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Atheris chlorechis (PEL, 1851)

IUCN Red List - Atheris chlorechis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Serpentes (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymVipera chlorechis PEL 1851
Vipera chloroechis — SCHLEGEL 1855: 317
Toxicoa chloroechis — COPE 1859: 341
Echis chloroechis — JAN 1863: 122
Atheris polylepis PETERS 1864: 642
Atheris chlorechis — PETERS 1864: 645
Atheris chloroechis [sic] — BRISCOE 1949
Atheris squamiger chlorechis — HARDING & WELCH 1980
Atheris chloroechis [sic]— MATTISON 1995: 159
Atheris chlorechis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 355
Atheris chlorechis — RÖDEL & MAHSBERG 2000
Atheris chloroechis [sic] — MATTISON 2007: 161 
DistributionGuinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, probably Benin (Hughes 2013), Nigeria, Cameroon

Type locality: Butre, Ghana (designated by HUGHES & BARRY 1969) 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.
 
TypesLectotype: RMNH 1648 
CommentVenomous!

Type species: Vipera chlorechis PEL 1851 is the type species of the genus Atheris COPE 1862. Williams and Wallach 1989 list Toxicoa squamata COPE 1859 as the type species of the genus Atheris COPE 1862. See McDiarmid et al. 1991: 353 for a discussion of this issue.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic name Woolfvipera Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected its use instead of Atheris.

Diagnosis (genus): Habitus slender, body laterally compressed, with high ventral and subcaudal counts and a short square head. Dorsal head scales small to moderate, more or less keeled; rostral fragmented, so that a wide shallow rostral is surmounted by 2-8 suprarostrals between the nasals and below the transverse series of internasals that marks the beginning of the dorsal surface of the head; transverse dorsal scale rows with frequent duplications or fusions as one moves from ventrum to dorsum; subcaudals single. Palatine-pterygoid articulation a simple overlapping joint; intra-pulmonary bronchus short.

Habitat: trees (arboreal) 
EtymologyEtymology of genus: from Greek “athér” for the ear of corn, or generally “tip”, referring to the pointed scales. Greek “chloros” means green. ICZN Opinion 1634 (1991:84) states that Atheris is feminin, although Cope and others disagreed. 
References
  • Akeret, B. 2010. Terrarienpflanzen. Draco 11 (41): 4-21 - get paper here
  • Böhme, Wolfgang, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Christian Brede & Philipp Wagner 2011. The reptiles (Testudines, Squamata, Crocodylia) of the forested southeast of the Republic Guinea (Guinée forestière), wit a country-wide checklist Bonn zoological Bulletin 60 (1): 35-61 - get paper here
  • Branch, W.R. & Rödel, M.-O. 2003. Herpetological survey of the Haute Dodo and Cavally forests, western ivory Coast, Part II: Trapping, results and reptiles. Salamandra 39 (1): 21-38 - get paper here
  • Briscoe, M.S. 1949. Notes on Snakes Collected in Liberia. Copeia 1949 (1): 16-18 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1989. Atheris Cope 1862 (Reptilia, Serpentes): proposed conservation, and proposed confirmation of Vipera chlorechis Pel [1851] as the valid name of the type species. Bull. zool. Nomencl. 46 (4): 264-266 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. A review of the genus Atheris Cope (Serpentes: Viperidae), with the description of a new species from Uganda. The Herpetological Journal 8: 117-135.
  • Cope, E.D. 1859. Catalogue of the venomous serpents in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes on the families, genera and species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1859: 332-347 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1862. Notes upon some reptiles of the Old World. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 14: 337-344 - get paper here
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa/Giftschlangen Afrikas. Terralog 15, Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, 150 pp.
  • Ernst, R. & Rödel, M. O. 2002. A new Atheris species (Serpentes: Viperidae), from Taï National Park, Ivory Coast. The Herpetological Journal 12: 55-61
  • Herrmann,H. W.; Joger,U.; Lenk,P. & Wink,M. 1999. Morphological and molecular phylogenies of viperines: conflicting evidence?. Kaupia (Darmstadt) (8): 21-30 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R.T. 2012. A division of the African tree viper genus Atheris Cope, 1860 into four subgenera (Serpentes: Viperidae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 12:32–35. - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 2013. Snakes of Bénin, West Africa. Bull. Soc. Herp. Fr. 144: 101-159
  • Hughes, B. & Barry,D.H. 1969. The snakes of Ghana: a checklist and key. Bull. Inst. Franc. Afrique Noire A, 31: 1004-1041
  • ICZN 1991. Opinion 1634: Atheris Cope 1862 (Reptilia, Serpentes): conserved. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 48 (1): 84 - get paper here
  • Jan,G. 1863. Elenco Sistematico degli Ofidi descriti e disegnati per l'Iconografia Generale. Milano, A. Lombardi. vii + 143 pp.
  • Joger,U. & Courage,K. 1999. Are palearctic ‘rattlesnakes’ (Echis and Cerastes) monophyletic?. Kaupia (Darmstadt) (8): 65-81
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • Koetze, J. 2008. De Doelgroep Gifslangen (DGL). Lacerta 66 (1-3): 4-5 - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1933. Reports on the scientific Results of an Expedition to the Southwestem Highlands of Tanganyika Territory. VII. Herpetology. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 74: 197-415 - get paper here
  • Mallow, D. Ludwig, D. & Nilson, G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxinology of Old World Vipers. Krieger, Malabar, Florida, 410 pp. [review in HR 35: 200, Reptilia 35: 74]
  • Mattison, Chris 1995. The Encyclopedia of Snakes. New York: Facts on File, 256 pp.
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • McDiarmid,R.W.; Campbell,J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Menzies, J.I. 1966. The snakes of Sierra Leone. Copeia 1966 (2): 169-179. - get paper here
  • Pel, H.S. 1851. Over de jagt aan de Goudkust, volgens eene tienjarige eigene ondervinding. Ned. Tijdschr. Jagtkunde. 1: 149-173
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1864. Eine neue Art der Baumvipern, Atheris polylepis, aus Liberia. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1864 (November): 642-64 - get paper here
  • Phelps, T. 2010. Old World Vipers. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 558 pp. [critical review in Sauria 33 (3): 19 and HR 43: 503]
  • Rödel M O; Mahsberg D 2000. Vorläufige Liste der Schlangen des Tai-Nationalparks/Elfenbeinküste und angrenzender Gebiete. Salamandra 36 (1): 25-38
  • Schlegel, H. 1855. Over eenige nieuwe soorten van vergiftige slangen van de Goudkust. Verslagen en Mededeelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschapen Amsterdam, (Afdeeling Natuurkunde), 3: 312- 317
  • Segniagbeto G. H., Trape J. F., David P., Ohler A., Dubois A. & Glitho I. A. 2011. The snake fauna of Togo: systematics, distribution and biogeography, with remarks on selected taxonomic problems. Zoosystema 33 (3): 325-360. DOI: 10.5252/z2011n3a4 - get paper here
 
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