Wednesday, July 25, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Hypogeophis montanus • A New Species of Small, Long-snouted Hypogeophis Peters, 1880 (Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae) from the Highest Elevations of the Seychelles Island of Mahé


Hypogeophis montanus
Maddock, Wilkinson & Gower, 2018

Montane Mahé caecilian || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4450.3.3 

Abstract
A new species of indotyphlid caecilian amphibian, Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov., is described based on a series of specimens from the Seychelles island of Mahé, collected from two localities in 2013 and 2015. The new species most closely resembles the Seychelles (Mahé) endemic H. brevis in being short (maximum known total length in life ca. 110 mm) and long snouted, but differs by having more vertebrae, a relatively smaller head, and substantially distinct mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences. Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov. is known from higher elevations (718–731 m) than H. brevis (ca. 350–650 m), and its elevationally restricted distribution on a single small island likely renders it threatened under IUCN Red List criteria. Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov. is the third species of small and long-snouted caecilian reported from the Seychelles. Along with H. brevis and H. pti, H. montanus sp. nov. is among the smallest known species of caecilian and possibly has the smallest global distribution.

Keywords: Amphibia, herpetology, Hypogeophis brevis, Hypogeophis pti, Indian Ocean, Morne Seychellois, systematics, taxonomy


FIGURE 4. Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov. holotype (BMNH 2005.1824) in life.

Hypogeophis montanus sp. nov.

 Etymology. The specific epithet is in reference to the restricted, high elevation distribution of the species, known only from above 700 m, on the highest mountains in the Seychelles. For nomenclatural purposes the specific epithet is considered to be a noun in apposition.

 Suggested ‘common’ names. Montane Mahé caecilian; montane hypogeophis (English), 
leverdter nwanr montanny (Creole).




Simon T. Maddock, Mark Wilkinson and David J. Gower. 2018. A New Species of Small, Long-snouted Hypogeophis Peters, 1880 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae) from the Highest Elevations of the Seychelles Island of Mahé. Zootaxa. 4450(3); 359–375. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4450.3.3
 twitter.com/SeyAmphibians/status/1023138744738689024


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