Herpetology of Ethiopia and Eritrea
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Typhlopoidea



Leptotyphlops cf.tanae - Omo, Ethiopia
Typhlopoidea - Somaliland


Afrotyphlops lineolatus JAN, 1864


Short description:
One of the largest species of the familly, it can reach a sizes up to 355 mm. The snout rounded, not depressed, with neither a terminal point nor a sharp horizontal edge, rostral shield broad dorsally, its width approx. 3/4 that of the head, supraoculare transverse or oblique, centre of the eye usually lying beneath the superficial suture between preoculare and oculare. more raraly just posterior to this line. Midbody scale rows 26 - 32 (most commonly 28 or 30). Ventrals 337 - 406. The dorsum pale grey or greenish or blackish-brown, each scale with a whitish or cream patch at the posterior apex, and sometimes a similar patch at the base so that pigment is confined to a transverse band accros the centre of the scale. Underside of head and an area around the vent unpigmented.

Distribution:
Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast , Ghana, Togo, SW Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun, SW Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, SW Sudan, South Sudan, S Ethiopia, Uganda, SW Kenya, N Tanzania
In Ethiopia, southern and western regions at lower altitudes, but in places up to 2000 m.n/m.

Behavior:
It inhabit xerophilous woodland at elevation abot 900 - 2450 m asl, but also occupy the margins of tropical deciduous forest, and possibly montane grassland around Gondar. Oviparous. Its dietary specialist, feed exclusively only pupae of ants and termites.

Description original:
Jan: Icon. Gén. Ophid. 1. Typhl.: 24

Common english name: Lineolate Blind Snake




Afrotyphlops blanfordii BOULENGER, 1889

Short description:
1. form : A medium-sized blind snake. The maximum length of about 350 mm. It was diagnosed by the presence of a subhexagonal frontal scale, transverse supraoculars whose lateral apices generally insert between preoculars and oculars. Midbody scale rows 30.
2. form: recognised by the presence of a subtrapezoidal frontale, oblique supraoculars usually inserting between nasals and preoculars and 24 - 30 midbody scale rows.
The dorsum olive-gray, basal half of each spine blackish labeled, whitish narrow stripe along the center of the underside.

Distribution:
Ethiopia and Eritrea at altitudes of about 1000 to 2500 m asl. The type locality Senaafe, Eritrea.

Behavior:
Secretly living snake, permanently hidden underground, under rocks or in a termite hill. On the surface is found only rarely, especially at night and after rains. It eats mainly termite and ant pupae.

Description original:
Boulenger,G.A.: Descriptions of new Typhlopidæ in the British Museum. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 4: 360-363

Common english name: Blanford’s blind-snake




Typhlops cuneirostris PETERS, 1879

Short description:
A small snake, which reaches size to 190 mm. Snout very prominent, strongly dorsolaterally depressed, its horizonatal margin acutely angled but not sharp, rostral shield conspiciously narrow in dorsal view, approx. 1/3 the width of the head, nasal in broad contact with 1 and 2 labials, very rarely with labials 1,2 and 3, nasale suture usually arising from labial 2, rarely from labial 1. Preoculare wedge-shaped beneath and inserted between labials 2 and 3 or, rarely, between the nasale and labiale 3, ventral portion of the ocular wedget between labials 3 and 4, eyes large and very distinct beneath the oculare. Midbody scale rows normally 22 (20 - 24), ventrals 220 - 301. Dorsal red brown, the pigment palest at the centre of the scale and darkest at its lateral margins so that the back is marked by 10 (more rarely 8 or 12) conspicuous longitudinal lines, best developed mid-dorsally and fading laterally. The belly cream or whitish, immaculate.

Distribution:
South Somalia and border part with Ethiopia. It inhabits dry areas Somalia's arid zones. The records come from southern Somalia and the border of southern Ethiopia and extreme northeastern Kenya (Dolo, Lugh, Mandera, Barawa).

Behavior:
Like other species of the genus. Secretly living small ground snake, most of his life surviving underground in burrows, under rocks ..etc. It feeds pupae of ants and termites. More detailed information are not known.

Note:
The former subspecies, Typhlops cuneirostris calabresii has been elevated to full species status.

