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Aspidura guentheri FERGUSON, 1876

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Günther's Rough-sided Snake 
SynonymAspidura guentheri FERGUSON 1876
Aspidura guentheri — BOULENGER 1893: 312
Aspidura guentheri — WALL 1921: 208
Aspidura guentheri — SMITH 1943: 338
Aspidura guentheri — GANS & FETCHO 1982: 302
Aspidura guentheri — DAS 1996: 54
Aspidura guentheri — WALLACH et al. 2014: 59 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Coast of the West Province, Ceylon.  
TypesTypes: BMNH 1946.1.12.16-26 (and possibly additional specimens). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This species of Aspidura is characterized by a preocular scale that forms part of the anterior border of the orbit; a prefrontal scale that forms the remaining portion of the anterior border of the orbit and contacts supralabials two and three; having the upper postocular longer than the lower or both subequal in length; only the upper postocular in contact with the parietal scale; and the anterior pair of the two pairs of chin shields two to three times the length of the posterior pair. Seventeen dorsal scale rows are present along the body. The ventral counts range from 103 to 122 (mean = 112.48 ÷ 2.53, N = 23) and those of subcaudals from 18 to 29 (mean = 22.35 ‡ 1.12, N = 23). The subcaudals are undivided. Snout-vent lengths range from 75 mm to 160 mm, tail lengths from 11 mm to 26 mm, midbody diameters from 2.8 mm to 5.0 mm, making this the smallest and most slender species of the genus (Table 2). Females have fewer caudals and a shorter tail a than males, but are larger overall. Fig. 2 compares the major counts, Fig. 3 the body proportions and Figs. 7, 9, and 12 illustrate specimens. (Gans & Fetcho 1982) 
EtymologyNamed after Albert Günther (1830-1914), German-born zoologist at the British Museum. 
  • 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. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Ferguson, W. 1876. Description of a new snake of the genus Aspidura from Ceylon. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1876: 819-820 - get paper here
  • Gans C; Fetcho J R 1982. The Sri Lankan genus Aspidura (Serpentes, Reptilia, Colubridae). Annals of the Carnegie Museum 51 (14): 271-316 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Wall, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages - 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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