The blindsnakes (Family Typhlopidae) are a diverse and widespread group of snakes with a near global distribution. They are known for their fossorial and cryptic habits making them one of the less frequently encountered groups of reptiles, which has resulted in little attention from researchers until recent years. With 44 currently recognized species, the blindsnake genus Anilios is the most widely represented snake genera in Australia. In this study, I describe a new species of Anilios known only from two specimens collected from offshore islands in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. I also discuss some recent taxonomic and nomenclatural changes in the genus, and return two recently resurrected species to their former synonymy. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of morphological characteristics, in particular the absence of a caudal tail spine, midbody scales in 18 rows, ovate shape of rostral scale, position of nostril very close to the rostro–nasal suture, and path and termination point of the nasal cleft at the rostral scale. The description of a new Anilios species increases the number of currently recognized Anilios species to 45, a number likely to increase with further taxonomic study. The new species also further establishes the Kimberley region as an area of high species diversity and endemism.
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Vol. 72 • No. 3