Unveiling diversity under the skin: comparative morphology study of the cephalic glands in threadsnakes (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae: Epictinae)

Unveiling diversity under the skin: comparative morphology study of the cephalic glands in... The subfamily Epictinae contains about 75 currently recognized species of strictly fossorial snakes distributed along the Neotropics (subtribe Renina) and Equatorial Africa (subtribe Rhinoleptini). Although several studies have addressed some internal phenotypic characters complexes for the taxa included in this subfamily, most of the available data are limited to skull morphology and visceral topology. Additionally, many studies, when reporting glandular information, do not provide comparative data obtained through of a replicable methodology. In this study, we aimed to describe in detail the macrostruc- ture of the cephalic glands for the members of the subfamily Epictinae. We provide herein the first report of a rictal gland for the infraorder Scolecophidia, as well as the first report of an infralabial accessory gland for the family Leptotyphlopidae. We highlight the utility of glandular qualitative characters for the systematics and even alpha taxonomy of this group of snakes that frequently exhibits a conserved external morphology. Furthermore, we also discuss possible functional aspects related to the Harderian gland in association to the M. adductor externus superficialis based on macrostructure observations of Epictinae specimens. Keywords Fossorial snakes · Head glands macrostructure · Muscles · Functional anatomy · Phylogenetic inertia Introduction lifestyle, actively eating on larvae or adults of social http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Zoomorphology Springer Journals

Unveiling diversity under the skin: comparative morphology study of the cephalic glands in threadsnakes (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae: Epictinae)

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Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Animal Anatomy / Morphology / Histology; Developmental Biology; Evolutionary Biology; Animal Systematics/Taxonomy/Biogeography
ISSN
0720-213X
eISSN
1432-234X
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00435-018-0409-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The subfamily Epictinae contains about 75 currently recognized species of strictly fossorial snakes distributed along the Neotropics (subtribe Renina) and Equatorial Africa (subtribe Rhinoleptini). Although several studies have addressed some internal phenotypic characters complexes for the taxa included in this subfamily, most of the available data are limited to skull morphology and visceral topology. Additionally, many studies, when reporting glandular information, do not provide comparative data obtained through of a replicable methodology. In this study, we aimed to describe in detail the macrostruc- ture of the cephalic glands for the members of the subfamily Epictinae. We provide herein the first report of a rictal gland for the infraorder Scolecophidia, as well as the first report of an infralabial accessory gland for the family Leptotyphlopidae. We highlight the utility of glandular qualitative characters for the systematics and even alpha taxonomy of this group of snakes that frequently exhibits a conserved external morphology. Furthermore, we also discuss possible functional aspects related to the Harderian gland in association to the M. adductor externus superficialis based on macrostructure observations of Epictinae specimens. Keywords Fossorial snakes · Head glands macrostructure · Muscles · Functional anatomy · Phylogenetic inertia Introduction lifestyle, actively eating on larvae or adults of social

Journal

ZoomorphologySpringer Journals

Published: Jun 6, 2018

References

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