Description original:
Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig: Über neue Amphibien des Kgl. Zoologischen Museums (Euprepes, Acontias, Typhlops, Zamenis, Spilotes, Oedipus). Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1879(August): 773-779 [1880]

Common english name: Wedgenose Worm Snake




Typhlops calabresii GANS & LAURENT, 1965

Short description:
Very similar to Typhlops cuneirostris. Snout prominent, wedge-shaped in lateral view, tip rounded; eye-snout length/interocular head width greater than 0.85, ventral rostral length/interocular head width less than 0.47. Rostral narrow and elongate, broad anteriorly but tapering posteriorly; frontal subtriangular, the nasals sometimes meeting at a point in front of it; supraocular oblique, its lateral apex between preocular and ocular; eye distinct, under the ocular; nasal suture arising from near sulcus between first and second labials. [BROADLEY & VAN WALLACH]

Distribution:
NW Somalia, adjacent Ethiopia. A dry Somali areas in the east zone of Ethiopia and northern Somalia (Haud, Burao, Berbera - Hargeisa road, Goolis Mt.)

Behavior:
Like other species of the genus. Poorly known species.

Description original:
Gans,C.; LAURENT,R.F. & PANDIT,H. 1965.: Notes on a herpetological collection from the Somali Republic. Ann. Mus. Roy. Afr. Centr., Sér. vo, Tervuren, (80) Zool., (134): 1-93

Common english name: Calabresi’s blind-snake




Letheobia erythraea SCORTECCI, 1928

Short decsription:
A small snake. Maximum length up to 205 mm. Snout sharply pointed in dorsal view and with a pronounced horizontal edge, rostral shield moderate, subtriangular, its posterior apex in narrow contact with the frontal, supraocular in contact with the preoculare, so separating the nasal from the oculare, nasale in contact ventrally with labials 1 and 2, nasal suture arising from labial 2, preocular in contact with labials 2 and 3, ocular separated from the labials by a subocular of similar size which is in contact with labials 3 and 4, eye scarcely visible. Midbody scale rows 23. Uniform yellowish white above and below.

Distribution:
Eritrea. Saganeiti, (15°04’N, 39°12’E, elevation 2200 m)

Behavior:
Like other species of the genus live permanently underground and on the surface occurs only rarely. The Females lay elongated eggs. They feeds pupae of termites and ants.

Description original:
Scortecci,G. Rettili dell'Eritrea esistenti nelle Collezioni del Museo Civico de Milano. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano 67 (3-4): 290-339 [also cited as pp. 33-36 and as from 1928]

Common english name: Eritrean Blind Snake




Letheobia ataeniata BOULENGER 1912

Short description:
A small snake, for the blind snakes medium-sized because it reaches the size up to 470 mm. Snout very prominent, more or less strongly hooked and with a sharp horizontal edge, rostral shield very large, appreciably longer than broad and extending well behind the level of the eyes, each ocular separated from the frontal by two supraoculars, nasal in contact with labials 1 and 2, nasal suture arising from labial 2, preocular in contact with labials 2 and 3, ocular separated from labials by a subocular of aproximately similar size which is in contact with labials 3 and 4, eye rather small but visible beneath the posterior region of the nasal or under the rostro-nasal suture. Midbody scale rows 24, ventrals 449 - 526. The color yellowish or greenish-brown to almost black, uniform or slightly paler beneath, rostral shield usually conspicuously pale, yellowish but with dark brown longitudinal stripe on either side.

Distribution:
South-east and aestern Ethiopia (Dolo, Haud(,south and central Somalia (Haud) and extreme NE Kenya (Malka Muri).

Description original:
Boulenger, G. A.: 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.




Letheobia largeni BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007

Short description:
Snout rounded, prominent. Rostral broad, semi-sagittate posteriorly; frontal subtrapexoid; supraocular oblique, its lateral apex between ocular and nasal, the latter separated from the lip by a large subocular; eye not visible; nasal suture arising from second labial; [Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V.].

Distribution:
W Ethiopia, Gambela, Illubabor keflehager, Ethiopia (08°15'N, 34°35'E, elevation 515 m); probably South Sudan.

