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Typhlophis ayarzaguenai Señaris, 1998 is a junior synonym of Typhlophis squamosus (Schlegel, 1839)

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In 1839, Schlegel described Typhlophis squamosus on the basis of a single specimen from Cayenne, French Guiana. Since then the species has been reported from Brazil, Guyana and Suriname. Relying only on the original description and a subsequent short description of the holotype of T. squamosus by Boulenger in 1893, Señaris described T. ayarzaguenai from Venezuela in 1998. Señaris' description of T. ayarzaguenai contains several errors and discrepancies and we argue that our observations justify the consideration of T. ayarzaguenai as a junior synonym of T. squamosus. The genus Typhlophis thus remains monotypic and T. squamosus is a widespread species in the Guiana Shield.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Vertebrates, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, 29 rue Vautier, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium; 2: Museo de Biología, Facultad Experimental de Ciencias, La Universidad del Zulia, Apartado Postal 526, Maracaibo 4011, Maracaibo, Venezuela


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