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Boiga barnesii (GÜNTHER, 1869)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymDipsas barnesii GÜNTHER 1869: 506
Dipsadomorphus barnesii — BOULENGER 1896
Dipsadomorphus barnesii — WALL 1921: 283
Boiga barnesii — SMITH 1943: 354
Boiga barnesii — DAS 1996: 54
Boiga barnesii — GROEN 2008
Boiga barnesii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 101
Boiga barnesii — GANESH et al. 2020 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Ceylon  
TypesHolotype: BMNH; erroneously given as BMNH 1946.1.1.33 by Giri et al. 2019. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Boiga endemic to Sri Lanka, having 19 midbody scale rows (vs. 21–23 in B. nuchalis, B. dightoni, B. andamanensis); preoculars 3 on each side of head (vs. preocular 1 in all South Asian congeners); 3rd supraocular not touching the eye (vs. touching the eye in all other South Asian congeners); vertebral scale row feebly enlarged (vs. strongly enlarged in B. andamanensis, B. ceylonensis, B. beddomei, B. thackerayi); series of large oblong blotched pattern dorsally (vs. cross bars dorsally in B. ceylonensis); ventrolateral region with distinct white and black adjacent blotches (vs. such pattern absent in all South Asian congeners except B. thackerayi) (from Ganesh et al. 2020). 
CommentVariation: this is a relatively variable species with; see also color plates to Batuwita & Alagiyawadu 2004.

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed in honour of Richard Hawksworth Barnes, born in Colombo in 1831. He made a collection of reptiles in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and sent it to the British Museum (Beolens et al. 2011). 
  • Batuwita, Sudesh and Indrajith Alagiyawadu 2004. Some observations on Hemiphyllodactylus typus Bleeker, 1860: Sri Lanka (Squamata: Gekkondiae). Lyriocephalus 5 (1-2): 146-149 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • GANESH, S.R.; N.S. ACHYUTHAN, S.R. CHANDRAMOULI & GERNOT VOGEL, 2020. Taxonomic revision of the Boiga ceylonensis group (Serpentes: Colubridae): re-examination of type specimens, redefinition of nominate taxa and an updated key. Zootaxa 4779 (3): 301–332 - get paper here
  • Giri, Varad B.; V. Deepak, Ashok Captain, Swapnil Pawar, Frank Tillack 2019. A New Species of Boiga Fitzinger, 1826 (Serpentes: Colubridae) from The Northern Western Ghats of India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 116 - get paper here
  • Groen,J. 2008. Het Boiga-genus. Lacerta 66 (1-3): 64-79 - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1869. Report on two collections of Indian reptiles. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1869: 500-507 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • JANZEN, P. 2021. Morningside – ein herpetologisches Highlight Sri Lankas. Sauria 43 (1): 9-37 - get paper here
  • Orlov, Nikolai L. and Sergei A. Ryabov 2002. A new species of the genus Boiga (Serpentes, Colubridae, Colubrinae) from Tanahjampea Island and description of "black form" of Boiga cynodon Complex from Sumatra (Indonesia). Russ. J. Herpetol. 9 (1): 33-56 - get paper here
  • Pyron, R. Alexander; H.K. Dushantha Kandambi, Catriona R. Hendry, Vishan Pushpamal, Frank T. Burbrink, Ruchira Somaweera 2013. Genus-level phylogeny of snakes reveals the origins of species richness in Sri Lanka. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66 (3): 969-978 - get paper here
  • Samarawickrama, V.A.M.P.K.; H.I.G.C. Kumara, D.R.N.S. Samarawickrama 2019. Diversity of Reptiles in the Eastern and Southern parts of the Sinharaja Rain Forest. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment - get paper here
  • Samarawickrama, V.A.M.P.K.; Samarawickrama, V.A.P.; Wijesena, N.M. & Orlov, N.L. 2005. A new species of genus Boiga (Serpentes: Colubridae: Colubrinae) from Sri Lanka. Russ. J. Herpetol. 12 (3): 213-222 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • VOGEL, GERNOT & S.R. GANESH 2013. A new species of cat snake (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae: Boiga) from dry forests of eastern Peninsular India. Zootaxa 3637 (2): 158–168 - get paper here
  • Wall, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages - 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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