Macrocalamus schulzi, SCHULZI VOGEL & DAVID, 1999

Quah, Evan S H, Anuar, Shahrul, Grismer, Lee L, Wood, Perry L & Mohd Nor, Siti Azizah, 2020, Systematics and natural history of mountain reed snakes (genus Macrocalamus; Calamariinae), Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 188 (4), pp. 1236-1236 : 1236-

publication ID 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz092

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Macrocalamus schulzi




( FIG. 11 View Figure 11 )

Macrocalamus schulzi Vogel & David, 1999: 309–332 .

Macrocalamus lateralis (non Macrocalamus lateralis Gunther, 1864 ): Smith, 1930: 57 (in part.); Tweedie, 1953: 53 (in part.), 1957: 55 (in part.), 1983: 60 (in part.); Lim, 1963: 100 (in part.), 1967: 122, 124 (in part.); Lardner, 1994: 7.

Macrocalamus cf. lateralis: Manthey & Grossmann, 1997: 366 , fig. 274.

Macrocalamus schulzi Lim et al., 2002: 54 ; Norsham & Lim, 2002: 88; David & Pauwels, 2004: 643; Das, 2010: 285, pl. 48.

Holotype: ZFMK 51159 View Materials . Type locality: ‘ Tanah Rata (~ 4°29′N, 101°23′E), Cameron Highlands, Pahang, Malaysia’ at ~ 1500 m elevation. GoogleMaps

Diagnosis: Adults reach 342 mm SVL, 399 mm TL. Head triangular, strongly tapered, indistinct from neck; rostral longer than broad, triangular, visible from above, separating nasals and contacting prefrontals; internasals absent; nasals entire, pentagonal; nostril piercing lower margin of nasal, adjacent to upper margin of first supralabial; one pair of prefrontals; one preocular; one supraocular; one postocular; suboculars absent; 1 + 2 temporals; one elongate loreal; eight supralabials, with second, third and fourth touching loreal scale, fourth and fifth entering orbit; seven infralabials, first pair in contact, first to fourth touching first chin shield; 15 dorsal scale rows at midbody; dorsal scales smooth; 114–136 ventrals (males 114–125, females 119–136); single cloacal scale; 17–31 divided subcaudals (males 23–31, females 17–27) ( Vogel & David, 1999; David & Pauwels, 2004; present study).

Coloration in life: In the adults, the dorsum is a uniform brown, with some scales bearing lemon yellow on their anterior edge and darker brown on the posterior edge, creating a fine yellow netting pattern. The outer dorsal scale row is pale yellow and mottled with brown below. The throat and venter are yellow, with the outer edges of each ventral scale light brown, forming broad, indistinct stripes bordering the lateral edges of the ventrals. The tail is uniformly brown, and the subcaudals are yellow and brown laterally. The head is brown above, with a light yellow temporal streak extending from behind each eye, across the parietals to contact the yellow throat and supralabials. There are two to four faint, oblique yellow stripes parallel to the temporal streak on the neck. A faint, dark median, zig-zag subcaudal stripe is present in some specimens. In the juveniles, the patterning is more vivid, with the colour of the dorsum being a darker shade of brown and the temporal streak and oblique streaks on the neck and body much bolder ( Vogel & David, 1999; David & Pauwels, 2004; present study). Juveniles are much darker, and the ground colour of the body is greyish to dark brown, and they have ≤ 12 oblique parallel streaks on the neck and body that fade in adulthood. Posterior to these streaks is a row of light yellow dorsolateral spots extending to the tip of the tail ( Vogel & David, 1999: pl. 4).

Distribution: This species is known only from the Cameron Highlands plateau, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia from 1000 to 1800 m

Natural history: This is a semifossorial snake known from both cloud forest and agricultural areas. Specimen LSUHC 11707 was collected beneath leaf litter and under damp sphagnum moss in the mossy forest of Gunung Brinchang at night, but the species has also been taken from nearby vegetable farms and tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands. Specimen LSUHC 12611 was found crawling on the ground in a tea plantation in Habu at ~09.30 h. Vogel & David (1999) observed that snakes were frequently found dead on the roads in the morning, and we can corroborate these findings because specimens LSUHC 10982 and 11672 were found dead on the road near the tea plantations at Sungai Palas during the morning. This secretive, terrestrial species was considered nocturnal and has been observed abroad at night on roads or along their sides ( Lardner, 1994), and E.S.H.Q. has observed snakes active during early mornings, at which time fresh road-killed specimens were found. Little is known about the diet of M. schulzi , but Vogel & David (1999) believed that specimens mentioned by Lim (1967) and Smedley (1931a) as M. lateralis but most probably referable to this species contained insect larvae, cockroaches and earthworms in their gut. Captive specimens kept by Vogel & David (1999) refused crickets, earthworms and baby mice, and a female laid four eggs. These authors also recorded Calliophis intestinalis (recorded as Maticora intestinalis in their paper) as a known predator of M. schulzi when a road-killed specimen was found with half of the body of an M. schulzi hanging out of its mouth. In the Cameron Highlands plateau, this species coexists with Co. williamsoni , Calamaria lumbricoidea , Calamaria lovii gimletti , Calamaria schlegeli , M. tweediei , M. cf. chanardi 1, M. emas and P. longiceps ( Lim et al., 2002) . Vogel & David (1999) report the scincid lizard Larutia trifasciata (Tweedie, 1940) occurring in the same biotope as M. schulzi , and we have collected it in sympatry with another scincid, Sphenomorphus senja Grismer & Quah, 2015 , and the snakes Co. williamsoni , M. emas and M. tweediei .

Relationships: Vogel & David (1999) presumed that the nearest relative of M. schulzi was M. chanardi , which at the time was referred to as M. lateralis before its description as a distinct species. Our molecular data reveal that the closest relative of M. schulzi is M. gentingensis , from which it differs genetically by only 2% (Table 3) despite the adults of both species being different in appearance.

Material examined: Peninsular Malaysia, Pahang, Cameron Highlands, Tanah Rata LSUHC 12148, 12603, 12604 and 12628, USMHC 1953; Cameron Highlands, Gunung Brinchang LSUHC 10982 and 11707; Cameron Highlands, Sungai Palas LSUHC 11672; Cameron Highlands, Habu LSUHC 12611.


La Sierra University, Herpetological Collection














Macrocalamus schulzi

Quah, Evan S H, Anuar, Shahrul, Grismer, Lee L, Wood, Perry L & Mohd Nor, Siti Azizah 2020

Macrocalamus schulzi

Das I 2010: 285
David P & Pauwels OSG 2004: 643
Lim KKP & Leong TM & Lim BL 2002: 54
Norsham Y & Lim BL 2002: 88

Macrocalamus schulzi

Vogel G & David P 1999: 332

Macrocalamus cf. lateralis: Manthey & Grossmann, 1997: 366

Manthey U & Grossmann W 1997: 366

Macrocalamus lateralis

Lardner B 1994: 7
Lim BL 1963: 100
Tweedie MWF 1953: 53
Smith MA 1930: 57
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