Behavior:
It occupies moist savanna in low altitudes. Unknow species, apparently as other species of the genus.

Description original:
Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V.: 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

Common english name: Largen’s blind-snake




Letheobia pallida COPE 1868

Short description:
A small snake, maximum length up to 280 mm. Snout bluntly rounded, not terminating in a point and without a sharp horizontal edge, rostral shield moderate, subquardate, its posterior margin in broad contact with the frontal, supraoculare not in contact with the preoculare, as a result of which the nasal meets the occulare, nasale in contact ventrally with labials 2 and 3, oculare separated from the labials by a subocular which is in contact with labials 3 and 4, eyes not visible. Midbody scale rows 22, ventrals 433 (380 - 466).

Distribution:
Southern Sudan, coastal kenya and Tanzania. Probably south-western Ethiopia in lowland savanna.

Behavior:
Unknow species, apparently as other species of the genus.

Description original:
Cope, E.D.: Observations on Reptiles of the old world. Proc. Acad. nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1868: 316-323

Common english name: Zanzibar Beaked Snake



Letheobia somalica BOULENGER 1895

Short description:
Medium-sized species, the maximum length of about 550 mm. Snout in adults sharply pointed and with a sharp horizontal edge, in juveniles rounded, the horizontal edge feeble, supraoculare in contact with the preocular, so separating the nasale from the oculare, nasale in contact ventrally with labials 1 and 2, nasale suture arising from labiale 2, preoculare in contact with labials 2 and 3, no suboculare, the oculare in contact with labials 3 and 4, eye in juveniles clearly visible beneath the preoculare, in adults not visible. Midbody scale rows usuallly 28(24 - 30), ventrals 555 - 696. The body color uniform pale cream, golden-brown or greenish yellow.

Rozšíøení:
Endemic species of Ethiopia. On both sides of the Rift Valley, although in the west more abundant, mostly at altitude of 1800 - 2200 m asl. Known localities are - Bedelle, Gondar, Ghimbi, Jimma, Bonga, Sheik Hussein, Beearso, Dangla, Sokora, Hagere Hiwot..

Behavior:
It inhabits highland savanna and edges of tropical mountain forests. Permanently lives underground, on the surface it moves only rarely. Like other species of the genus eat pupae of ants and termites. Oviparous.

Behavior:
Unknow species, apparently as other species of the genus.

Description:
Boulenger, G.A.: An account of the reptiles and batrachians collected by Dr. A. Donaldson Smith in western Somaliland and the Galla Country. Proc. zool. Soc. Lond.: 530-540

Common english name: Ethiopian Blind Snake




Leptotyphlops aethiopicus BROADLEY&WALLACH 2007

Description:
Body cylindrical, with head and neck broadened and flattened, the short tail tapers slightly before a very small terminal spine. Snout rounded, rostral broad (0.52–0.57 head width, mean = 0.55) and truncated, only slightly wider than supranasals anteriorly and not extending past a line connecting the eyes anteriorly, whereas the supranasals extend to a line connecting the eyes posteriorly, rostral lacking a preoral groove ventrally. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril midway between rostral and supranasal along nasal suture), small (moderate) anterior supralabial with width along lip equal to that of infranasal, large ocular with large eye centrally placed and tall posterior supralabial. Supraoculars pentagonal, anteriorly wedged between upper nasal and ocular, posteriorly wedged between hexagonal subequal frontal and postfrontal, which are larger than the supraocular, but smaller than the hexagonal interparietal, which is also larger than the interoccipital and the vertebral series of scales following it. Parietals oblique, subequal to the fused occipitals, in contact with the posterior supralabial. Temoral single. No mental, four infralabials. Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales. Reduction to 10 scale rows on the tail takes place lateral to the subtriangular cloacal shield, which is entire. Total middorsals 250 (243–261), subcaudals 24 (23–29). Total length 145 mm; tail 13; diameter of body 2.2 mm. Total length/diameter ratio 72 (62–77); total length/tail ratio 12.2 (10.1–12.9). Dorsum and venter blackish-brown to dark brown except for the first infralabials, cloacal shield, and a patch of 14 (12–14) scales under the tail tip, which are white. Largest specimen (BMNH 1977.2250) 145 + 16 = 161 mm [Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V.A].

