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Boiga ceylonensis (GÜNTHER, 1858)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Sri Lanka Cat Snake 
SynonymDipsadomorphus ceylonensis GÜNTHER 1858: 176
Dipsas ceylonensis — GÜNTHER 1864
Dipsadomorphus beddomei WALL 1909 (fide SMITH 1943)
Dipsadomorphus ceylonensis — WALL 1909: 152 (part.)
Dipsadomorphus ceylonensis — WALL 1921: 278
Boiga andamanensis — WALL 1924 (fide SMITH 1943)
Boiga ceylonensis — SMITH 1943: 351 (part.)
Boiga ceylonensis dakhunensis DERANIYAGALA 1955
Boiga ceylonensis — DAS 1996: 54
Boiga ceylonensis — GROEN 2008
Boiga ceylonensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 102 (part.)
Boiga ceylonensis — GANESH et al. 2020 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Ceylon  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesLectotype: BMNH 54.3.21.22; paralectotypes: BMNH 1946.1.4.71, BMNH 1946.1.1.29, BMNH 1946.1.4.81, BMNH 1946.1.4.78, BMNH 1946.1.4.79, BMNH 1946.1.4.80, Designated by GANESH et al. (2020) (type status was thought to be uncertain fide Giri et al. 2019) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of Boiga endemic to Sri Lanka, defined by the following combina- tion of characters: 19 midbody scale rows (vs. 21–23 in B. nuchalis, B. dightoni, B. andamanensis); predominantly brownish dorsum (vs. greenish in B. flaviviridis; variable in B. andamanensis); vertebral scales strongly enlarged (vs. feebly enlarged in B. barnesii); crown patterned with distinct black blotches (vs. crown unpatterned in B. bed- domei, B. andamanensis); subcaudals < 110 (vs. > 110 in B. beddomei); ventrolateral region devoid of large adjacent white and black blotches (vs. blotches present in B. barnesii, B. thackerayi), but with a series of spots on both the ends of each ventral scale (vs. venter unpatterned in B. andamanensis, B. flaviviridis) (from Ganesh et al. 2020) 
CommentDistribution: Previously thought to occur in the Western Ghats of India as well, but recent taxonomic revision falsified such a view (GANESH et al. 2020).
Has been (erroneously) reported from the Andaman Islands but not listed by DAS 1999. Reports from Assam, Orissa are probably erroneous and may represent B. flaviviridis (G. Vogel, pers. comm., 24 Sep 2013).

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution on Ceylon (= Sri Lanka). 
References
  • Bhupathy, Subramanian & N. Sathishkumar 2013. Status of reptiles in Meghamalai and its environs, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5 (15): 4953-4961 - 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
  • Botejue, W. Madhava S.; Jayantha Wattavidanage 2012. Herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Kalugala proposed forest reserve, Western province of Sri Lanka. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 5 (2): 65-80(e38). - 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
  • Das, I. 1999. Biogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. In: Ota,H. (ed) Tropical Island herpetofauna..., Elsevier, pp. 43-77
  • Deraniyagala. PAUL E. PIERIS 1955. A colored atlas of some vertebrates from Ceylon. Vol. 3. Serpentoid Reptilia. Colombo, xix + 121 pp.
  • Ganesh, S. R.; Subramanian Bhupathy, Patrick David, N. Sathishkumar, G. Srinivas 2014. Snake Fauna of High Wavy Mountains, Western Ghats, India: Species Richness, Status, and Distribution Pattern. Russ. J. Herpetol. 21 (1): 53-64
  • 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. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281
  • 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
  • Inger, Robert F.;Shaffer, H. Bradley;Koshy, Mammen;Bakde, Ramesh 1984. A report on a collection of amphibians and reptiles from the Ponmudi, Kerala, South India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 81 (3): 551-570 - get paper here
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan D. M. S. and A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe 2011. A PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF THE REPTILE FAUNA IN NILGALA FOREST AND ITS VICINITY, MONARAGALA DISTRICT, SRI LANKA. Taprobanica 3 (2): 69-76 - get paper here
  • Madawala, Majintha; Thilina D Surasinghe, Anslem De Silva, Dinesh Gabadage, Madhava Botejue, Indika Peabotuwage, Dushantha Kandambi, Suranjan Karunarathna 2019. Reappraisal of Herpetofauna Recorded from Jaffna Peninsula in Northern Sri Lanka with Remarks on Conservation, Diversity, and Distribution. Russ. J. Herpetol. 26 (5): 247-260 - get paper here
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • 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
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - 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
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • 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.
  • Taylor, Edward H. 1953. Report on a collection of Ceylonese serpents. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 35 (14): 1615-1624 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Wall,F. 1909. Remarks on some forms of Dipsadomorphus. Records of the Indian Museum 3: 151-155 - 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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