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Trilepida affinis (BOULENGER, 1884)

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Venezuela Blind Snake 
SynonymStenostoma affine BOULENGER 1884: 396
Glauconia affinis — BOULENGER 1893: 62
Leptotyphlops affinis — AMARAL 1929: 138
Leptotyphlops affinis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 19
Trilepida affinis — NATERA-MUMAW et al. 2015
Trilepida affinis — PINTO & FERNANDES 2017 
DistributionVenezuela (Tachira, Merida)

Type locality: Tachira, Venezuela.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.11.16 (formerly BMNH 1875.2.26.4) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Trilepida affinis can be distinguished from all other congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) snout truncate in dorsal and ventral views, and rounded in lateral view; (2) supraocular present; (3) rostral subtriangular in dorsal view, not reaching the anterior limit of ocular scales; (4) rostral shorter than supranasals; (5) frontal scale longer than other middorsal cephalic shields; (6) frontal longer than supraocular scale; (7) two supralabials (1+1); (8) four infralabials; (9) scales at midtail 10; (10) fused caudals present; (11) middorsals 214; (12) midventrals 202; (13) subcaudals 18; and (14) seven dorsal scales rows brown, contrasting with seven ventral rows cream, and head slightly lighter in dorsal view than body pattern (from Pinto & Fernandes 2017).

Comparisons. Trilepida affinis differs from T. brasiliensis by having supraocular scales (vs. absent); differs from T. guayaguilensis, T. joshuai, T. macrolepis (rarely), and T. pastusa by having ten scales rows on midtail (vs. 12); differs from T. anthracina, T. dugandi, T. fuliginosa, T. koppesi, T. macrolepis, and T. salgueiroi by having two supralabials (vs. three); differs T. nicefori by having four infralabials (vs. three); differs from T. dimidiata by having snout truncate in dorsal and ventral views (vs. rounded); differs from T. brevissima by having snout rounded on lateral view (vs. obtuse-rounded); differs from T. jani by having frontal scale longer than other middorsal cephalic shields (vs. with similar size). Refers to Table 1 for additional meristic and color differences between congeners (from Pinto & Fernandes 2017). 
CommentBoulenger (1884) described Stenostoma affinis based on a single specimen from Tachira, without specific locality data, in the Andes of Venezuela.

Synonymy: Orejas-Miranda 1996, Hoogmoed 1977, Pinto & Fernandes 2017. Wallach et al. (2014) list Stenostoma affinis as synonym of Trilepida macrolepis citing Pinto et al. 2010 as source. However, Pinto et al. 2010 provide a fairly extensive synonymy of T. macrolepis that does not include S. affinis. 
  • 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
  • Amaral,A. do 1930. Estudos sobre ophidios neotropicos XVIII. Lista remissiva dos ophidios da região neotropica. Mem. Inst. Butantan 4: 126-271 [1929] - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1884. Descriptions of new species of reptiles and batrachians in the British Museum. Part Il. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (5) 13: 396-398 - 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
  • Lancini,A.R. & Kornacker,P.M. 1989. Die Schlangen von Venezuela. Armitano Editores C.A., Caracas, 1-381
  • Martins, A., Koch, C., Joshi, M., Pinto, R., & Passos, P. 2021. Picking up the threads: Comparative osteology and associated cartilaginous elements for members of the genus Trilepida Hedges, 2011 (Serpentes, Leptotyphlopidae) with new insights on the Epictinae systematics. The Anatomical Record, 1– 34 - 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.
  • Passos, Paulo; Caramaschi, Ulisses; Pinto, Roberta R. 2006. Redescription of Leptotyphlops koppesi Amaral, 1954, and description of a new species of the Leptotyphlops dulcis group from Central Brazil (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 27 (3): 347-357 - get paper here
  • PINTO, ROBERTA R.;, & RONALDO FERNANDES 2017. Morphological variation of Trilepida macrolepis (Peters 1857), with reappraisal of the taxonomic status of Rena affinis (Boulenger 1884) (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae: Epictinae). Zootaxa 4244 (2): 246–260 - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
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