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Aspidomorphus schlegelii (GÜNTHER, 1872)

IUCN Red List - Aspidomorphus schlegelii - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Schlegel’s crown snake 
SynonymDiemenia schlegelii GÜNTHER 1872: 35
Pseudelaps muelleri BOULENGER 1895: 32
Pseudelaps muelleri insulae BARBOUR 1908 (fide BRONGERSMA 1934: 235)
Aspidomorphus schlegeli — MCDOWELL 1967
Aspidomorphus schlegeli — WELCH 1994: 19
Aspidomorphus schlegeli — METZGER et al. 2010
Aspidomorphus schlegelii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 58 
DistributionIndonesia (Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea [East Sepik Province: Prince Alexander Mts., 3.5922°S, 143.4937°E, 270 m elevation (Kraus 2013); Aitape (McDowell 1967)]

Type locality: Misool Island, Indonesia  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.18.43
Holotype: MCZ 7080 [insulae] 
DiagnosisOriginal description: “This is a conspicuously shorter species, having only (148, Schlegel,) 149 or 155 ventral shields, and (24, Schlegel,) 24 or 21 subcaudals. The shields of the head are very much the same as in the other species. Temporals 2+2+3, the lower of the first series being intercalated between the last two labials, and not in contact with the postoculars. Scales in fifteen rows. The lower parts are more or less dotted with brown; and the lateral bands of the head are indistinct, if present.” (Günther 1872: 35) 

A. schlegeli differs from the other species in the genus in the form of the maxillary bone and the anterior mandibular dentition; it seems to be confined to northwestern New Guinea and adjacent islands, since specimens from the eastern end of New Guinea that had been referred to schlegeli are actually A. lineaticollis (McDOWELL 1967). 
EtymologyNamed after Hermann Schlegel (1804-1884), German herpetologist. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1895. On a collection of reptiles and batrachians from Ferguson Island, D'Entrecasteaux group British New Guinea. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 16: 28-32 - get paper here
  • Brongersma,L.D. 1934. Contributions to Indo-Australian herpetology. Zoologische Mededelingen 17: 161-251 - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Günther,A. 1872. Seventh account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 9: 13-37 - get paper here
  • Kraus, Fred. 2013. Further range extensions for reptiles and amphibians from Papua New Guinea. Herpetological Review 44 (2): 277-280 - get paper here
  • McDowell, Samuel B.;Cogger, Harold G. 1967. Aspidomorphus, a genus of New Guinea snakes of the family Elapidae, with notes on related genera. Journal of Zoology, London 151: 497-543 - get paper here
  • Metzger, Genevieve A.; Fred Kraus, Allen Allison, Christopher L. Parkinson 2010. Uncovering cryptic diversity in Aspidomorphus (Serpentes: Elapidae): Evidence from mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 54 (2): 405-416 - get paper here
  • O'Shea,M. 1996. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Independent Publishing, Port Moresby, xii + 239 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.
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