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First records of the Brahminy blindsnake, Indotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803) (Squamata: Typhlopidae) from Malta with genetic and morphological evidence

Adriana Vella* , Noel Vella, Clare Marie Mifsud, Denis Magro

Abstract

This publication reports the first two records of the Brahminy blindsnake Indotyphlops braminus (Daudin, 1803), representing a new alien species in Malta. This species, native to Indo-Malayan region, has over the years broadened its distribution through anthropogenic international transportation of goods. Its unique parthenogenic reproductive strategy increases its potential for fast population expansion, becoming invasive. The two specimens analysed in this study were found in May, 2020, and were identified through external morphology and genetic sequencing of 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA and COI genes. These sequences were compared to other genetic data available for I. braminus from other locations, where it was found that the mitochondrial DNA variation for this species is very low at a global scale.

Keywords

Indotyphlops braminus, introduced species, reptiles, mtDNA

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