Distribution:
So far only recorded from the Ethiopian highlands east of the rift valley, 1900–2000 m, with an additional specimen (middorsals 239, subcaudals 22) from Marsabit in northern Kenya, 1700 m.

Behavior:
Unknown. Most certainly like other species of the genus.

Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V.A: revision of the genus Leptotyphlops in northeastern Africa and southwestern Arabia (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Zootaxa 1408: 1–78

Common english name: Ethiopian worm snake




Leptotyphlops nursii Anderson in Boulenger 1896

Short description:
Body cylindrical, with head broader than neck and flattened, the short tail tapers slightly before a small terminal spine. Snout rounded, rostral broad (0.46–0.55 head width, mean = 0.49), distinctly wider than nasals anteriorly and extending to a point nearly level with the front of the eyes, a distinct preoral groove is present ventrally with a slight ventral extension of rostral below lip level. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril nearer to supralabial than rostral along nasal suture), small anterior supralabial with a width along lip twice than of infranasal, large ocular with centrally placed eye, and large posterior supralabial. Supraoculars pentagonal, subequal to frontal, anteriorly wedged between supranasal and ocular, posteriorly wedged between frontal and postfrontal, which are hexagonal and subequal, but slightly smaller than the interparietal and interoccipital. Parietals transverse, in contact with the posterior supralabial. Occipitals variable, enlarged and fused in the types and half of sample but not fused in other half. Temporal single. No mental, four infralabials. Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales. Reduction to 12 rows on tail takes place lateral to the subtriangular cloacal shield. Middorsals 281–378; subcaudals 34–48. Total length/diameter ratio 48–105; total length/tail ratio 7.2–16.8. Dorsum usually pale brown, venter creamy-white. Largest specimen (BMNH 1946.1.16.91 — Aden, lectotype) 218 + 24 = 242 mm.

Distribution:
Long known from southwestern Arabia, this species is now recorded from the highlands of northern Somalia, 50–1525 m.

Behavior:
Unknown. Most certainly like other species of the genus.

Common english name: Nurse's Blind Snake




Leptotyphlops(Myriopholis) braccianii SCORTECCI 1929

Short description:
Body cylindrical, with head broadened and flattened, distinct from neck, the moderate tail tapers to a small downturned terminal spine. Snout rounded, rostral moderate (0.30–0.40 head width, mean = 0.36), much wider than nasals and extending back to level of eyes, with distinct preoral groove ventrally. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril nearer rostral than supralabial along nasal suture), small anterior supralabial that is less than half as tall as the infranasal with width along lip 1.5 times that of inranasal, large ocular with small eyespot near upper anterior edge, and moderate posterior supralabial. Supraoculars about as long as wide, anteriorly wedged between upper nasal and ocular, posteriorly wedged between the subequal hexagonal frontal and postfrontal, which are smaller than the interparietal and interoccipital. Parietals transverse, subequal in size to the fused occipitals (which are sometimes not fused), in contact with the posterior supralabials. Temporal single. No mental, five infralabials. Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales, reducing to 10 rows on the tail. Total middorsals 277–305; subcaudals 28–33. Total length/tail ratio 10.7–13.7; total length/diameter ratio 63–111. Middorsal five to eleven (usually seven) scale rows brown to pale brown or tan, venter pale yellow, cream or white. Largest specimens (LIVM 1997.118.1 — Gambela, Ethiopia) 131 + 13 = 144 mm and (MZUF 2585 — Belet Uen, Somalia) 133.5 + 10.5 = 144 mm [Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V.].

Distribution:
Eritrea, southern Sudan, western and southern Ethiopia, southern Somalia, south to the Tana River in Kenya, 100–1900 m.

Behavior:
It is inhabits Afromontane vegetation in northern Eritrea. Others were from Sahel Acacia wooded grassland in Eritrea and the Upper Nile basin. In the Sudan, Sudanian woodland with abundant Isoberlinia in Equatoria Province, undifferentiated woodland in Darfur Province and western Ethiopia and in Acacia-Commiphora deciduous bushland and thicket in southern Ethiopia. Others like another species of the genus.

