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Acanthophis wellsi HOSER, 1998

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymAcanthophis wellsei HOSER 1998
Acanthophis wellsi — APLIN & DONNELLAN 1999 (emendation)
Acanthophis wellsi — FRY et al. 2002
Aggressiserpens wellsi — WELLS 2002
Acanthophis wellsei donnellani HOSER 2002
Acanthophis wellsi — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Acanthophis wellsi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 4
Acanthophis wellsei — COGGER 2014: 859
Acanthophis wellsi — MIRTSCHIN et al. 2017 
DistributionAustralia (Hamersleys and Chichester Range of the Pilbara)

Type locality: Blue Asbestos Mine, Wittenoom Gorge, Western Australia (22°15’S 118°23’E)  
TypesHolotype: WAM R8886, (KH Burton, no date of collection, but accessioned 26.xi.1945) 
CommentSynonymy: Not listed by COGGER 2000. The name was emended to wellsi as the species was described in honor of Richard Wells. Acanthophis wellsi donnellani HOSER 2002 may be a synonym of A. wellsi (WÜSTER, pers. comm. 15 Dec 2010).

EtymologyNamed after Richard C. Wells, herpetologist who works closely with Ross Wellington. 
  • Aplin, K. P. & Donnellan,S.C. 1999. An extended description of the Pilbara death adder, Acanthophis wellsi Hoser (Serpentes: Elapidae), with notes on the desert death adder, A.Pyrrhus Boulenger, and identification of a possible hybrid zone. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 19: 277-298 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • BUSH, BRIAN B 2017. Additions to the description of Paroplocephalus atriceps (Serpentes: Elapidae) with a discussion on pupil shape in it and other Australian snakes. Zootaxa 4344 (2): 333-344 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Fry, Bryan G.; Janith C. Wickramaratna, Wayne C. Hodgson, Paul F. Alewood, R. M. Kini, Hao Ho and Wolfgang Wüster 2002. Electrospray liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry fingerprinting of Acanthophis (death adder) venoms: taxonomic and toxinological implications. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 16 (6): 600-8. - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 1998. Death Adders (Genus Acanthophis): An overview, including descriptions of five new species and one subspecies. Monitor 9 (2): 20-41 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2002. Death adders (genus Acanthophis): an updated overview, including description of 3 new island species and 2 new Australian suspecies. Crocodilian, 4 (1): 5-7, 9-11, 14, 16-22, 24-30. - get paper here
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • MADDOCK, SIMON T.; RYAN J. ELLIS, PAUL DOUGHTY, LAWRENCE A. SMITH & WOLFGANG WÜSTER 2015. A new species of death adder (Acanthophis: Serpentes: Elapidae) from north-western Australia. Zootaxa 4007 (3): 301–326 - get paper here
  • Mirtschin, P., Rasmussen, A.R. & Weinstein, S.A. 2017. Australia’s Dangerous snakes. CSIRO Publishing, 424 pp. - get paper here
  • Ukuwela, K.D.B., de Silva, A., Sivaruban, A. et al. 2022. Diversity, distribution, and natural history of the marine snakes of Sri Lanka. Marine Biodiversity 52, 24 (2022) - 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.
  • 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.
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