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Atractaspis duerdeni GOUGH, 1907

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Higher TaxaAtractaspididae (Atractaspidinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Duerden's Stiletto Snake, Beaked Burrowing Asp 
SynonymAtractaspis duerdeni GOUGH 1907
Atractaspis duerdini [sic] — AUERBACH 1987: 180
Atractaspis duerdeni — BROADLEY 1991: 497
Atractaspis duerdeni — MATTISON 1995: 231
Atractaspis duerdeni — MATTISON 2007: 226
Atractaspis duerdeni — GOWER et al. 2012: 112
Atractaspis duerdeni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 65
Atractaspis duerdeni — SCHLEICHER 2020 
DistributionNamibia, SE Botswana, NE Republic of South Africa (Transvaal)

Type locality: Serowe, Botswana.  
TypesHolotype: PEM R7938 (BROADLEY 1991, Conradie et al. 2019) 
DiagnosisDescription: “Anale simple.
B. 19 à 25 rangées d'écailles dorsales au milieu du corps.
1. Ventrales: 195 à 217. Sous-caudales, en général, au moins partiellement
b) Frontale 5 fois plus large qu'une sus-oculaire. Rostrale anguleuse.
Sous-caudales simples, sauf la première. Coloration claire («cream-coloured»). Ventrales: 199 (male). Sous-caudales : 22 (male). 21 rangées d'écailles autour du milieu du corps. Bechuanaland.” (from key in Laurent 1950: 15) 
CommentVenomous! Not listed as such in WELCH 1994. Atractaspis duerdeni is sympatric with A. bibronii throughout its range. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. James Edwin Duerden (1865-1937), English zoologist who worked in Ireland, Jamaica, North Carolina, Michigan and finally Grahamstown, South Africa (1905-1932). 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. & Blaylock 2013. The Snakes of Zimbabwe and Botswana. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 387 pp. [book review in Sauria 35 (2): 59 and Copeia 2014: 388] - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1991. A review of the southern African stiletto snakes of the genus Atractaspis A.Smith (Serpentes: Atractaspididae). Arnoldia 9 (36): 495-517
  • CONRADIE, WERNER; WILLIAM R. BRANCH, & GILLIAN WATSON 2019. Type specimens in the Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa, including the historically important Albany Museum collection. Part 2: Reptiles (Squamata). Zootaxa 4576 (1): 001–045 - get paper here
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa - Giftschlangen Afrikas. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 15, 150 pp. - get paper here
  • Gough, L.H. 1907. Description of a new species of Atractaspis collected at Serowe, North Eastern Kalahari. Rec. Albany Mus. 2: 178-179 - get paper here
  • Gower, D.; Garrett, K. & Stafford, P. 2012. Snakes. Firefly Books, Buffalo, NY,<br />144 p..
  • Griffin, M. G., Panagis, C. & Berriman,N. 1989. The Eastern National Water Carrier: a preliminary assessment of its impact on the herpetofauna. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa 36: 36-37 - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2020. Reptiles of Namibia. Kuiseb Publishers, Windhoek, Namibia, 271 pp.
  • Ukuwela, K.D.B., de Silva, A., Sivaruban, A. et al. 2022. Diversity, distribution, and natural history of the marine snakes of Sri Lanka. Marine Biodiversity 52, 24 (2022) - 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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