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Boaedon fuliginosus (BOIE, 1827)

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Lamprophiinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesBoaedon fuliginosus fuliginosus (BOIE 1827)
Boaedon fuliginosus mentalis GÜNTHER 1888 
Common NamesE: Brown House Snake, African House Snake
G: (Afrikanische) Hausschlange 
SynonymLycodon fuliginosus BOIE 1827: 551
Boaedon unicolor DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 359
Boaedon quadrilineatum — JAN in JAN & SORDELLI 1870: liv. 36 (Pl ii, 2&3)
Boaedon quadrilineatum — PETERS 1882: 133
Boodon bipraeocularis — GÜNTHER 1888
Boaedon quadrilineatum — PFEFFER 1893: 18
Boodon fuliginosus — BOULENGER 1893: 334
Boaedon fuliginosus — SCHMIDT 1923: 65
Boaedon fuliginosus - LOVERIDGE 1957: 251
Boaedon arabicus — CORKILL & COCHRANE 1966
Boaedon fuliginosum — HÅKANSSON 1981
Boaedon fuliginosus fuliginosus — RASMUSSEN 1981: 175
Lamprophis fuliginosus — AUERBACH 1987: 155
Lamprophis arabicus (PARKER) fide GASPERETTI 1988
Lamprophis fuliginosus — SCHLEICH, KÄSTLE & KABISCH 1996: 492
Lamprophis arabicus — HUGHES 1997: 72
Lamprophis fuliginosus — BROADLEY 1998
Boaedon fuliginosus — LEBRETON 1999
Lamprophis fuliginosus — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
Boaedon fuliginosus — KELLY et al. 2011
Lamprophis fuliginosus — SEGNIAGBETO et al. 2012
Lamprophis fuliginosus — HAWLITSCHEK et al. 2012
Lamprophis fuliginosus — HUGHES 2013
Lamprophis fuliginosus arabicus — SINDACO et al. 2014
Boaedon arabicus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 95
Boaedon fuliginosus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 95

Boaedon fuliginosus mentalis GÜNTHER 1888
Boodon mentalis GÜNTHER 1888
Boodon mentalis — BOULENGER 1893: 335
Boaedon fuliginosus mentalis — LOVERIDGE 1957: 251
Boaedon fuliginosus mentalis — FITZSIMONS 1966
Lamprophis fuliginosus bedriagae — CHIPPAUX 1999: 55
Lamprophis fuliginosus mentalis — CHIPPAUX 1999: 55
Lamprophis ‘mentalis’ — VIDAL et al. 2008 
DistributionMorocco, Western Sahara, Botswana, Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Savanna regions of sub-Saharan Africa from Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Sierra Leone, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic and Mali, Uganda, to Eritrea; Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire; except in the east), Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Ethiopia and Somalia, southwards to Angola, Namibia, Gambia (HÅKANSSON 1981), Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Tanzania (incl. Pemba Island), Zambia, São Tomé und Principé (Gulf of Guinea), Yemen

Type locality: see comment.

arabicus: Yemen; Type locality: EI Kubar, Amiri Country, SW. Arabia" [= EI Kubar, Ad Dali" Govern., SW Yemen, 13°48'N, 44°45'E, elevation 1350 m].

mentalis: Republic of South Africa (from the NW Cape Province northwards to), S Angola, Namibia Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
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.
 
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.23.17.19 (and possibly additional specimens).
Holotype: BMNH 1903.1.28.14, female [arabicus] 
CommentSynonymy: Thorpe & McCarthy (1978) showed that Lamprophis lineatus is a distinct species in West Africa rather than a color morph of L. fuliginosus, but in Southern Africa the latter species takes on the color pattern of the former. Note, however, that the two species have been confused in the literature and therefore references to either species may be erroneous. Boaedon (Lamprophis) arabicus is listed as “tentative” by Hughes 1997: 72, based on the number of ventrals being higher than in other species (240-242 in females [n=7] and 226 in males [n= 1]). However, the number in females overlaps with fuliginosus and the sample size for males is too small, given the significant variation in this species. Nevertheless, Wallach et al. 2014 cite Hughes 1997 as source for their decision.

Subspecies: L. f. bedriagae is in doubt fide SCHLEICH et al. (1996). Not sure if this is Boodon bedriagae BOULENGER 1906 which was described from S. Thomé.

Morphology: Knietsch (2006) showed that this species can change its color from black to olive green.

Distribution: Populations of Lamprophis fuliginosus from the Horn of Africa southwards to the Cape with lower number of ventral scales in both sexes are regarded by Hughes (1997) as a separate species: Lamprophis capensis (Dumeril, 1854). This opinion was followed by and Broadley et al (2003) and Marais (2004) . The Namib subspecies mentalis is regared by some authors as a separate species (Branch 1998). The type locality was given erroneously as “Java” by BOIE 1827. Several populations previously included in B. fuliginosus have been split off into separate species by Trape & Mediannikov 2016, so that “true” fuliginosus are probably restricted to West Africa and Niger, Nigeria. The restricted range remains thus a bit unclear (F. Trape, pers. comm., 10 Jan 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after the Latin adjective “fuliginosus” meaning brown or dark brown colouration. 
References
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