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Candoia superciliosa (GÜNTHER, 1863)

IUCN Red List - Candoia superciliosa - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaBoidae (Candoiinae, Candoiidae), Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesCandoia superciliosa superciliosa (GÜNTHER 1863)
Candoia superciliosa crombiei SMITH et al. 2001 
Common NamesE: Belau Bevelnosed Boa, Northem Belau Bevelnosed Boa
E: Ngeaur Bevelnosed Boa [crombiei] 
SynonymEnygrus superciliosus GüNTHER 1863: 360
Enygrus carinatus var. superciliosus — KINGHORN 1928: 142
Enygrus carinatus (nec SCHNEIDER) — BOETTGER 1898: 111 (part;)
Enygrus carinatus — STERNFELD 1920: 423 (part)
Enygrus carinatus — DRYDEN & TAYLOR 1969: 271
Candoia superciliosa superciliosa — SMITH et al. 2001: 293
Candoia superciliosa — WALLACH et al. 2014: 148
Candoia superciliosa — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 28

Candoia superciliosa crombiei SMITH et al. 2001
Candoia superciliosa crombiei SMITH CHISZAR, TEPEDELEN & BREUKELEN 2001
Enygrus carinatus (nec SCHNEIDER) — STERNFELD 1920: 425
Candoia superciliosa crombiei — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 29 
DistributionPelew (= Palau = Belau) Islands

Type locality: "Pelew Islands."

crombiei: Type locality: Ngeaur Island, at the intersection ofthe west coast road and the road to Our Lady of the Rosary church (just N cemetery tumoff), S Ngaramasch village.  
Reproductionviviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.16.47 (formerly and 1946.1.16.50 (formerly 63.1 0.2.8). Presented by G. L. King. Date unknown.
Holotype: USNM 521718, juvenile male with everted hemipenes. Taken 31 July 1996 by Ronald 1. Crombie [crombiei] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and definition (based on 62 specimens examined and less than a dozen others in the literature). A member of the Candoia carinata complex, differing from other complexes of the genus in having a broad, flat, slanted, bevel-like, overhung snout, supralabials entering orbit, subcaudals 35 or more, and ventrals less than 203. Unique among all members of the Candoia carinata complex in the combination of presence (Fig. 2) of a distinct postanal white spot (I 00%); absence of keels on the 2nd row of dorsals (100%); presence of a greatly enlarged supraocular on each side (Fig 3), with a minimum oD or fewer scales in a row between those on the two sides (100%); anterior scale rows fewer than 29 (100%); totallength not exceeding 885 mm, seldom reaching 700 mm; temperament retiring, withdrawing, not aggressive under any circumstance; and diet consisting almost excIusively of ectotherms. (Smith et al. 1981)

Comparisons. Species other than those ofthe carinata complex have a more or less rounded snout, not flat and overhung, and the supralabials are separated from the orbit; in addition, in Candoia asper the subcaudals are in the tens or twenties, on a very short tail, and in C. bibronii the ventrals are 203 or more.
Within the Candoia carinata complex, the distinct postanal white spot, docHe temperament, ectotherm diet and small size are shared only with populations from the South Moluccas (topotypes of C. carinata, see Böhme et al., 1998), and their relatives in Sangihe, Irian Jaya and northern Papua New Guinea, almost invariably with keels on the 2nd scale row at least on neck. In all populations, the enlarged supraoculars are smaller, usually there is a minimum of 4 or more scales in a row between them, and usually 2 or more border the orbit. The anterior scale rows number 29 or more in 94% of the material from the Solomon Islands, 100% of Bougainville material, 82%. from Papua New Guinea, and 79% from Halmahera. Totallengths of900 mm or more, up to 1375 mm, are known from Halmahera, Bougainville and the Solomon Islands, the largest from the latter area. (Smith et al. 1981)

Variation. See tables. Exceedingly polymorphie in colour and pattern in life, "with everything from lemon yellow to charcoal occurring, including bright brick red, and with striped, spotted or zigzag patterns, dull to brightly contrasted" (Crombie, pers. comm.). The striped individuals have a unique, irregular dorsolateral white line on each side (Fig. 5); no other species of the carinata complex exhibits that variation in the striped phase. (Smith et al. 1981)

Diagnosis (crombiei): A subspecies of Candoia superciliosa differing primarily from the nominotypical subspecies by having more than 180 ventrals (183-192, M = 188.0, n 8), vs fewer than 180 (165-178, M = 173.4, n 53). See Comparisons for other differences.

Description of holotype (crombiei): Smith et al. 1981: 291

Comparisons (crombiei): Smith et al. 1981: 292 
CommentDistribution: not on the Solomon island (McCoy 2015). Until recently the species was considered a subspecies of Candoia carinata, which is found throughout most of the Solomon Islands archipelago (Harlow and Shine 1992). It is now a full species, but due to a lack of specific data, much of the available information refers to Candoia carinata (Smith et al 2001, O. Tallowin in IUCN 2012 and pers. comm., 23 Nov 2016). 
EtymologyThe name superciliosa presumably refers to the much enlarged supraocular scales, characteristic of the species.

The name crombiei honors the collector, Ronald I. Crombie,of the holotype and also ofthe bulk of the comparative material from elsewhere in Belau. As an authority on the history and biology of Belau, he has provided much background and natural history information for the authors. 
  • Boettger, O. 1898. Katalog der Reptilien-Sammlung im Museum der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Frankfurt/M. 2.Teil (Schlangen). [type catalogue] Frankfurt/M (Gebr. Knauer), i-ix + 1-160. - get paper here
  • Dryden, G.L. & TAYLOR, E.H. 1969. Reptiles from the Mariana and Caroline Islands. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 48 (8): 269-279 - get paper here
  • Günther. A. 1863. Third account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 12: 348 - 365 - get paper here
  • Harlow, P. and R. Shine. 1992. Food habits and reproductive biology of the Pacific Island boas (Candoia). J. Herp. 26 (1): 60-66 - get paper here
  • Kinghorn, J. R. 1928. Notes on Some Reptiles and Batrachians from the Northern Division of Papua, With Descriptions of New Species of Apisthocalamus and Lygosoma. Rec. Austral. Mus. 16: 289-293. - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham and Robert W. Henderson 2018. Boas of the World (Superfamily Booidae): A Checklist With Systematic, Taxonomic, and Conservation Assessments. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology Sep 2018, Vol. 162, No. 1: 1-58. - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M.; Chiszar, D.; Tepedelen, K. & van Breukelen, F. 2001. A revision of bevdelnosed boas (Candoia carinata complex) (Reptilia: Serpentes). Hamadryad 26 (2): 283-315 - 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.
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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