisco et al. 2018].

Comparisons with congeners. Siagonodon cupinensis can be differentiated from other congeners by the presence of 14 scale rows around the tail (vs. 12 in S. septemstriatus and S. acutirostris, and 10 in S. borrichianus). Additionally, S. cupinensis can be differentiated from S. septemstriatus (char- acter states in parentheses) by having uniform coloration (vs. striped pattern) and being less robust, with TL/MB ratio ranging from 48.9–78.2 (62.967.4, n = 33; vs. 37.6–55.3; 42.868.3, n = 5). Siagonodon cupinensis also differs from S. acutirostris (character states in parentheses) by having 225– 293 middorsal and 224–270 midventral scales (vs. 169–188 and 160–172, respectively). Finally, S. cupinensis is further distinguished from S. borrichianus by having four infralabials (vs. three in the latter taxon) [Francisco et al. 2018]. 
CommentSynonymy: Amaral (1954) placed S. cupinensis in the synonymy of S. septemstriatus based on drawings of Jan and Sordelli (1860; fig. 13). Orejas-Miranda (1966) analyzed the holotype of S. cupinensis and revalidated the taxon. One specimen (MZUSP 5072) that was originally identified as S. septemstriatus was= reidentified as S. cupinensis by Francisco et al. 2018 due to the number of middorsal and midventral scales (266 and 257, respectively), and by having 14 scales around the tail.

Distribution: see Martins et al. 2020: 852 (Fig. 12) for a map of all 4 Siagonodon species, the sister clade of Habrophallos. See map in Nogueira et al. 2019. 
EtymologyNamed after the termite hill in which the species was found and which are called “cupin” by Brazilian indigenous people. 
  • Adalsteinsson, S.A.; Branch, W.R.; Trapé, S.; Vitt, L.J. & Hedges, S.B. 2009. Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of snakes of the Family Leptotyphlopidae (Reptilia, Squamata). Zootaxa 2244: 1-50 - get paper here
  • Bailey & CARVALHO 1946. A new Leptotyphlos from Mato Grosso, with notes on Leptotyphlops tenella Klauber. Bol. Mus. nac. Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, (Nova Ser., Zool.) 52: 1-7
  • Battersby & SWINTON 1954. Zool. Record (1952), Reptilia: 130.
  • Francisco, Bárbara C. S.; Roberta R. Pinto, and Daniel S. Fernandes 2018. Taxonomic Notes on the Genus Siagonodon Peters, 1881, with a Report on Morphological Variation in Siagonodon cupinensis (Bailey and Carvalho, 1946) (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Copeia 106 (2): 321-328 - get paper here
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira 9 (2): 121 – 214 - get paper here
  • Martins A, Passos P, Pinto R 2019. Moving beyond the surface: Comparative head and neck myology of threadsnakes (Epictinae, Leptotyphlopidae, Serpentes), with comments on the ‘scolecophidian’ muscular system. PLoS ONE 14(7): e0219661 - get paper here
  • Martins AR, Koch C, Pinto R, Folly M, Fouquet A, Passos P. 2019. From the inside out: Discovery of a new genus of threadsnakes based on anatomical and molecular data, with discussion of the leptotyphlopid hemipenial morphology. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Rersearch - 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.
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo, Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins, Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, 2019. Atlas of Brazilian snakes: verified point-locality maps to mitigate the Wallacean shortfall in a megadiverse snake fauna. South American J. Herp. 14 (Special Issue 1):1-274 - get paper here
  • Orejas-Miranda, Braulio 1966. Notas sobre la Familia Leptotyphlopidae, I. Revalidación de Leptotyphlops cupinensis Bailey & Carvalho, 1946. II. Sinonimización de L. ihlei Brongersma, 1933 con L. macrolpis (Peters, 1881). Comunicaciones Zoologicas del Museo de Historia Natural de Montevideo 9 (108): 1-3
  • 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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