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Archelaphe bella (STANLEY, 1917)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesArchelaphe bella bella (STANLEY 1917)
Archelaphe bella chapaensis (BOURRET 1934) 
Common NamesBella Rat Snake
E: Burmese Rat Snake (leonardi)
G: Leonards Kletternatter (leonardi) 
SynonymCoronella bella STANLEY 1917
Coluber leonardi WALL 1921: 43
Coluber leonardi — WALL 1923: 467
Wallophis bella — WERNER 1929
Coronella bella — MELL 1931 [1929]
Elaphe porphyracea leonardi — ANGEL & BOURRET, 1933: 134
Elaphe leonardi — SMITH 1943: 156
Oligodon bella — DING & ZHENG 1974
Oligodon bellus — ZHAO et al., 1977: 64
Elaphe leonardi — SCHULZ 1996
Wallophis bella — WELCH
Oligodon bellus — JIANG et al. 2006
Oligodon bellus — ZHAO 2006
Maculophis bella — BURBRINK & LAWSON 2007
Elaphe bella — SANG et al. 2009
Archelaphe bella — SCHULZ et al. 2011
Archelaphe bellus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 54

Maculophis bella chapaensis (BOURRET 1934)
Elaphe leonardi chapaensis BOURRET 1934
Elaphe leonardi leonardi WALL 1921
Elaphe bella chapaensis — SCHULZ et al. 2000
Maculophis bella chapaensis — ORLOV et al. 2010
Maculophis bellus chapaensis — DAS 2010: 285
Archelaphe bella chapaensis — SCHULZ et al. 2011 
DistributionChina (Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian, Sichuan, Yunnan), Myanmar (Burma: Kachin), Vietnam (Lao Cai, Lang Son, Bac Thai, Vinh Phuc, Ha Tinh), India (Assam, Nagaland)

leonardi: Myanmar (= Burma), Vietnam (Hong river); Type locality: Birma: Kachin, Sinlum Kaba (Wall, 1921)

chapaensis: Vietnam (Bac-Phan), Myanmar, China (W Yunnan); Type locality: near Chapa village (= Sa Pa), Bac Phan province, N Vietnam. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: SMNHC 717-17-1-525, Shanghai Museum of Natural History
Holotype: MNHN 1935 – 39 [chapaensis] 
CommentSynonymy: WERNER (1929) established Zamenis brachyura Günther, 1866 (currently Coronella brachyura) as the type species of Wallophis, and allocated also “Coronella (Wallophis) pulchra” to his new genus. Wallophis was revived in a non-peer reviewed journal (Litteratura Serpentium), without adequate justification (by Ken Welch) and is thus not recognized here. Coluber leonardi WALL 1921 is a synonym of Coronella bella STANLEY 1917 (= Elaphe bella) fide SCHULZ (2000). See SCHULZ et al. 2011 for a more extensive chresonymy.

Maculophis BURBRINK & LAWSON 2007 is a nomen nudum fide BÖHME & DE PURY 2011.

Type species: Coronella bella STANLEY 1917 is the type species of the genus Archelaphe SCHULZ, BÖHME & TILLACK 2011.

