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Top 10 - 2009

A Mere Thread of a Snake

                     

(The smallest snake, Leptotyphlops carlae, from Barbados) Copyright S. Blair Hedges

Name: Leptotyphlops carlae

Common Name: Barbados Threadsnake

Family: Leptotyphlopidae

How did it make the Top 10: This is the world's smallest snake with a total length of 104mm (4.1 inches).

Reference: Hedges, S.B. 2008. At the lower size limit in snakes: two new species of threadsnakes (Squamata: Leptotyphlopidae: Leptotyphlops) from the Lesser Antilles. Zootaxa 1841: 1-30.

Type material: "Holotype. USNM 564819, adult female, collected on 9 June 2006 under rock on ground near Bonwell, St. Joseph Parish, Barbados (Fig. 2A), 280 m (13° 11.196’ N, 59° 32.445’ W), by S. Blair Hedges and Carla Ann Hass. Field tag number 267708.  Paratypes. USNM 564818, from same locality; BM 89.7.5.27, from Barbados (no specific locality); BM 1969.792, from Codrington College, St. John Parish, Barbados, 100 m (13° 10.543’ N, 59° 28.481’ W); California Academy of Sciences (CAS) 49279, “St. John, Antigua,” collected by W. K. Fisher in July, 1918, on the Barbados-Antigua Expedition. This locality is interpreted to be in error; it is likely from St. John Parish, Barbados" [see discussion in Hedges, S.B. (2008)].

Type locality: Bonwell, St. Joseph Parish, Barbados, Lesser Antilles.

Etymology: The species name, carlae, is dedicated to the author's wife, Carla Ann Hass.

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