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Ahaetulla nasuta (LACÉPÈDE, 1789)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Ahaetuliinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Long-nosed Tree Snake, Green vine snake, Long-nosed Whip Snake
G: Nasenpeitschennatter, Baumschnüffler 
SynonymColuber nasutus LACÉPÈDE 1789: 277
Dryophis nasuta LACÉPÈDE 1789
Coluber mycterizans RUSSELL 1796 (not LINNAEUS, fide SMITH 1943)
Ahaetulla mycterizans — LINK 1807
Dryinus nasutus — MERREM 1820: 159
Dryophis hammatorhynchus FITZINGER 1826: 61 (nom. subst. pro C. myct.)
Dryiophis nasuta — SCHLEGEL 1837: 159
Dryinus nasutus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 809
Dryophis mycterizans — BOULENGER 1890 (fide SMITH 1943)
Dryophis mycterizans tephrogaster WALL 1908: 783 (fide SMITH 1943)
Dryophis mycterizans cineroventer WALL 1908: 919 (fide SMITH 1943)
Dryophis mycterizans rhodonotus WALL 1921 (fide SMITH 1943)
Passerita nasuta — COCHRAN 1930: 32
Dryophis nasutus — SMITH 1943: 376
Dryophis nasutus — SHARMA 1976
Ahaetulla nasuta — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 311
Ahaetulla nasuta — COX et al. 1998: 69
Ahaetulla nasutus — SHARMA 2004
Ahaetulla nautus [sic] — VYAS 2007
Ahaetulla nasuta — COX et al. 2012: 92
Ahaetulla nasuta — WALLACH et al. 2014: 20
Ahaetulla cf. nasuta — GANESH et al. 2018
Ahaetulla nasuta tephrogaster — DEEPAK et al. 2019
Ahaetulla nasuta rhodogaster — DEEPAK et al. 2019
Ahaetulla nasuta rhodonota — DEEPAK et al. 2019
Ahaetulla nasuta — MALLIK et al. 2020
Ahaetulla nasuta — DAVID et a. 2022 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: “à Malabar, à Ceylan, à Pondichery, au Bengale, à Java, aux îles Philippines et aux Mariannes”, restricted to Ceylon [= Sri Lanka] by Smith (1943).

rhodonotus: Type locality: “Galatura estate (500 to 1000 feet)” now Galatura (6.7088 °N 80.2866 °E), Ratnapura District, Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka.  
Reproductionovoviviparous (5-15 live offspring) 
TypesHolotype: NMSL fide KDANDAMBY 1997, unknown (fide NGUYEN et al. 2009) (for Dryophis nasuta)
Syntype: Plate XIII in Russell 1796, vol. I [Dryinus russellianus]
Holotype: Plate XIII in Russell 1796, vol. I [Dryophis passericki]
Holotype: unknown [cineroventer] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This is a species of Ahaetulla with a rostral appendage (vs. absent in A. dispar, A. perroteti, A. travancorica sp. nov.; vs. long multi-scaled rostral appendage in A. pulverulenta, A. sahyadrensis nom. nov. & A. anomala), possessing a white ventrolateral stripe (vs. absent in A. pulverulenta, A. sahyadrensis nom. nov.); lacking a loreal scale (vs. present in A. dispar and A. travancorica sp. nov.); 6 pre-diastemal and 6 postdiastemal maxillary teeth (vs. 7 and 9 in A. isabellina comb. nov., vs. 6 and 7 in A. malabarica sp. nov., vs. 6 and 11 in A. farnsworthi sp. nov., vs. 6 and 8 in A. borealis sp. nov., vs. 7 and 7 in A. oxyrhyncha comb. nov.); having usually green body colouration (vs. usually grey-brown in A. sahyadrensis nom. nov.; adult females usually brownish in A. anomala, A. dispar and A. perroteti) (Fig. 6e & 7, Table 2, Mallik et al. 2020: 13). 
CommentDiet: lizards and other vertebrates

Type species: Coluber nasuta Lacépède, 1789 [as Ahaetulla mycterizans Link, 1807] is the type species of the genus Ahaetulla LINK 1807. Ahaetulla LINK 1807 is the type genus of the subfamily Ahaetuliinae FIGUEROA et al. 2016. The subfamily contains 4 genera: Ahaetulla, Chrysopelea, Dendrelaphis, and Dryophiops. For a table of diagnostic characters comparing the 4 genera of Ahaetuliinae see Mallik et al. 2019: 10 (Table 3). See also discussion in Mallik et al. 2020: 12.

Synonymy: partly after David et al. 2022. Dryophis mycterizans var. anomalus has been listed as a synonym of Ahaetulla nasuta, e.g. by Wallach et al. 2014: 20 but was revalidated by Mohapatra et al. 2017. Dryinus fuscus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 812 was removed from the synonymy of nasuta and revalidated by David et al. 2022. Dryophis mycterizans tephrogaster was considered a synonym of A. nasuta (by Smith 1943) or a nomen dubium by David et al. 2022. Wall (1909: 269) stated in an erratum that the taxon cinereoventer was a lapsus calami for tephrogaster and it seems that he wanted to translate a Greek word into Latin.

Ahaetulla nasuta is a variable species and polymorphic in colour. However, some morphs have been re-described as other species (Mallik et al. 2020).

Nomenclature: SAVAGE (2003) suggested to reject Lacepède’s (1788) “Histoire Naturelle des Quadrupèdes Ovipares” as a non-binominal work (Case 3226; Bull. Zool. Nom. 60 (2)). In 1987 the ICZN ruled accordingly in opinions 1463 and 2104. Thus the author of this species has been changed to BONNATERRE 1790 by some authors (although the name is not mentioned in BONNATERRE :( In 1958 the ICZN placed the name Coluber nasuta Lacepede on the Official List of Specific Names in Zoology (Opinion 524). This listing is not affected by the ICZN’s later suppression of Lacepede’s 1789 Serpens (Opinion 1463), hence the correct current name is Ahaetulla nasuta Lacepede, (1789).

Distribution: This species was previously considered very wide-spread until Mallik et al. 2020 restricted its range to Sri Lanka. Older literature reported this species from India (excluding the northwest; Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra (Nasrapur, Mahabaleshwar, Koyna, Karnataka (Castle Rock), Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala, Tripura), Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (= Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Bhutan, but populations from these countries are not assigned to other species. See map in Deepak et al. 2019: 499 (Fig. 1) and Mallik et al. 2020: 14 (Fig. 4, where nasuta is only shown from 2 locations in Sri Lanka).

Type locality: “The type locality given by Wallach et al. (2014: 19) and followed by Mallik et al. (2020), cited as “à Malabar, à Ceylan, à Pondichery, au Bengale, à Java, aux îles Philippines et aux Mariannes” is erroneous. In contrast to what wrote the same authors, Smith (1943) did not restrict the type locality to “Ceylon,” namely Sri Lanka.” (David et al. 2022)

Phylogenetics: Support for monophyly of Ahaetuliinae is very strong (SHL = 100) as also reported in Pyron et al. Ahaetuliinae is further split into two monophyletic groups: 1) Dryophiops and Ahaetulla (SHL = 96) and; 2) Chrysopelea and Dendrelaphis (SHL = 100).

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyFrom Latin, nasuta = ‘of the nose’ an adjective alluding to its elongate snout. 
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