IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Diagnosis: Shistometopum gregorii is a caeciliid that does not have the eye under bone. The eye socket is formed primarily by the squamosal; maxilla forms the anterior border. There is no temporal fossae. The mesethmoid is exposed dorsally between separated frontals. The tentacular aperture is closer to the eye than to external naris. Splenial teeth, secondary annuli, and scales are present. There is no unsegmented terminal shield, narial plugs, diastema between vomerine and palatine teeth, and terminal keel (Nussbaum and Pfrender 1998).

Description: Both male and female adults range from 160 to 330 mm in snout-vent length (Harper et al. 2010). Total lengths for Shistometopum gregorii are between 150 mm and 350 mm. Average number of primary annuli is 114.3 for males and 114.5 for females (ranging from 110 to 119) (Harper et al. 2010; Nussbaum and Pfrender 1998). Average number of secondary annuli is 46. Average number of complete secondary annuli is about 11 (Nussbaum and Pfrender 1998). Small scales can be found in the skin. S. gregorii has visible eyes. (Channing and Howell 2006).

Coloration: S. gregorii has a black body that is grey to brown throughout. The head is usually a shade of grey and is usually different from the body coloration. (Channing and Howell 2006; Harper et al. 2010).

S. gregorii was first described by Boulenger 1894 (Frost 2011).

S. gregorii was named for the geologist, J.W. Gregory who discovered the holotype (Channing and Howell 2006; Nussbaum and Pfrender 1998). The species was previously named Dermophis gregorrii and Bdellophis unicolor (Frost 2011).

The two populations of S. gregorii might be distinct species. Cloaca in S. gregorii have similar morphology to that of S. thomense. Also, the mid-dorsal region of the phallodeum in two Tanzanian specimens of S. gregorii have a greater resemblance to the morphology of S. thomense than to the single, examined specimen of a Kenyan S. gregorii (Gower and Wilkinson 2002).


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