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Aspidites melanocephalus (KREFFT, 1864)

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Higher TaxaPythonidae, Henophidia, Pythonoidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Black-headed Python
G: Schwarzkopfpython 
SynonymAspidiotes melanocephalus KREFFT 1864: 225
Aspidites [melanocephalus] PETERS 1876 (nomen novum pro Aspidiotes)
Aspidites melanocephalus — BOULENGER 1893: 91
Aspidites melanocephalus — STIMSON 1969
Aspidites melanocephalus — KLUGE 1993
Aspidites melanocephalus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 164
Aspidites melanocephalus — COGGER 2000: 601
Aspidites melanocephalus adelynensis HOSER 2001
Aspidites melanocephalus davieii HOSER 2001
Aspidites melanocephalus rickjonesii HOSER 2009
Aspidites melanocephalus — SCHLEIP & O’SHEA 2010
Aspidites melanocephalus — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Aspidites melanocephalus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 57 
DistributionAustralia (North Territory, Queensland, West Australia)

Type locality: Bowen (for Port Denison), Queensland, Australia

adelynensis: Australia (Western Australia); Type locality: Wyndham, Western Australia.

davieii: Australia (Western Australia). Type locality: Tom Price, Western Australia. 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: BMNH 1946.1.8.2
Holotype: WAM R51208 [adelynensis]
Holotype: WAM R46170 [davieii]
 
CommentType species: Aspidiotes melanocephalus KREFFT 1864 is the type species of the genus Aspidites PETERS 1876 [1877]: 533, 914. Aspidiotes is preoccupied by Aspidiotes BOUCHÉ 1844 (Hemiptera) and Aspidiotes SCHOENHERR 1847 (Coleoptera).

Synonymy: note that KAISER et al. rejected the names coined by HOSER.

Subspecies: Hoser’s subspecies should be treated as questionable as they are not well diagnosed, partly only based on distribution. Hoser’s subspecies are often named after friends, relatives or other popular figures. Hoser (2000) provided the same erroneous accession number for the holotype as was already provided by Smith (1985) in his original description; WAM R51208 is the number for a skink, Eremiascincus isolepis (fide Mecke et al. 2009). Hoser (2009) had also designated the same holotype and paratypes for rickjonesii as for A. m. davieii. The former name is thus not available. 
References
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • Cogger,H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Franz, V. 2003. Pythons of the World. Reptilia (GB) (27): 16-23 - get paper here
  • Geiger, Jochen & Frank Buchter 2014. Sonnenschutz bei Schlangen. Untersuchung zur UV-Lichtdurchlässigkeit der Augenschuppen und der Haut einiger Arten. Terraria Elaphe 2014 (1): 52-55 (2013) - get paper here
  • Grace, J. 1997. Captive breeding of the Black-headed python, Aspidites melanocephalus. Monitor: Journal of the Victorian Herpetological Society. 9 (1): 8-9
  • Hoser, R. 2009. Creationism and contrived science: a review of recent python systematics papers and the resolution of issues of taxonomy and nomenclature. Australasian Journal of Herpetology 2: 1-34 - get paper here
  • Hoser, Raymond 2000. A Revision of the Australasian pythons. Ophidia Review 1: 7-27
  • Kluge, Arnold G. 1993. Aspidites and the phylogeny of Pythonine snakes. Rec. Austral. Mus. (Supplement 19): 1-77 - get paper here
  • Krefft, G. 1864. Description of Aspidiotes melanocephalus, a new snake from Port Denison, N.E. Australia. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 14: 225-226 - get paper here
  • Krefft,G. 1864. Description of Aspidiotes melanocephalus, a new snake from Port Denison. Proc. zool. Soc. London 1864: 20-22 - get paper here
  • Lillywhite, Harvey B. 2014. How Snakes Work: Structure, Function and Behavior of the World's Snakes. Oxford University Press, New York, 256 pp
  • Longman, H. A. 1916. Snakes and lizards from Queensland and the Northern Territory. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 5: 46-51
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Merahtzakis, G. 1995. Nachzuchterfolg bei Aspidites melanocephalus. Elaphe 3 (3): 7-8
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1876. Über die von S. M. S. Gazelle mitgebrachten Amphibien. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1876 (August):528-535 - get paper here
  • Seung Hoon, Cha 2012. Snake, the world most beautifull curve [in Korean]. Hownext, 304 pp. [ISBN 978-89-965656-7-3] - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. 2009. Snakes of Darwin. Poster, University of Sydney
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Winchell, S. 2009. Pythons Australiens. Reptilia (Münster) 14 (79): 16-27 - get paper here
  • Worrell, E. 1951. Classification of Australian Boidae. Proc. R. zool. Soc. New South Wales, Sydney, 1949-50: 20—25
 
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