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Calamaria bitorques PETERS, 1872

IUCN Red List - Calamaria bitorques - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Calamariinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Luzon Dwarf Snake 
SynonymCalamaria bitorques PETERS 1872
Calamaria gervaisi BOETTGER 1898 (non DUMÉRIL & BIBRON)
Calamaria bitorques — INGER & MARX 1965: 104
Calamaria bitorques — BAUER et al. 1995: 70
Calamaria bitorques — GAULKE & VOGEL 2005
Calamaria cf. bitorques — GAULKE 2011: 252
Calamaria bitorques — WALLACH et al. 2014: 135 
DistributionPhilippines (Luzon, Panay)

Type locality: “Philippinen”  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 7444 (Calamaria bitorques PETERS 1872) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Maxillary teeth modified; third and fourth supralabials entering orbit; preocular present; mental touching anterior chin shields; paraparietal surrounded by 5 shields and scales; 2 to 6 dark, black-edged, crossbands behind the head.

Description. Rostral as wide as high, portion visible from above about 2/3 length of prefrontal suture; prefrontal shorter than frontal, touching first 2 supralabials; frontal hexagonal, 1.5 to 2 times width of supraocular, about 5/6 length of parietal; parietal 1.5 times length of prefrontal; paraparietal surrounded by 5 scales and shields; nasal much smaller than postocular; preocular present; postocular not as high as eye; eye equal to or slightly greater than eye-mouth distance; 5 supralabials, third and fourth entering orbit, fifth the largest, first 4 subequal; mental triangular, touching anterior chin shields; 5 infralabials, first 3 touching anterior chin shields; both pairs of chin shields meeting in midline; 3 gulars in midline between posterior chin shields and first ventral (Inger & Marx 1965).

Body thickness index 0.016-0.063 (7 specimens); tail thick, tapered near end to blunt point; dorsal scales reduce to 4 rows on tail opposite sixth to eleventh subcaudal anterior to terminal scute (Inger & Marx 1965).

Cloaca of females bilobed (1) or cardioid (1) (Inger & Marx 1965).

Teeth: Nine modified maxillary teeth (2 specimens) (Inger & Marx 1965).

Scale counts: Ventrals: males, 150-157 (mean 154.0; N=5); females, 157-197 (mean 173.4; N=14). Subcaudals: males, 17-20 (mean 18.3; N=6); females, 12-17 (mean 15.3; N=14) (Inger & Marx 1965).

Total length: males, 150-333 mm.; females, 222-420 mm. Ratio of tail to total length: males, 0.066-0.087 (mean 0.076; N=5); females, 0.039-0.086 (mean 0.057; N=14) (Inger & Marx 1965).

Coloration: light to dark brown above; dorsal scales with fine dark network; 2 to 6 dark-edged saddles on anterior part of body reaching the second or third scale row; behind area of saddles dorsum usually with scattered small, dark spots; scales of first row usually immaculate yellow at least in anterior half of body; head brown above with obscure dark markings; supralabials usually cream-colored without dark spots; a dark streak extending from nasal across lower edges of prefrontal and parietal and upper edge of last labial; underside of head yellowish, usually immaculate; ventrals immaculate yellow or with dark lateral edges; underside of tail immaculate yellow or with narrow dark mid-ventral streak (Inger & Marx 1965).

Other description: Taylor 1922: 185 
CommentSimilar species: C. gervaisi. 
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Brown, R.M.; McGuire, J.A.; Ferner,J.W.; Icarangal Jr., N. & Kennedy, R.S. 2000. Amphibians and reptiles of Luzon island, II: preliminary report on the herptofauna of Aurora Memorial national Park, Philippines. Hamadryad 25 (2): 175-195 - get paper here
  • Brown; Rafe; Cameron Siler, Carl Oliveros, Luke Welton, Ashley Rock, John Swab, Merlijn Van Weerd, Jonah van Beijnen, Dominic Rodriguez, Edmund Jose, Arvin Diesmos 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VIII: the herpetofauna of Cagayan and Isabela Provinces, northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range. ZooKeys 266 (2013) Special Issue: 1-120<br />doi: 10.3897/zookeys.266.3982 - get paper here
  • Gaulke, M. 2011. The herpetofauna of Panay Island, Philippines. Edition Chimaira, 390 pp.
  • Gaulke, M. & Vogel, G. 2005. Verbreitungsnachweis und Längenrekord für Calamaria bitorques PETERS 1872. Sauria 27 (1): 19-23 - get paper here
  • Gojo-Cruz, Paul Henric P. and Leticia E. Afuang 2018. The Zoogeographic Significance of Caraballo Mountain Range, Luzon Island, Philippines With Focus on the Biogeography of Luzon’s Herpetofauna. Philippine Journal of Science 147 (3): 393-409 - get paper here
  • GOJO-CRUZ, Paul Henric P.; Leticia E. AFUANG, Juan Carlos T. GONZALEZ and William SM. GRUEZO 2018. Amphibians and Reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines: the Herpetofauna of Pantabangan-Carranglan Watershed, Nueva Ecija Province, Caraballo Mountain Range. Asian Herpetological Research 9(4): 201–223 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. L., H. Kaiser & N. S. Yaakob 2004. A new species of Reed Snake of the genus Calamaria H. Boie, 1827, from Pulau Tioman, Pahang, West Malaysia. Hamadryad 28 (1&2): 1-6 - get paper here
  • Inger, R. F. & H. MARX 1965. The systematics and evolution of the oriental colubrid snakes of the genus Calamaria. Fieldiana: Zoology 49: 1-304. - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1872. Über drei neue Schlangenarten (Calamaria bitorques, Stenognathus brevirostris und Hemibungarus gemianulis) von den Philippinen. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1872 (Juli): 585-587 - 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.
  • Weinell, J. L., Leviton, A. E., & Brown, R. M. 2021. A new species of reed snake, genus Calamaria (Colubridae: Calamariinae), from Mindoro Island, Philippines. Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology, DOI 10.26757/pjsb2020b14006 - get paper here
  • Weinell, Jeffrey L.; Errol Hooper, Alan E. Leviton, Rafe M. Brown 2019. Illustrated Key to the Snakes of the Philippines. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 66 (1): 1-49 - get paper here
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