The Mornington Blindsnake, Anilios vagurimus

by Biologic Environmental Survey
in Blog
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Biologic would like to introduce the newest Australian snake species to be described, Anilios vagurimus or the Mornington Blindsnake. The species was described by Biologic Senior Zoologist Ryan Ellis in a paper published on New Year’s Eve in the journal Records of the Western Australian Museum (available open access HERE), what a way to end the year!

The Mornington Blindsnake is a morphologically distinct (for a blindsnake anyway) species known from a single specimen in the central Kimberley, with no known photos of the species in life. The description of A. vagurimus increases the number of species in the genus to 48, the most diverse genus of snakes in Australia and one of the top ten most diverse snake genera globally.

What’s in a name: The name vagurima is formed from the Latin words vagus (wandering) and rima (cleft), meaning wandering-cleft, in reference to the diagnostic path of the nasal cleft (a small suture in the nasal scale) possessed by the species which can be used to identify it from other species.

 

Mornington Blindsnake
Photo caption: The holotype specimen of Anilios vagurima held in the Western Australian Museum.