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Atheris mabuensis BRANCH & BAYLISS, 2009

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common Names 
SynonymAtheris mabuensis BRANCH & BAYLISS 2009
Atheris sp. — DOBIEY and VOGEL 2007: 110
Atheris mabuensis — LIVIGNI 2013: 281
Atheris mabuensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 62 
DistributionN Mozambique

Type locality: main forest camp, Mount Mabu (16°17’12”S, 36°24’14”E, 1000 m elevation), Mozambique.  
TypesHolotype: PEM R17901, collected by local hunter, 20 October 2008. 
CommentVenomous! Local hunters also noted that bites from the species were painful but not lethal.

Distribution: This is the most southerly record of the genus, and the first record from Mozambique.

Morphology and diet: It appears to be a dwarf, possibly paedomorphic, species that feeds among leaf litter on small frogs and geckos.

Habitat: trees (arboreal) 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality, Mount Mabu, Zambezia Province, northern Mozambique. 
  • Branch WR, Bayliss J. 2009. A new species of Atheris (Serpentes: Viperidae) from northern Mozambique. Zootaxa 2113: 41-54 - get paper here
  • Conradie, Werner; Gabriela B. Bittencourt-Silva, Hanlie M. Engelbrecht, Simon P. Loader, Michele Menegon, Cristóvão Nanvonamuquitxo, Michael Scott, Krystal A. Tolley, 2016. Exploration into the hidden world of Mozambique’s sky island forests: new discoveries of reptiles and amphibians. Zoosyst. Evol. 92 (2): 163–180, DOI 10.3897/zse.92.9948 - get paper here
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa - Giftschlangen Afrikas. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 15, 150 pp. - get paper here
  • LiVigni, F. (ed.) 2013. A Life for Reptiles and Amphibians, Volume 1. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 495 pp. - get paper here
  • Menegon, M.; Loader, S.P.; Marsden, S.J.; Branch, W.R.; Davenport, T.R.B. & Ursenbacher, S. 2014. The genus Atheris (Serpentes: Viperidae) in East Africa: Phylogeny and the role of rifting and climate in shaping the current pattern of species diversity. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 79: 12-22 - 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]
  • 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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