Description original:
Scortecci,G.: Rettili dell'Eritrea esistenti nelle Collezioni del Museo Civico de Milano. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano 67 (3-4): 290-339 [also cited as pp. 33-36 and as from 1928]

Common english name: Scortecci’s Blind Snake




Leptotyphlops(Myriopholis) cairi DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844

Short description:
Body cylindrical, with head slightly depressed, the moderate tail tapers to a small downturned terminal spine. Snout rounded in dorsal profile, rostral moderate (0.36–0.46 head width, mean = 0.41), wider than nasals and barely reaching level of eyes. Lateral snout profile bluntly projecting beyond lower lip with an incipient beak, ventral rostral with a moderate preoral groove. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril midway between rostral and supraocular along nasal suture), small anterior supralabial that is less than half as tall as infranasal, below level of nostril, and equal in width to it along lip, large ocular with eye placed centrally in upper half, and moderate posterior supralabial. Supraoculars about as long as wide, anteriorly wedged between supranasal and ocular, posteriorly wedged between the subequal hexagonal frontal and postfrontal, which are a little smaller than the interparietal and interoccipital. Parietals transverse, in contact with the posterior supralabials. Occipitals variable, usually fused but thinner and narrower than parietals. Temporal single. No mental, five infralabials. Tongue lacking lingual papillae. Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales, reducing to 10 rows on the tail. Middorsals 322–370; subcaudals 28–35. Total length/diameter ratio 59–117; total length/tail length ratio 12.3–16.2. Three to seven dorsal scale rows pigmented pale brown or pinkish-brown (scales cream with brown stippling), venter cream to pale yellow. Largest southern specimen (BMNH 1905.11.7.41 — Wagar, Somalia) 183 mm, but attaining a maximum length of 254 mm in Egypt (FMNH 129894 — Cairo) [Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V.].

Distribution:
Northern Africa, from Mauritania to Egypt (along the Nile and at Siwa Oasis) and Sudan, with relict populations in Somalia, 0–400 m.

Description:
Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron.: Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol.6. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 609 pp.

Common english name: Cairo Blind Snake



Leptotyphlops(Myriopholis) erythraeus SCORTECCI 1929

Short description:
Body cylindrical, with head broader slightly broader than neck, the short tail tapers slightly before a terminal cone. Snout rounded, rostral moderate (0.38–0.53 head width, mean = 0.44), with nearly parallel sides, extending posteriorly to mideye level, posterior border in hexagonal configuration, broader than supranasals; ventral rostral with deep preoral cavity, lateral head profile with a weak blunt beak that extends below lip level, beak narrow ventrally. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril midway between rostral and supralabial along nasal suture), small anterior supralabial that just reaches level of nostril with width along lip equal to that of infranasal, and moderate posterior supralabial. Frontal semilunate, more than twice as broad as deep, larger than supraoculars and postfrontal; interocular line along rostral-frontal suture; interparietal and interoccipital broader than frontal or postfrontal. Ocular slightly oblique, small eye with distict pupil beneath upper anterior border; parietals transverse, occipitals enlarged in type but occipitals not fused in other specimens; parietals transverse, in contact with posterior supralabial, occipitals fused and enlarged. Temporal single. Cloacal shield semilunate; no apical spine, tail terminating in a smooth cone. Prominent tubercles on all head shields except parietals and occipitals. Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales, reducing to 12 rows on the tail. Middorsals 311–335; subcaudals 28–34. Total length/diameter ratio 59–99; total length/tail length ratio 11.1–15.3. Holotype uniformly pinkish-beige but other specimens light brown. A specimen from the Awash National Park (BMNH 1977.2249) has the seven dorsal scale rows medium brown, chin and anterior venter pure white for the first 50 scales, rest of venter pale brown, subcaudals medium brown [Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V.].

Distribution:
The Red Sea coast of Eritrea and the Dahlak Archipelago, extending inland to the Awash National Park in eastern Ethiopia in the southwestern corner of the Afar depression.

