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Asthenodipsas vertebralis (BOULENGER, 1900)

IUCN Red List - Asthenodipsas vertebralis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPareidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Asian Slug Snake, Mountain Slug Snake, Mountain Snail Snake
G: Bergschneckennatter 
SynonymAmblycephalus vertebralis BOULENGER 1900
Pareas vertebralis — SMEDLEY 1931: 122
Pareas vertebralis — GRANDISON 1972: 92
Pareas vertebralis — GRANDISON 1978: 294
Pareas vertebralis — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 378
Pareas vertebralis — COX et al. 1998: 79
Asthenodipsas vertebralis — ISKANDAR & COLIJN 2002
Pareas vertebralis — YOUMANS et al. 2003 [HR 34: 389]
Pareas vertebralis — PAUWELS et al. 2003
Asthenodipsas vertebralis — GROSSMANN & TILLACK 2003
Pareas vertebralis — DAS & YAAKOB 2007
Pareas vertebralis — GOWER et al. 2012: 77
Asthenodipsas vertebralis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 60
Asthenodipsas (Spondylodipsas) vertebralis — POYARKOV et al. 2022 
DistributionWest Malaysia, Pulau Tioman [HR 34: 389], Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo)

Type locality: Bukit Larut (= Maxwell’s Hill), Larut, 3000 feet elevation, Malay Peninsula.  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.20.14 (and possibly additional specimens). 
CommentSynonymy: after DAVID & VOGEL 1996 and GROSSMANN & TILLACK 2003 and 2004. A. tropidonotus has been removed from the synonymy of A. vertebralis and revalidated by LOREDO et al. 2013.

Type genus: Amblycephalus vertebralis is the type genus of the subgenus Spondylodipsas Poyarkov, Nguyen TV & Vogel in Poyarkov et al. 2022. Content: Three species, including A. lasgalenensis, A. tropidonota, and A. vertebralis (Boulenger). the other species belong to the subgenus Asthenodipsas.

Taxonomy: According to the generic key given in Rao & Yang (1992) and to its original description, this species should belong to the genus Internatus, to which it is referred by DAVID & VOGEL 1996. But, according to Wallach (pers. comm.), it is probably a synonym of Pareas vertebralis (Boulenger, 1900), a species known from Malaya. The nominal taxon tropidonotus is not mentioned by Rao & Yang (1992) in their list of valid species of the genus Pareas and related genera. It is not clear whether this poorly known species was overlooked by these authors, or is considered a synonym of another Sumatran species. In the latter case, as no synonymy is given by Rao & Yang, it is not possible to indicate to which taxon it should be referred." (David & Vogel 1996).

Distribution: Reports from Borneo are based on misidentified Pareas = Asthenodipsas laevis (fide GROSSMANN & TILLACK 2004, Stuebing et al. 2014).

Behavior: nocturnal.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1900. Description of new reptiles from Perak, Malay Peninsula. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (7) 5: 306-308 - get paper here
  • Chan-ard,T.; Grossmann,W.; Gumprecht,A. & Schulz,K. D. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand - an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp. [book review in Russ. J Herp. 7: 87] - get paper here
  • Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
  • 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
  • Das, I. & Yaakob, N. 2007. Status of knowledge of the Malaysian herpetofauna. In Status of biological diversity in Malaysia & threat assessment of plant species in Malaysia. in: L. S. L. Chua, L. G. Kirton & L. G. Saw (eds.), Status of biological diversity in Malaysia & threat assessment of plant species in Malaysia. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, pp. 31-81
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  • Gower, D.; Garrett, K. & Stafford, P. 2012. Snakes. Firefly Books, Buffalo, NY,<br />144 p..
  • Grandison, A. G. C. 1978. Snakes of West Malaysia and Singapore. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 81 [1977]: 283-303 - get paper here
  • Grandison, A.G.C. 1972. The Gunong Benom Expedition 1967. 5. Reptiles and amphibians of Gunong Benom with a description of a new species of Macrocalamus. Bull. Br. Mus. nat. Hist. (Zool.), London, 23: 45-101. - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee; Chan K. Onn, Jesse L. Grismer, Perry L. Wood, Jr., and A. Norhayati 2010. A CHECKLIST OF THE HERPETOFAUNA OF THE BANJARAN BINTANG, PENINSULAR MALAYSIA. Russ. J. Herpetol. 17 (2): 147-160 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L.L. 2011. Amphibians and reptiles of the Seribuat Archipelago. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 239 pp.
  • Grossmann, W. & Tillack, F. 2003. On the taxonomic status of Asthenodipsas tropidonotus (LIDTH DE JEUDE 1923) and Pareas vertebralis BOULENGER 1900) (Serpentes: Colubridae: Pareatinae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 10 (3): 175-190 - get paper here
  • Grossmann, W. & Tillack, F. 2004. Die Bergschneckennatter Asthenodipsas vertebralis (BOULENGER 1900) im Biotop und im Terrarium (Squamata: Colubridae: Pareatinae). Sauria, Berlin 26 (2): 9-22 - get paper here
  • HAAS, C.P.J. De 1950. Checklist of the snakes of the Indo-Australian archipelago. Treubia 20 (3): 511-625 - get paper here
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  • Iskandar, Djoko T. and Colijn, E. 2002. A checklist of Southeast Asian and New Guinean Reptiles. Part I: Serpentes. Biodiversity Conservation Project, Jakarta, 195 pp. [2001]
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  • LOREDO, ARIEL I.; PERRY L. WOOD, JR., EVAN S. H. QUAH, SHAHRUL ANUAR, LEE F. GREER, NORHAYATI AHMAD & L. LEE GRISMER 2013. Cryptic speciation within Asthenodipsas vertebralis (Boulenger, 1900) (Squamata: Pareatidae), the description of a new species from Peninsular Malaysia, and the resurrection of A. tropidonotus (Lidth de Jude, 1923) from Sumatra: an integrative taxono Zootaxa 3664 (4): 505–524 - get paper here
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
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  • Poyarkov NA, Nguyen TV, Pawangkhanant P, Yushchenko PV, Brakels P, Nguyen LH, Nguyen HN, Suwannapoom C, Orlov N, Vogel G. 2022. An integrative taxonomic revision of slug-eating snakes (Squamata: Pareidae: Pareineae) reveals unprecedented diversity in Indochina. PeerJ 10: e12713 - get paper here
  • Quah, Evan S H; Kelvin K P Lim, L Lee Grismer 2021. On the taxonomic status of Asthenodipsas vertebralis (Boulenger, 1900) (Squamata: Pareidae) in Borneo with the description of a new species. Zootaxa 4949 (1): 24–44 - get paper here
  • Rao, D.Q. & D.T. YANG 1992. Phylogenetic systematics of Pareinae (Serpents) of southeastern Asia and adjacent islands with relationship between it and the geology changes. [In Chinese, English summary]. Acta zool. Sinica, 38 (2): 139-150.
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  • Stuebing, R.B., Inger, R.F. & Lardner, B. 2014. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo, second edition. Natural history Publications (Borneo)
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  • 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.
  • Werner, F. 1929. Übersicht der Gattungen und Arten der Schlangen aus der Familie Colubridae. 3. Teil (Colubrinae). Mit einem Nachtrag zu den übrigen Familien. Zool. Jb. Syst., Jena, 57: 1-196.
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