Afrotyphlops nigrocandidus (Broadley & Wallach)

Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, Van, 2009, 2255, Zootaxa 2255, pp. 1-100: 38-39

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Afrotyphlops nigrocandidus (Broadley & Wallach)


Afrotyphlops nigrocandidus (Broadley & Wallach)  

Bicoloured blind-snake

Typhlops punctatus gierrai   — (not Mocquard) Barbour & Loveridge, 1928: 106 (part, Bagilo); Loveridge, 1957b: 242 (part, Uluguru Mts).

Typhlops gierrai   — (not Mocquard) Roux-Estève, 1974: 133 (part, Bagilo); Broadley & Howell, 1991: 21 (part, Ukaguru and Uluguru Mts); Spawls et al., 2002: 286 (part), fig., 2006: 89 (part), fig.

Rhinotyphlops nigrocandidus Broadley & Wallach, 2000   , Afr. J. Herpetol., 49(2): 166. Type locality: “Kiranzi-Kitungulu Forest Reserve, Udzungwa Mountains, Iringa District, Tanzania ” (08°09’S, 36°05’E, elevation 1500 m), holotype ZMUC 52223, collected by P. Gravlund & M. Andersen, 17 January 1996; Brogard, 2005: 113; Broadley, 2008: 172.

Typhlops   sp. nov. — Burgess et al., 2002: 145.

Description. Snout prominent, rounded. Rostral broad dorsally (two-thirds width of head), oval, but truncated posteriorly and barely reaching the level of the eyes, ventrally it is constricted at the level of the nostrils and has parallel sides. The semidivided nasals extend just beyond the rostral. The oblique supraoculars contact the nasals and the subequal hexagonal frontal, which is larger than the median scales caudad, they overlap the preoculars. A small intercalary scale (first preocular of Roux-Estève, 1974) separates the large preocular from the second and third labials. The intercalary scale is fused with the preocular on both sides of ZMUC 52221 and on the left side of NMZB 7484. The eyes are visible beneath the preocular/ocular sulcus, bordered above by the supraocular. The first labials contact the rostrals and both segments of the nasals, the second labials contact the posterior nasal and overlap the intercalary scales, the third labials contact the intercalary scales and the oculars, the fourth labials border the oculars, SIP T-II (N2, N2/LP, O, O); MSR 28–34; MD 464–542 (mean 509.3, n = 7); vertebrae 242 (n = 1); MD/V ratio 1.91 (n = 1); L/D 38–52 (mean 45.8, n = 6). Largest specimen (NMZB 17548—Uluguru South Forest Reserve) has a total length of 573 mm.

Everted hemipenis 4.3 mm long, simple; sulcus undivided and terminating in an apical depression in the central dome of the distal cap; sulcal folds raised but unadorned. Ornamentation: nude, a prominent distal cap with a central nipple; short basal region unadorned.

The anterior half of the rostral (nearly all in NMZB 7484) and most of the nasals, preoculars and oculars are yellowish, thereafter the median 11 to 13 dorsal scale rows are black, uniform except for a white transverse mark at the base of each scale, irregular at the lateral margins, venter yellow. In the subadult (ZMUC 52222) the black dorsal colouration covers only 7 scale rows and in NMZB 9914 it covers 9–11 scale rows. NMZB 7484 is irregularly blotched in black and white in subequal proportions, covering a maximum of 15 dorsal scale rows. The first specimen from the Uluguru Mountains, MCZ 23084 View Materials , is reported to be uniformly blue-black above, except for a minute white spot at the base of each scale ( Barbour & Loveridge, 1928: 107). However, NMZB 17548 is white, the dorsum heavily blotched with black.

Habitat. MCZ 23084 View Materials was hoed up in a shamba bordering rain forest ( Barbour & Loveridge, 1928: 108). The other specimens were probably taken inside montane forest (NMZB 17548 at 1515m).

Distribution. The southern Eastern Arc mountains in Tanzania, 1450–1750 m ( Fig.12). So far recorded from the Ukaguru, Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains, Afrotyphlops nigrocandidus   is also likely to be found in the Nguru Mountains.

Localities. TANZANIA. Udzungwa Mts—Kawambwa Forest Reserve ZMUC 52222 View Materials   ; Kilanzi-Kitungulu Forest Reserve ZMUC 52223 View Materials (holotype of Rhinotyphlops nigrocandidus Broadley & Wallach   )   ; Lulanda Forest NMZB 9914 View Materials   ; Udzungwa Scarp Forest ZMUC 52222 View Materials   ; Ukaguru Mts NMZB 7484 View Materials   ; Uluguru Mts—Bagilo MCZ 23084 View Materials   ; Uluguru South Forest Reserve NMZB 17548 View Materials   .


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Afrotyphlops nigrocandidus (Broadley & Wallach)

Broadley, Donald G. & Wallach, Van 2009

Rhinotyphlops nigrocandidus

Broadley, D. G. 2008: 172
Brogard, J. 2005: 113


Burgess, N. D. & Doggart, N. & Lovett, J. C. 2002: 145

Typhlops gierrai

Spawls, S. & Howell, K. M. & Drewes, R. C. & Ashe, J. 2002: 286
Broadley, D. G. & Howell, K. M. 1991: 21
Roux-Esteve, R. 1974: 133

Typhlops punctatus gierrai

Loveridge, A. 1957: 242
Barbour, T. & Loveridge, A. 1928: 106