Friday, October 21, 2016

Helminthophis flavoterminatus (Family Anomalepididae)

Size: 140 mm SVL; tail 4 mm, 2.8% of SVL. The yellow head, 18 scale rows around the body, and the absence of stripes on the body will distinguish it from all other Trinidad snakes. Rostral visible from above; nasal scale single; one preocular; two postoculars; one supraocular; suboculars absent; three upper labials; one lower labial. Each head plate covered with numerous tubercles. Longitudinal scale count about 401, subcaudals number 12−13. Dorsum and venter brown; head and chin are yellow; a yellow spot on throat on scales six seven; anal region and six medial, preanal scales are yellow, as well as several of the subcaudals. Similar species: In overall color it is similar to Typhlops brongersmianus, but is much more slender in body build. Diameter at midbody of this species 2 mm (total length/midbody width = 1.4%), while midbody widths for Typhlops brongersmianus range between 3.4−12.9 mm (total length/midbody width = 3.21−5.1 %, x= 4.05%). Habitat: The specimen came from an area in the Northern Range that may be best regarded as disturbed lower montane rainforest. Biology: Like other scolecophidian snakes it most likely feeds on ant and termite eggs, larvae, and pupae. The single known specimen is an adult female containing one egg.

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