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Calamaria butonensis HOWARD & GILLESPIE, 2007

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Calamariinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymCalamaria butonensis HOWARD & GILLESPIE 2007
Calamaria butonensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 135 
DistributionIndonesia (Sulawesi: Kakenauwe Reserve, Lambusango Reserve)

Type locality: Kakenauwe Reserve at 5°11’0’’S, 122°53’40’’E, and 150 m elevation, Buton Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia.  
TypesHolotype: MZB (erroneously given as MBZ) 3125, adult male, collected on 21 June, 2002. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Distinguished from all other Calamaria species by the combination of the following characteristics: no preocular scale, mental not touching anterior chin shields, five supralabial scales and five scales or shields surrounding paraparietal, subcaudals 25–28 (male) and 14–18 (female), tail long and tapering to a point; nine modified maxillary teeth, maximum total body length of 245 mm, and uniform body coloration (Howard & Gillespie 2007).

Description of holotype. Rostral wider than long, width 1.5 times length of prefrontal suture. Frontal roughly hexagonal, anterior portion compressed toward posterior. Frontal just longer than prefrontals, three times width of supraocular and 80% length of parietal. Prefrontals touching the first, second, and third supralabials. Paraparietal surrounded by five scales or shields. Nasal slightly smaller than postocular and roughly cubic in shape. Preocular absent. Postocular 80% eye size. Supraocular equal to eye size. Eye diameter equal to eye mouth distance. Five supralabials, third and fourth entering orbit, fifth largest first smallest, others equal. Mental rounded, not touching anterior chin shields. Five infralabials, first, second, and third touching anterior chin shields. Anterior chin shields meet at midline. Three gular scales in midline between chin shields and first ventral (Figs. 1 and 2). Ventrals 129; subcaudals 28; snout–vent length 151.0 mm; tail length 25.0 mm; maximum body width 5.7 mm; tail thick, long and tapering to a point. Nine modified maxillary teeth (Howard & Gillespie 2007).

Dorsal coloration: chocolate brown with each scale covered in a fine mosaic of cream-yellow and brown patches. Outermost dorsal scale row has brown blotching on anterior edge, otherwise white/opaque. Dorsal color uniform along body, except outer two scale rows become predominantly pale yellow on anterior 40 rows. Ventral scales cream-white and opaque. Head shields predominantly dark brown with scattered small yellow chromatophores. Upper labials yellow with brown blotches around their edge. Lower labials and chin shields opaque with mainly brown or some yellow blotching. Eye black. Color in preservative similar in life (Howard & Gillespie 2007).

Variation. Variation in scalation and size is given in Table 1. Some slight color variation exists; the fine mosaic of patches on the dorsal scales can form the appearance of faint bands along each scale row; some individuals show a midventral dark line on caudal scales; some specimens with dark flecking on ventral surface, forming scattered, alternate, bars. Two individuals had uneven dentition, with nine modified maxillary teeth on one half of the jaw and only eight on the other (Howard & Gillespie 2007). 
CommentBehavior: crepuscular and nocturnal. 
Etymologynamed after the type locality, Buton Island. 
  • Howard, S.D. & Gillespie, G.R. 2007. Two New Calamaria (Serpentes) Species from Sulawesi, Indonesia. Journal of Herpetology 41 (2): 237 - get paper here
  • Koch, A. 2011. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Sulawesi: Underestimated Diversity in a Dynamic Environment. In: F.E. Zachos and J.C. Habel (eds.), Biodiversity Hotspots. Springer, Berlin, p. 383-404 - get paper here
  • Koch, A. 2012. Discovery, Diversity, and Distribution of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Sulawesi and its offshore islands. Edition Chimaira, 374 pp. [ISBN 978-3-89973-432-4] - get paper here
  • Koch, A.; Arida, E.; Mcguire, J.A.; Iskandar, D.T. & Böhme, W. 2009. A new species of Calamaria (Squamata: Colubridae) similar to C. ceramensis de Rooij, 1913, from the Banggai Islands, east of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Zootaxa 2196: 19–30 - 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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