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Acanthophis praelongus RAMSAY, 1877

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Northern death adder
G: Nördliche Todesotter 
SynonymAcanthophis praelongus RAMSAY 1877: 72
Acanthophis praelongus — COGGER 2000: 634
Acanthophis praelongus — SCHMIDT & KUNZ 2005: 75
Acanthophis praelongus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 4
Acanthophis praelongus — ELLIS et al. 2021 
DistributionIndonesia (Ceram = Seram, Tanimbar, Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea; Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia)

Type locality: Somerset, Cape York, Queensland, Australia  
TypesHolotype: AMS 451, presented W. Powell 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderately stout Acanthophis, intermediate between A. antarcticus and A. pyrrhus in several respects (coloration, habit, rugosity of head shields, keeling of dorsals and number of ventrals and subcaudals). Distinguishable from A. pyrrhus by darker coloration, stronger colour pattern, smooth or nearly smooth posterior dorsals, undivided prefrontals, and more numerous midbody scales (usually 23, v. usually 19 or 21). Distinguishable from A. antarcticus by head shields more rugose, strongly keeled anterior dorsals, free edge of supraocular often raised, lower fourth labial (not much higher than wide), and dorsal scale rows usually fewer on neck than at midbody (Storr 1981: 209).

For a table of characters see Ellis et al. 2021: 165. 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983, who also listed Acanthophis antarcticus rugosus LOVERIDGE 1948 as a synonym of A. praelongus. Closely related to A. antarcticus according to WÜSTER (2004). See also entry of A. laevis.

  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • ELLIS, RYAN J.; HINRICH KAISER, SIMON T. MADDOCK, PAUL DOUGHTY & WOLFGANG WÜSTER 2021. An evaluation of the nomina for death adders (Acanthophis Daudin, 1803) proposed by Wells & Wellington (1985), and confirmation of A. cryptamydros Maddock et al., 2015 as the valid name for the Kimberley death adder Zootaxa 4995 (1): 161–172 - get paper here
  • Escoriza Boj, D. 2005. Australia. Reptiles and Amphibians, Part 2: Desert and tropical savanna. Reptilia (GB) (41): 52-57 - get paper here
  • Iskandar, Djoko T. and Walter R. Erdelen 2006. Conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Indonesia: issues and problems. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 4 (1): 60-87 - get paper here
  • Lillywhite, H.B. 2022. Discovering snakes in wild places. ECO Publishing, Rodeo, NM, 164 pp. - get paper here
  • Mayer, M. 2014. Von Schlangen, Kröten und Krokodilen im tropischen „Top End“ Australiens. Ein Reise- und Studienbericht. Reptilia (Münster) 19 (110): 76-85
  • O'Shea,M. 1996. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Independent Publishing, Port Moresby, xii + 239 pp. - get paper here
  • Ramsay, E. P. 1877. Description of a supposed new species of Acanthophis from North Australia. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 2: 72-74. - get paper here
  • Schmidt, D. & Kunz, K. 2005. Ernährung von Schlangen. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 159 pp. - get paper here
  • Shine R, Spencer CL, Keogh JS 2014. Morphology, Reproduction and Diet in Australian and Papuan Death Adders (Acanthophis, Elapidae). PLoS ONE 9(4): e94216 - get paper here
  • Shine, Richard; Claire Goiran, Catherine Shilton, Shai Meiri, Gregory P Brown 2019. The life aquatic: an association between habitat type and skin thickness in snakes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, blz136 - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. 2009. Snakes of Darwin. Poster, University of Sydney
  • Storr, G. M. 1981. The genus Acanthophis (Serpentes : Elapidae) in Western Australia. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 9: 203-210 - get paper here
  • Switak, Karl H. 2006. Adventures in Green Python Country. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 364 pp. - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Webb, J.K. 2004. Pregnancy Decreases Swimming Performance of Female Northern Death Adders (Acanthophis praelongus) Copeia 2004 (2): 357-363. - get paper here
  • Wells, Richard W. 2002. Taxonomy the Genus Acanthophis (Reptilia: Elapidae) in Australia. Australian Biodiversity Record (5): 1-16
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Wüster, Wolfgang; Alex J. Dumbrell; Chris Hay; Catharine E. Pook; David J. Williams and Bryan Grieg Fry 2004. Snakes across the Strait: trans-Torresian phylogeographic relationships in three genera of Australasian snakes (Serpentes: Elapidae: Acanthophis, Oxyuranus, and Pseudechis). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 33 (3): 1-14 - get paper here
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