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Calamaria prakkei LIDTH DE JEUDE, 1893

IUCN Red List - Calamaria prakkei - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Calamariinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Prakke’s Reed Snake
G: Prakkes Riednatter 
SynonymCalamaria prakkei LIDTH DE JEUDE 1893
Calamaria prakkei — INGER & MARX 1965: 120
Calamaria prakkei — GRANDISON 1978: 286
Calamaria prakkei — INGER & VORIS 2001
Calamaria prakkei — WALLACH et al. 2014: 141 
DistributionSingapore I, Malaysia (Sabah, Borneo)

Type locality: Sandakan Bay, North Borneo.  
TypesLectotype: RMNH RENA 10866 (previously RMNH.RENa.4360), male; paratype: RMNH RENA.4360. Collected by J.Chr. Prakke, Indonesia, Borneo, Sandakan Bay. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Maxillary teeth modified; third and fourth supra-labials entering orbit; preocular present; mental touching anterior chin shields; paraparietal surrounded by 5 shields and scales; sub-caudals of males 30 or more, of females 24 or more; ventrals fewer than 145 (Inger & Marx 1965).

Description. Rostral as wide as high, portion visible from above 1/2 to 2/3 length of prefrontal suture; prefrontal 3/4 length of frontal, touching first 2 supralabials; frontal hexagonal, 1.5 to 2.33 times width of supraocular, about 4/5 lengt of parietal; parietal 1.66 times length of prefrontal; paraparietal surrounded by 5 scales and shields; nasal subequal to postocular; preocular present; neither ocular as high as eye; eye greater than eye-mouth distance; 5 supra-labials, third and fourth entering orbit, fifth the largest, other 4 subequal; mental triangular, touching anterior chin shields; 5 infra-labials, 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 0.020-0.027 (2 specimens); tail long and thick, tapering near end to sharp point; dorsal scales reduce to 4 rows on tail opposite seventh to fifteenth subcaudal anterior to terminal scute (Inger & Marx 1965).

Hemipenis forked opposite the twelfth subcaudal, retractor beginning opposite fourteenth subcaudal; calyces papillate distally (1 specimen) (Inger & Marx 1965).

Teeth: Seven to eight modified maxillary teeth (6 specimens) (Inger & Marx 1965).

Scale counts: ventrals: males, 126-132 (mean 128.6; N=5); females, 142-144 (N=2). Subcaudals: males, 31-32 (mean 31.4; N=5); females, 24-25 (N=2) (Inger & Marx 1965).

Total length: males, 172-245 mm.; females, 230-256 mm. Ratio of tail to total length: males, 0.165-0.167 (mean 0.166; N=3); females, 0.096-0.105 (N=2) (Inger & Marx 1965).

Coloration: brown above, each dorsal scale above first row with a dark network; scattered mid-dorsal scales with a dark central spot, spots not forming longitudinal stripes; scales of first row yellow in centers forming a distinct longitudinal light stripe running length of body; adjacent edges of ventrals and first scale row dark brown forming a dark stripe; a similar stripe formed along adjacent halves of first and second scale rows; in anterior sixth of body a dark stripe formed on adjacent edges of second and third rows; light brown collar about 6 scales behind parietal, collar complete or interrupted mid-dorsally; head brown above with darker spots; lower half or third of supra-labials yellow, sutures brown; head yellow below with brown spots on sutures; ventrals yellow, immaculate except for brown lateral edges; underside of tail yellow, usually a midventral dark stripe (Inger & Marx 1965). 
Etymologynamed after Mr. J. Chr. Prakke who captured the type in the neighbourhood of the Sandakan-bay (N. Borneo). 
  • Grandison, A. G. C. 1978. Snakes of West Malaysia and Singapore. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 81 [1977]: 283-303 - 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
  • Inger, R.F. & Voris, H. K. 2001. The biogeographical relations of the frogs and snakes of Sundaland. Journal of Biogeography 28: 863-89 1
  • Lidth de Jeude,T.W. van 1893. On reptiles from North Borneo. Notes from the Leyden Museum 15 (3): 250-257 - get paper here
  • Stuebing, R.B., Inger, R.F. & Lardner, B. 2014. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo, second edition. Natural history Publications (Borneo)
  • 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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