Diagnosis. An old, isolated clade of relatively small- growing ratsnakes (total length 800 – 1000 mm) within the collective genus Elaphe auct. which branched off af- ter the Rhadinophis and the EuprepiophisGOreocrypt- ophis clades (Burbrink and Lawson, 2007). From the lat- ter two genera, it is distinguished by (1) a weakly (vs. markedly) concave frontal shield; (2) a consistently lacking loreal shield (present in Oreocryptophis and Euprepiophis, lacking only excep- tionally in some E. mandarinus); (3) a dorsal head pattern of an anteriorly open V- or Y-shaped marking (vs. a posteriorly open V-shaped marking in Euprepiophis, or a longitudinal midline streak in Oreocryptophis); and (4) its hemipenis with a slightly expanded, calyculate and indistinctly asymmetrical apex (vs. subcylind- rical, spiny and bilobed in Oreocryptophis, and distinctly expanded, spiny and asymmetrically bipartite in Eupre- piophis mandarinus and perlaceus, subcylindrical in E. conspicillatus).
Moreover, Archelaphe can be distinguished from Euprepiophis: (5) the lesser number(40–63,only exceptionally up to 70) of subcaudal shields (vs. 60 – 80);
from Oreocryptophis: (6) the snout being 2.5 times longer than eye diameter (vs. 3 times in O. porphyraceus), and (7) by the 3rd and 4th labials contacting the (vs. 4th and 5th labial in O. porphyraceus, 3rd and 4th being an extremely rare exception). 
EtymologyDerived from the Greek word archaios (= old), archaic, in reference to the basal position of the Archelaphe clade in the phylogenetic tree of Elaphe auct. 
References
  • Böhme, W. & De Pury,S. 2011. A note on the generic allocation of Coluber moilensis REUSS 1834 (Serpentes: Psammophiidae). Salamandra 47 (2): 120-123 - get paper here
  • Burbrink, Frank T. and Robin Lawson 2007. How and when did Old World ratsnakes disperse into the New World?. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43 (1): 173-189 - get paper here
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • Ding, HAN BO, and JI ZHENG. 1974. Snakes of Fujian Province (in Chinese). Publ. Dept. Biol. Fujian Nor-mal Univ., Fuzhou. (6), 93, (1) pages
  • Jiang, Ai-wu; Zhou, Fang; Liu, Hong; Wang, Shao-neng. 2006. A new record of snake, Oligodon bellus, in Guangxi autonomous region. Sichuan Journal of Zoology 25(2):271. [In Chinese] - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • Orlov, Nikolai L.; Sergei A. Ryabov, Tao Thien Nguyen, and Truong Quang Nguyen 2010. Rediscovery and Redescription of Two Rare Snake Species: Oligodon lacroixi Angel et Bourret, 1933 and Maculophis bellus chapaensis (Bourret, 1934) [Squamata: Ophidia: Colubridae] from Fansipan Mountains, Northern Vietnam. Russ. J. Herpetol. 17 (4): 310-322 - get paper here
  • Sang, Nguyen Van; Ho Thu Cuc, Nguyen, Quang Truong 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Schulz, K. D. 1996. Eine Monographie der Schlangengattung Elaphe Fitzinger. Bushmaster, Berg (CH): 1-460
  • Schulz, Klaus-Dieter 1996. A monograph of the colubrid snakes of the genus Elaphe Fitzinger. Koeltz Scientific Books, 439 pp.
  • Schulz, Klaus-Dieter; Wolfgang Böhme, Frank Tillack 2011. Hemipenis Morphology of Coronella Bella Stanley, 1917 with Comments on Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Issues of Ratsnakes (Squamata: Colubridae: Colubrinae: Elaphe Auct.). Russ. J. Herpetol. 18 (4): 273–283<br /> - get paper here
  • Schulz,D.; Helfenberger, N.; Rao, D.Q. & Cen, J. 2000. Eine verkannte Colubridenart, Elaphe bella (STANLEY 1917). Sauria 22 (1): 11-18 - get paper here
  • Stanley, ARTHUR 1917. Two new species of Chinese snakes. Jour. North-China Branch Royal Asiatic Soc., Shanghai, 47 [1916]: 83-84
  • Utiger, Urs, Notker Helfenberger, Beat Schätti, Catherine Schmidt, Markus Ruf and Vincent Ziswiler 2002. Molecular systematics and phylogeny of Old World and New World ratsnakes, Elaphe Auct., and related genera (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 9 (2): 105-124. - get paper here
  • Wall, FRANK 1923. Notes on a collection of snakes from Sinlum Kaba. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 29 (2): 466-468. - get paper here
  • Wall,F. 1921. Notes on some notable additions to the Bombay N.H.S. Snakes Collection. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 28: 43-44 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Zhao, E.M. 2006. The snakes of China [in Chinese]. Hefei, China, Anhui Sience & Technology Publ. House, Vol. I, 372 pp., Vol. II (color plates), 280 pp.
 
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