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Chamaelycus fasciatus (GÜNTHER, 1858)

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: African Banded Snake 
SynonymAlopecion fasciatum GÜNTHER 1858: 196
Lycophidium irroratum GÜNTHER 1868: 426 (part.)
Lycophidium fasciatum — BOULENGER 1893: 342
Lycophidium werneri MOCQUARD 1902: 412
Lycophidium fasciatum — STERNFELD 1917
Lycophidion fasciatum — SCHMIDT 1923: 69
Oophilositum fasciatum — PARKER 1933: 545
Lycophidion fasciatum — LOVERIDGE 1936
Chamaelycus werneri — BOGERT 1940
Oophilositum fasciatum — LAURENT 1956: 125
Oophilositum fasciatum — PERRET 1961
Oophilositum fasciatum — DE WITTE 1962: 73
Chamaelycus fasciatus — WITTE 1963
Chamaelycus werneri — HUGHES 1983
Chamaelycus fasciatus — BROADLEY 1998
Chamaelycus werneri — LEBRETON 1999
Chamaelycus fasciatus — BÖHME et al. 2011: 58
Chamaelycus fasciatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 157
Chamaelycus werneri — WALLACH et al. 2014: 157
Chamaelycus fasciatus — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 404 
DistributionW/C/E Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, probably Benin (Hughes 2013), Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, W Uganda

Type locality: West Africa

werneri: Cameroon ?, Gabon (fide MOCQUARD 1902), Congo (Brazzaville); Type locality: "à environ 50 kilomètres an Sud-Ouest de Lambaréné, Gabon."  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.14.29 (and possibly additional specimens).
Holotype: MNHN-RA 1901.0551, a 350 mm female (Haug) [werneri] 
CommentSynonymy: partly after BOULENGER 1893. C. werneri is a synonym of C. fasciatus (Chippaux and Jackson 2019, see also Angel, 1934, Dowling, 1969, Pauwels & Vande Weghe 2008).

Distribution: Not reported from Benin according to ULLENBRUCH et al. 2010. Not listed for Cameroon by CHIRIO & LEBRETON 2007. C. werneri from Gabon and Cameroon were mentioned by Hughes 1983 in a table, without comments; LeBreton 1999 then repeated these records based on Hughes 1983. Within Gabon, the only other record of C. werneri besides the type was made by Knoepffler 1966: 7 who got a single specimen from Makokou (about 350 km NE of the type locality of C. werneri), from where he also got a C. fasciatus (Knoepffler presented a specimen of C. fasciatus from Lambarene, at just 50 km from the type-locality of C. werneri). (O. Pauwels, pers. comm., 26 July 2019). For a map with localities in Equatorial Guinea see SÁNCHEZ-VIALAS et al. 2022.

Morphology: The only difference between Chamaelycus fasciatus and C. werneri is that the latter is said to have a loreal in contact with the orbit. However, this is probably not a stable condition, as in C. christy, which shows both states (de Witte, 1963). The record of C. werneri from Cameroon (Bogert, 1940) at Metet at about 1000 km N-NE from the type-locality of C. werneri, is based on a single specimen whose loreals contacted the respective orbits. Bogert (1940: 32) mentioned the necessity to demonstrate that werneri was really distinct from fasciatus. Knoepffler (loc. cit.: 8) mentioned that he identified it as a C. werneri based on its contact between the loreal and the orbit, but he suggested that what defines werneri is just a variation within fasciatus, as did Angel (1934) as he mentioned. In conclusion, only one scalation character separates werneri from fasciatus (a variable character within the genus), and this character does not seem to have a zoogeographical pattern vs. the whole distribution of fasciatus (O. Pauwels, pers. comm., 26 July 2019).

Similar species: Lycophidion irroratum 
EtymologyNamed after its banded pattern “”fasciatus”). C. werneri was named after Franz Werner (1867-1939), Austrian zoologist. 
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