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Boiga irregularis (BECHSTEIN, 1802)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Brown catsnake, Brown Tree Snake
G: Braune Nachtbaumnatter 
SynonymColuber irregularis BECHSTEIN 1802: 239
Hurria pseudoboiga DAUDIN 1803: 277 (nomen nov. pro Coluber irregularis)
Dendrophis (Ahetula) fusca GRAY 1842: 54
Triglyphodon irregulare — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1074
Triglyphodon flavescens DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1080
Pappophis laticeps MACLEAY 1877: 39
Pappophis flavigastra MACLEAY 1877: 40
Dipsas boydii MACLEAY 1884: 548
Dipsas irregularis — FISCHER 1884: 49
Dipsas ornata MACLEAY 1888: 416
Dipsadomorphus irregularis — WERNER 1899: 374
Dipsadomorphus irregularis Merr. var. papuana — WERNER 1899 (?)
Dipsadomorphus fuscus — LONGMAN 1915
Dipsadomorphus irregularis — LONGMAN 1918
Boiga irregularis — COGGER 1983: 209
Boiga fusca — EHRMANN 1992: 374
Boiga irregularis — COGGER 2000: 618
Boiga fusca fusca — ORLOV & RYABOV 2002: 51
Boiga fusca ornata — ORLOV & RYABOV 2002: 51
Boiga irregularis — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Boiga irregularis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 104
Boiga fusca — WALLACH et al. 2014: 104
Boiga flavescens — WEINELL et al. 2021
Boiga irregularis — WEINELL et al. 2021 
DistributionPapua New Guinea,
Australia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia),
Guam (introduced), Solomon Islands [McCoy 2000], Caroline Islands (Pohnpei, Chuuk)

Type locality: unknown

flavescens: Indonesia (Sulawesi: Togian Islands, Halmahera), Type locality: “Macassar, Célèbes”  
TypesHolotype: lost (presumed) fide COGGER 1983.
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.1.28, from Port Essington, N. T. [Dendrophis (Ahetula) fusca]
Syntypes: AM R31888-91, from Hall Sound, Papua New Guinea [Pappophis laticeps]
Holotype: AM R31887, from Mawatta, Binaturi River (as Katow), Papua New Guinea [Pappophis flavigastra]
Holotype: AM R31892, from "collection from J. A. Boyd of Ripple Creek, Ingham, in northern Qld.” [Dipsas boydii]
Holotype: AM R31893, from "vicinity of King's Sound", W. A. [Dipsas ornata] 

Synonymy mainly after COGGER 1983. ORLOV & RYABOV 2002 listed Boiga fusca as valid species but without justification or references. Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic names Dorisious Hoser 2012, Mulvanyus Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected their use instead of Boiga.

Types: ZMB 2583 appears to be pictured in Merrem 1790 (fide BAUER & GÜNTHER 2014)

Type species: Coluber irregularis BECHSTEIN 1802 is the type species of the genus Boiga FITZINGER. The name Ibiba Gray, 1825, as suppressed under the plenary powers in in ICZN Opinion 1374, has been placed on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Generic Names in Zoology.

Ecology: This snake is famous for its disastrous role on the native fauna of Guam (see info links below for details).

Distribution: has been found in Micronesia and may have been introduced there (Buden & Taboroši 2016).

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyPresumably named after the Latin irregularis (irregular, unusual), in relation to the irregular dorsal pattern of broken bands. (G. Shea, pers. comm., 9 Feb 2024) 
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  • BOBACK, SCOTT M.; MELIA G. NAFUS, AMY A. YACKEL ADAMS & ROBERT N. REED. 2022. Invasive brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) move short distances and have small activity areas in a high prey environment. Scientific Reports 12(1): 12705. - get paper here
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