Bulletin of the Natural History Museum: Zoology



The skull of the Uropeltinae (Reptilia, Serpentes), with special reference to the otico-occipital region


OLIVIER RIEPPEL a1 and HUSSAM ZAHER a2
a1 Department of Geology, The Field Museum, 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2496, U.S.A. e-mail:rieppel@fieldmuseum.org
a2 Universidade de Sao Paulo, Instituto de Biociencias, Departamento de Zoologia, Rua do Matao, Travessa 14, Cidade Universitaria, 05508-900, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil

Abstract

The skull anatomy of uropeltines is reviewed, and new data is presented on the highly derived otico-occipital region. A phylogenetic analysis of uropeltine interrelationships using parsimony is performed using characters derived from skull structure. The basal position of the genus Melanophidium is confirmed; Pseudotyphlops is a relatively derived uropeltine, in spite of its relatively large size. The monophyly of the genera Melanophidium and Rhinophis requires further testing.