Description original:
Scortecci,G.: Rettili dell'Eritrea esistenti nelle Collezioni del Museo Civico de Milano. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano 67 (3-4): 290-339 [also cited as pp. 33-36 and as from 1928]

Common english name: Eritrean Worm Snake




Leptotyphlops(Myriopholis) tanae BROADLEY & WALLACH 2007

Description:
Body cylindrical, with head broadened and flattened, head tubercles prominent, the moderate tail tapers to a stout downturned terminal spine. Snout rounded, rostral moderate (0.36–0.50 head width, mean = 0.40), narrower than nasals and not extending back to the level of the eyes, a weak preoral groove inferiorly. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril midway between rostral and supralabial along nasal suture), small anterior supralabial with width along lip equal to that of infranasal, large ocular with eye near upper anterior edge, and moderate posterior supralabial. Supraoculars slightly longer than wide, anteriorly wedged between upper nasal and ocular posteriorly wedged between the subequal frontal and postfrontal, which are smaller than the interparietal and interoccipital. Parietals transverse, in contact with the posterior supralabials, occipitals not fused in Kenya specimens (fused in MCZ 40100 and on one side of MCZ 40097) but fused in Somali and Ethiopian specimens. Temporal single. Prominent tubercles on rostral and nasals. No mental, four infralabials. Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate subequal scales, reducing to 10 rows on the tail. Middorsals 249 (227–260, mean 242.86, n = 21); subcaudals 30 (25–30, mean 27.71, n = 21); Total length/diameter ratio 47 (46–87); total length/tail length ratio 9.8 (10.2–12.4). Length of holotype 88.5 + 10 = 98.5 mm. Three to nine (usually seven) middorsal scale rows pigmented light brown to tan (in preservative, flesh pink in life fide Loveridge, 1936), venter cream to pale yellow. Skull (MCZ 40105) similar to that of Leptotyphlops cairi. Everted hemipenis (MCZ 40108, SVL 76 mm, tail 7 mm, 27 subcaudals) three subcaudals (1.2 mm) long and 1/4 subcaudal (0.1 mm) wide, nude, uniformly narrow with a pair of lateral longitudinal flaps along basal 2/5 of organ, each flap approximately half as wide as the organ, apical tip with swollen lip, Largest specimen (MCZ 40105) 93 + 9.5 = 102.5 mm; smallest specimen (MZUF 35209) 43.5 + 4.5 = 48 mm [Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V.].

Distribution:
Southern Ethiopia, southern Somalia and northeastern Kenya, 0–400 m.

Behavior:
Semi-desert savanna, termite mound, under stones, etc...like other species of the genus. Feed pupae and eggs of Termites and ants.

Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, V.: A revision of the genus Leptotyphlops in northeastern Africa and southwestern Arabia (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Zootaxa 1408: 1–78

Common english name: Tana worm snake

Leptotyphlops(Myriopholis) tanae - habitat, Turmi, south Omo region, S Ethiopia



Leptotyphlops (Myriopholis) macrorhynchus JAN & SORDELLI 1860

Short description::
Body cylindrical, with head and neck slightly broadened, the moderate tail tapers to a small blunt terminal cone. Snout hooked in lateral view with distinct beak, rostral moderate (0.36–0.60 head width, mean = 0.50), much wider than nasals dorsally, not reaching level of eyes. Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by infranasal (nostril midway between rostral and supralabial along nasal suture), small anterior supralabial with a width along lip equal to that of infranasal, large ocular with small eye or eyespot centrally placed in upper half, and moderate posterior supralabial. Frontal, supraoculars, and postfrontal subequal, forming a rather floral-like rosette pattern (as if cut from a single large median rounded shield). Supraoculars subpentagonal, anteriorly wedged between upper nasal and ocular, posteriorly wedged between frontal and postfrontal, both smaller than interparietal and interoccipital. Parietals transverse, larger than the occipitals (which are not fused, but usually fused elsewhere in the species range), in contact with the posterior supralabials. Temporal single. No mental, four infralabials. Body covered with 14 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales. Reduction to 10 rows takes place lateral to the subtriangular cloacal shield. Total middorsals 315–404; subcaudals 26–43. Total length/diameter ratio 64–133; total length/tail ratio 10.0–15.7. Dorsum unpigmented, pale reddish-brown or pink (in life) to beige or tan (in preservative), venter cream to white, but a specimen from Sodere, Ethiopia, has the subcaudals pigmented. Largest specimen (NMK/O. 2661 — Porr Hill, Turkana, Kenya) 150 + 10 = 160 m [BROADLEY & WALLACH].

