Myriopholis algeriensis

Image source: Bouazza, A. et al. (2018)

Range: northwestern Africa, from Libya to The Gambia and Morocco

 

The Algerian or Beaked threadsnake is a species with a pockmarked distribution around the western end of the Sahara desert, recorded from vegetated patches near the Algeria/Libya border and the eastern plateaus of Morocco south to the savannah edges in The Gamiba; its range may be larger or more continuous but little research in the area contributes to lack of knowledge on this species. It can reach up to 28.5 cm in length, with a blunt rounded head just barely broader than the body and bearing a pronounced, outward-angled rostral scale, and an extremely thin body profile with a lengthy (for a threadsnake) blunt tail tipped in a sharp spur. Scale row count is 14 mid-body, 10 around the tail, and dorsal count ranges from 490-570. Coloration is a brownish to bright fleshy or pink color both dorsally and ventrally. This species can be distinguished from its relatives by the notably enlarged rostral scale for which the “beaked” title originates.

 

Habitat: locations of higher moisture within semi-arid and arid regions such as wadis, oases, or water-collecting escarpments around the desert borders, but is restricted northward by the higher Atlas mountains. Often found under stones and sparse litter or loose soil.

 

Prey: unknown, but likely ant and termite larvae.

 

Lifespan and reproduction: unknown, likely under 7 years. Oviparous, lays eggs a few months after the mating season in and around May during the rainy season.

 

Sources: Bouazza, A. et al. (2018). New records in Morocco and predictive distribution modeling for the rare Algerian thread-snake: Myriopholis algeriensis (Jacquet, 1895). Bulletin de la Société chimique de France, 166: 43-50.

http://www.moroccoherps.com/en/ficha/myriopholis_algeriensis/

https://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Myriopholis&species=algeriensis

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