Rhinophis blythii Kelaart, 1853

Pyron, Robert Alexander, Ganesh, Sumaithangi Rajagopalan, Sayyed, Amit, Sharma, Vivek, Wallach, Van & Somaweera, Ruchira, 2016, A catalogue and systematic overview of the shield-tailed snakes (Serpentes: Uropeltidae), Zoosystema 38 (4), pp. 453-506: 480

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.5252/z2016n4a2

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:BFFD82EF-50C9-42BF-8493-DF57591EA4FF

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/03A82A47-8306-FF9E-FED4-FF62FE637D3E

treatment provided by

Felipe

scientific name

Rhinophis blythii Kelaart, 1853
status

 

Rhinophis blythii Kelaart, 1853  

( Fig. 6F View FIG )

Rhinophis blythii Kelaart, 1853: 106   . Three syntypes, apparently lost fide Gans (1966). Based on the rampant nomenclatural ambiguity and taxonomic uncertainty in uropeltids, we deem it of the utmost importance for an unambiguous type specimen to be associated with each name. The next available synonym for Rhinophis blythii   is Mytilia templetonii Gray, 1858   , with two syntypes, BMNH 1946.1.1.45-46. Having examined it and confirmed its identity as Kelaart’s R. blythii   , we designate BMNH 1946.1.1.45 as the neotype of R. blythii   . Type locality: originally ‘mountains of Ceylon’. Neotype locality: ‘Ceylon’. This may need to be further restricted by future revisers (see Remarks).

Mytilia templetonii Gray, 1858a: 261   . Syntypes:BMNH 1946.1.1.45- 46 (3 specimens). Type locality: ‘Ceylon’ ( Sri Lanka). Designated as a junior subjective synonym by Beddome (1886); designated as an objective junior synonym here. See Gray (1858a).

DISTRIBUTION. — This species has a relatively large range in the wet zone of Sri Lanka, c. 300-1360 m ( Wallach et al. 2014). Known fom Central, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces ( De Silva, 1980; Das & de Silva, 2005; Somaweera, 2006). Earlier records from Southwest Sri Lanka are likely to be Rhinophis erangaviraji ( Wickramasinghe et al. 2009)   .

DESCRIPTION

Maximum total length c. 370 mm, ventrals 148-168, subcaudals 5-9, dorsal scales in 17 rows at midbody (see Smith 1943). Color pattern typically dark brown to black dorsal and ventral coloration, a V-shaped yellow mark on the dorsal surface of the head (apex pointed towards snout) and vertical rows of yellow spots or partial crossbands on the anterior portion of the body, yellow pigment on the ventral scales, and a yellow ring around the base of the tail. Historically confused with Rhinophis erangaviraji   .

REMARKS

One of the more widely distributed Rhinophis   species. After the neotype designation, the type locality is ‘Ceylon’ ( Sri Lanka). Given the wide range of this species, its previous confusion with other similar taxa (e.g., Rhinophis erangaviraji   ), revision of this locality is needed to clarify the status of the name R. blythii   . We did not compare specimens from multiple populations to assign a new locality for the neotype, but such an action will likely be needed in the future after phylogeographic revision.

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Reptilia

Order

Squamata

Family

Uropeltidae

Genus

Rhinophis

Loc

Rhinophis blythii Kelaart, 1853

Pyron, Robert Alexander, Ganesh, Sumaithangi Rajagopalan, Sayyed, Amit, Sharma, Vivek, Wallach, Van & Somaweera, Ruchira 2016
2016
Loc

Mytilia templetonii

GRAY J. E. 1858: 261
1858
Loc

Rhinophis blythii

KELAART E. F. 1853: 106
1853