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Calamaria longirostris HOWARD & GILLESPIE, 2007

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Calamariinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymCalamaria longirostris HOWARD & GILLESPIE 2007
Calamaria longirostris — WALLACH et al. 2014: 139 
DistributionIndonesia (Sulawesi)

Type locality: Lambusango Reserve at 5°12’59’’S, 122°52’10’’E, at 400 m elevation, Buton Island, Sulawesi, Indonesia.  
TypesHolotype: MZB 3127, adult female, collected from a pitfall trap. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Distinguished from all other Calamaria including C. butonensis by the combination of the following: no preocular scale, mental not touching anterior chin shields, four supralabial scales and five scales or shields surrounding the paraparietal; ventrals 217–226 (female), subcaudals 11–12 (female), tail thick, not tapering but ending bluntly. Eight modified maxillary teeth.

Description of holotype. Rostral enlarged, slightly wider than high and 1.5 times length of prefrontal suture. Prefrontal slightly longer than frontal and touching first and second supralabials. Frontal hexagonal, four times width of supraocular and 80% length of parietal. Paraparietal surrounded by five scales or shields. Nasal same size as postocular and orientated obliquely laterally. Preocular absent. Postocular two-thirds eye size. Supraocular same size as eye. Eye diameter two-thirds eye-mouth distance. Four supralabials, second and third entering orbit, fourth largest; 1–3 subequal; two being twice size of one and three. Mental triangular, not touching anterior chin shields. Six infralabials, 1–3 touching anterior chin shields. Anterior chin shields meet on midline. Gular scales 3, in midline between chin shields and ventrals. Tail thick, ending bluntly, not tapered.
Sharp canthus, elongated and rounded dorsally. Lower jaw shortened, not reaching rostral. Posterior edge of rostral and anterior portion of first supralabial clearly forward of anterior edge of lower jaw (Figs. 4, 5).

Coloration: Body and tail uniform brown dorsally. Middorsal scales uniform brown with small pale flecks on lateral dorsal scales, increasing in density on third and fourth rows to form pale tips or bars on posterior scale edges. Second row mostly cream with brown anterior edge; first row cream with some brown anterior flecks. Ventral cream. Tail as for body. Head uniform brown with pale posterior edge to parietals and first 15 dorsal scale rows. Head shield sutures pale. Tip of rostral and anterior edge of nasal pale. Chin and side of head pink/ cream extending to nasal, all of first supralabial, lower three-fourths of second to fourth supralabials and one-half parietal. First three rows of dorsal scales on neck cream. Color in preservative similar to life (Howard & Gillespie 2007).

Variation. Scalation and measurement variation given in Table 1 (in Howard & Gillespie 2007). No variation in coloration amongst the specimens examined.

Comparisons. Calamaria butonensis is distinguished from most other Calamaria species by the combination of lacking a preocular, mental not touching anterior chin shields, five paraparietals and tapered tail. Calamaria butonensis appears most similar to Calamaria ceramensis from the southern Moluccas, Indonesia (Inger and Marx 1965). The numbers of subcaudals for male and female C. ceramensis are greater than C. butonensis. The body length ranges for male and female C. ceramensis are greater than those of C. butonensis. In addition C. ceramensis has a distinctive pale nuchal collar, absent from C. butonensis.
Calamaria butonensis is also similar to Calamaria rebentischi from west Borneo and Calamaria schegeli from Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java. Calamaria rebentischi is described from a single male specimen and differs from C. butonensis in having only seven modified maxillary teeth and rostral narrower than prefrontal suture. This specimen has 29 subcaudals and a total length of 270 mm, whereas male C. butonensis have no more than 28 subcaudals and a total body length of 206.8 mm. Calamaria schegeli has 9–10 modified maxillary teeth, a triangular mental scale, nasal scale is larger than the post ocular scale and as large as the eye, and maximum total body length of each sex is more than 50% greater than that of C. butonensis (Inger and Marx, 1965). Of the previously described Sulawesi species, C. butonensis is most similar to Calamaria apraeocularis, which also lacks a preocular scale. Calamaria butonensis differs by possessing five scales surrounding the paraparietal and the mental not touching the anterior chin shields (Table 1).
Calamaria longirostris is unlike any other Calamaria species in its general morphology of a sharp canthus and extremely short and blunt tail. It can be distinguished from all other species by the combination of absence of preocular, mental not touching anterior chin shields, five paraparietals and four supralabials. It is clearly distinguished from all other Sulawesi Calamaria species, including C. butonensis, by the combination of no preocular scale and four supralabial scales.
Calamaria butonensis and C. longirostris occur in sympatry on Buton Island with two other Calamaria species: Calamaria cf. brongersmai and Calamaria cf. nuchalis (Howard & Gillespie 2007). 
Etymologynamed after its long snout (rostris = snout). 
  • 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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