Xenochrophis schnurrenbergeri Kramer, 1977

Published, First, 2012, 3473, Zootaxa 3473, pp. 1-60: 37-38

publication ID

3D1227F1-4953-4EEA-8600-FE1F117D1B08

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persistent identifier

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scientific name

Xenochrophis schnurrenbergeri Kramer, 1977
status

 

Xenochrophis schnurrenbergeri Kramer, 1977  

Fig. 32

Xenochrophis flavipunctatus schnurrenbergeri Kramer, 1977: 750   , pl. 3, fig. 16–17.—Type locality. “ Nepal, 83°28' 27°30', 150 m ”, precised here as being in a perimeter within 10 km of an airfield at the Indian-Nepalese border, near Bhairahawa , Rupandehi District, Central Region, Nepal.— Holotype. MHNG 1377.44.

Taxonomic comments. The distinctiveness of this northern population was overlooked by herpetologists before Kramer (1977). Smith (1943) examined a specimen from Assam but misidentified it as X. piscator flavomaculatus   . Xenochrophis schnurrenbergeri   occurs at the northern limits of the range of X. piscator   , with which it lives in sympatry over most of its range. This species was described from Nepal as X. flavipunctatus schnurrenbergeri Kramer, 1977   , and was raised to species rank by Vogel & David (2007). Beyond Nepal, we refer to this species numerous specimens from Pakistan and northern India, from localities close to the Himalayas. Recently this taxon was discussed by Purkayastha et al. (2010) and Mohapatra et al. (2010).

Identification. Body cylindrical, stout; tail quite short for this group. Maximum recorded total length 895 mm for female (MNHN 1962. 0207); males appear to be shorter (maximum length females / males 1.23), largest male with total length 700 mm (MNHN 1962.0202). Tail 25.7–28.3% of total length in males, 21.5–23.6% in females. Head distinct from neck, eye size average, i.e. diameter more or less equal to distance between edge of upper lip and lower margin of eye.

Dorsal scales in 19–19–17 rows, weekly keeled except the outer two to four rows, smooth; vertebral scales not enlarged. Ventral scales: 132–139 in males, 141–152 in females, unkeeled; subcaudals: 71–80 in males, 61–70 in females, unkeeled and paired; anal plate divided. Head scalation includes 1 loreal, 1 preocular (2 in 10 cases!), 3 postoculars, 2 (1 in one case) anterior temporals, and 2 (1 in one case and 3 in one case) posterior temporals, 9 supralabials (in one case 8, in two cases 10), with 4 th to 5 th (in one case the 3 rd and 4 th in one case the 5 th and 6 th) contacting eye, 10 (rarely 11 in one case 9) infralabials, with anteriormost 5 (in three cases 4) touching anterior chin shields.

Dorsum grey, brown or olive above, with several rows of thick black markings along body; anterior blotches very large, getting smaller posteriorly, partly alternating. Sometimes these blotches small on the whole of body. Two oblique black lines on each side of head, one below, other behind eye. Broad, straight black transversal bar on neck. Venter whitish-brown or yellowish-brown ( Kramer 1977; our data).

Distribution. Pakistan. Recorded from the southeastern part of the country, in the Sindh Region Province. Nepal. Known from the southern part of the country. India. Northern and eastern part of the country, from the states of Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Orissa ( Mohapatra et al. 2010).

Discussion. Kramer (1977) had 36 specimens to hand, of which we examined 16, including the holotype. Kramer did not designate paratypes, but the other 35 specimens, which all originated form the proximity of the type locality, might be regarded as paratypes. In the diagnosis Kramer noticed two differences between his subspecies X. f. schnurrenbergeri   and other populations of X. flavipunctatus   , namely the broad straight mark on the neck and the coloration of the ventrals, which are only mottled black laterally, whereas those of X. flavipunctatus   have dark margins. Kramer gave a maximum length of males of 580 mm and females of 730 mm. Both values are below our findings for populations from Pakistan, but the relative maximum length of females to males is nearly the same (1.26 vs. 1.23). Kramer provided the following scale counts (our values in brackets): ventrals males (n = 16) 131– 137 (132–139), ventrals females (n = 19) 140–148 (141–152), subcaudals males (n = 16) 72–76 (71–80), subcaudals females (n = 19) 63–69 (61–70). Kramer did not note how he counted ventrals. Both ranges for the ventrals start one scale below our ranges. Otherwise the counts fit well with our results, so that there is obviously only little geographical variation in these characters. All other characters given by Kramer also agree well with our description given above. Purkayastha et al. (2010) discussed 10 specimens from Assam, India. Beside the differences in ventral and subcaudal counts, these authors found differences in colouration, size, shape of the head and shape of the hemipenis to X. piscator   . Their scale counts lie within those given here. Mohapatra et al. (2010) discussed a new locality in Orissa (Pattamundei Kendrapara [20°34'42.74''N; 86°34'20.95''E]). The pholidosis of their female lies inside of the range as given here.

Material examined (37 specimens). India. State of West Bengal. BMNH 1911.9.8.1, Jalpaiguri, Jalpaiguri District. State of Uttar Pradesh. ZMH R04811 View Materials , “Benares, Ganges”, now Varanasi, Ganges River ; ZMH R04814 View Materials , Nishangara.— Nepal. Western Region . MHNG 1377.39–40, MHNG 1377.43, MHNG 1377.44 (holotype), MHNG 1377.46–47, MHNG 1377.52, MHNG 1377.54–57, MHNG 1377.59–60, MHNG 1377.65, MHNG 1377.68, MHNG 1377.71, “Nepal 83°28' / 27°30', 150 m ”, within 10 km around an airfield at the Indian-Nepalese border, near Bhairahawa , Rupandehi District , Lumbini Zone.—Pakistan. Sind Province. MNHN 1962.0192 View Materials 93 View Materials , MNHN 1962.0195 View Materials , MNHN 1962.0197 View Materials 98 View Materials , MNHN 1962.0202 View Materials 10 View Materials , MNHN 1962.0211 View Materials (1–2), “Mir Pur Sakro”, now Mirpur Sakro , Thatta District . MNHN 1962.0200 View Materials , Thatta , Thatta District .—No locality. BMNH 60.3.19.1329, “Mesopotamia” (currently corresponding to modern-day Iraq , north-eastern Syria , south-eastern Turkey and southwestern Iran )   .

ZMH

Zoologisches Museum Hamburg

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Reptilia

Order

Squamata

Family

Natricidae

Genus

Xenochrophis

Loc

Xenochrophis schnurrenbergeri Kramer, 1977

Published, First 2012
2012
Loc

Xenochrophis flavipunctatus schnurrenbergeri

Kramer, E. 1977: 750
1977