Distribution:
The type locality Sennar (Sudan). North to southern Turkey (Adiyaman Province) also in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, NW India, Pakistan;   Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Niger, Oman, UAE.

Behavior:
Inhabit sandy areas of dry savanna and semi-desert. Like other species of the genus.

Description:
Jan: Iconogr. gén. Ophid., 1 (1. livr.): 1

Common english name: Hook-snouted worm snake




Leptotyphlops (Rhinoleptus) parkeri BROADLEY, 1999

Description:
Body cylindrical, with head and neck broadened and flattened; the moderate tail tapers slightly to a terminal cone. Snout slightly hooked in profile, rostral much broader than nasals, extending back to the level ofthe eyes, with a distinct preoral groove ventrally, Behind rostral, upper lip bordered by lower part of nasal, a small anterior supralabial, a large ocular (eyes missing due to removal of skull, but position indicated by thinning of the ocular shield) and a medium posterior supralabial. Supraoculars three times as long as wide, anteriorly wedged between upper nasal and ocular, posteriorly wedged between the large subtriangular prefrontal and a much smaller subhexagonal frontal, the latter followed by a split interparietal and a small interoccipital similar in size to the middorsals following it. Parietals separated from the frontal by forward extension of the paravertebral scale rows, in good contact with the posterior supralabial. Occipitals not differentiated. No mental, the lower jaw has been damaged by the removal of the skull. Body covered with 16 rows of smooth, imbricate, subequal scales, reducing to 14 rows on the tail just caudal of the vent, which is bordered anteriorly by the three midventral scale rows, the median scale only slightly enlarged transversely. Total middorsals 302; subcaudals 27.Total length/tail ratio 16.0; total length/diameter ratio 67. Length 150 + 10 : 160mm, diameter 2.4mm. Five dorsal scale rows pale brown, white below [Broadley, Donald G].

Distribution:
Degeh Bur, Harerge keflehager, Ethiopia

Behavior:
Unknown. Most certainly like other species of the genus.

Broadley, Donald G. A new species of worm snake from Ethiopia (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae). Arnoldia Zimbabwe 10 (14): 141-144

Common english name: Parker’s worm snake




Megatyphlops (Afrotyphlops) brevis SCORTECCI 1929


Short description:
Snout prominent, with an acutely angular keratinised edge on rostral and nasals (less marked in juveniles); rostral very large, sagittate, bluntly pointed posteriorly, length/width ratio 1.29–1.41 (mean = 1.33); frontal small and lozenge-shaped; supraocular small and transverse, its lateral apex between preocular and ocular; eye distinct near anterior edge of ocular; nasal in contact with first and second labials, nasal suture arising from first (Kenya) or second (elsewhere); MSR 29–38; MD 288–557 (mean 392.7, n = 50); vertebrae 190–250 (mean 203.4, n = 26); MD/V ratio 1.84–2.22 (mean 2.02, n = 26); L/ D ratio 17–38 (mean = 25.7, n = 25). Juveniles have a lineolate pattern above, adults become uniform greybrown above, unpigmented below. Largest specimen (BMNH 1949.2.1.10—Haud, Somalia) has a total length of 700 mm. [Broadley, Donald G]

Distribution:
Southern Sudan and adjacent Uganda, east through Ethiopia to Somalia, south to Kenya. The known localities in Ethiopia are: Abd el kadr (Harrar), Haud, Tendaho, the middle flow of Awash, Logia, Omo National Park, Negelle.

Behavior:
They lives hidden like other species of the family. It inhabit mainly savannas, coastal forests and the semi-arid Sahel region. The females lays from 12 to 60 elongated eggs in size 22 x 12 mm into moist soil. The young hatch after 35-42 days.

Description original:
Bianconi: Spec. Zool., Mosamb.: 183

Description:
Scortecci,G. 1929. Primo contributo alla conoscenza dei Rettili e degli Anfibi della Somalia italiana. Atti Soc. ital. Sci. nat. 68: 245-279

Common english name: Somali giant blind-snake























































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