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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Xenotyphlopidae
Genus: Xenotyphlops
Wallach & Ineich, 1996

Two species, see text.

Xenotyphlops is a genus of snakes, the only genus of the family Xenotyphlopidae, comprising two species found only in Madagascar.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Members of the genus Xenotyphlops are distinguishable externally from the Typhlopidae by possessing a greatly enlarged and nearly circular rostral shield. This shield is nearly vertical in a lateral aspect; as a result, the two species have a "bulldozer" appearance. Xenotyphlops species are internally unique in that they lack a tracheal lung and possess an unexpanded tracheal membrane.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

Snakes of the genus Xenotyphlops are endemic to the island of Madagascar. For over 100 years the genus was known only from the type locality, which was "Madagascar", and only from the type specimens.[3]



The specific name, grandidieri, is in honor of French naturalist Alfred Grandidier.[4]

The specific name, mocquardi, is in honor of French herpetologist François Mocquard.[4]


In 2013, after examining several newly collected specimens, Wegener et al. concluded that X. mocquardi falls within the range of variation of X. grandidieri, and they proposed that X. mocquardi be considered a synonym of X. grandidieri. This change would make Xenotyphlops a monotypic genus in a monotypic family.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Xenotyphlops". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
  2. ^ "Xenotyphlops grandidieri ". Reptile-database.reptarium.cz Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  3. ^ McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré TA. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists’ League. 511 pp.
  4. ^ a b Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Xenotyphlops grandidieri, pp. 105-106; X. mocquardi, p. 181).
  5. ^ Wegener JE, Swoboda S, Hawlitschek O, Franzen M, Wallach V, Vences M, Nagy ZT, Hedges SB, Köhler J, Glaw F. 2013. "Morphological variation and taxonomic reassessment of the endemic Malagasy blind snake family Xenotyphlopidae (Serpentes, Scolecophidia)". Spixiana 36 (2): 269-282.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mocquard F. 1905. "Note préliminaire sur une collection de Reptiles et de Batraciens offerte au Muséum par M. Maurice de Rothschild ". Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle 11 (5): 285-288. (Typhlops grandidieri, new species, p. 287). (in French).
  • Wallach V, Ineich I. 1996. "Redescription of a Rare Malagasy Blind Snake, Typhlops grandidieri Mocquard, with Placement in a New Genus (Serpentes: Typhlopidae)". J. Herpetology 30 (3): 367-376. (Xenotyphlops, new genus).
  • Wallach V, Mercurio V, Andreone F. 2007. "Rediscovery of the enigmatic blind snake genus Xenotyphlops in northern Madagascar, with description of a new species (Serpentes: Typhlopidae)". Zootaxa 1402: 59-68. (Xenotyphlops mocquardi, new species).

External links[edit]