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Cryptophis boschmai (BRONGERSMA & KNAAP VAN MEEUWEN, 1964)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Carpentaria whip snake 
SynonymDenisonia boschmai BRONGERSMA & KNAAP VAN MEEUWEN 1964: 553
Unechis carpentariae WORRELL 1961: 25 (non Unechis carpentariae MACLEAY1887)
Unechis boschmai — MENGDEN 1983
Unechis boschmai — COGGER 1983: 238
Rhinoplocephalus boschmai — WILSON & KNOWLES 1988
Rhinoplocephalus boschmai — HUTCHINSON 1990
Rhinoplocephalus boschmai — WELCH 1994: 105
Suta boschmai — SHINE 1994
Rhinoplocephalus boschmai — COGGER 2000: 677
Cryptophis boschmai — ESCORIZA BOJ 2005
Cryptophis boschmai — GREER 2006 (online)
Cryptophis boschmai — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 464
Unechis boschmai crutchfieldi HOSER 2012
Rhinoplocephalus boschmai — WALLACH et al. 2014: 640
Cryptophis boschmai — COGGER 2014: 873 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland), Papua New Guinea, Indonesia (Irian Jaya)

Type locality: Merauke, Irian Jaya, Indonesia.  
TypesHolotype: RMNH 10874 M 
DiagnosisDescription. “Palatine extending rostrally just beyond the maxillary; the anterior tip of the maxillary is at the level of the second palatine tooth. A pair of enlarged poison fangs, followed after an interspace by four small grooved teeth. Anterior mandibular teeth larger than posterior teeth. Pupil vertically elliptic; the vertical diameter of the eye (1.6 mm) is nearly equal to its distance from the mouth (1.7 mm). Rostral about 1.6 times as wide as high; internasals narrower anteriorly; the length of the prefrontal 1.8 times that of the internasals. Frontal about 1.4 times as long as wide, about 1.2 times as long as its distance from the tip of the snout; the width of the frontal is 2.2 times the greatest width of the supraocular, and 3 times the width of the supraocular as measured above the eye; the length of the parietal is about 1.4 times that of the frontal. Nasal single. The prefrontal is in contact with the second upper labial, thus separating the nasal from the preocular; the contact between the prefrontal and the second labial is narrower on the right side than on the left; if further specimens become available, it is very well possible that the nasal and preocular will show to be in contact in at least some of them. One preocular; two postoculars. Temporals 2 + 2. The lower anterior temporal is separated from the postoculars by the upper anterior temporal; it is wedged in between the fifth and sixth upper labials. Six upper labials, of which the third and fourth border the orbit. On the right side seven lower labials, of which the anterior four are in contact with the anterior chinshield; on the left a small shield at the border of the lip is wedged in between two lower labials, thus bringing the total number of labials up to eight, of which the first, second, fourth, and fifth border the anterior chinshield. Posterior chinshields longer than anterior chinshields.” (BRONGERSMA & KNAAP VAN MEEUWEN 1964)

Colour (in alcohol). “Head pale greyish brown above, the lips whitish. Nape and back bluish black; the scales of the nape with blackish borders. The scales of the first row of scales whitish with dark borders; those of the second row whitish in the centre or at the tip; posteriorly, the second row of scales is almost completely darkly coloured, whilst the white area of the scales of the first row becomes much reduced. Lower surface whitish. The posterior ventral with a median series of greyish spots. Lower surface of tail with a median series of greyish spots, which together form a more or less interrupted dark median line.” (BRONGERSMA & KNAAP VAN MEEUWEN 1964)

Size. Length of head and body 361 mm; length of tail 78 mm.” (BRONGERSMA & KNAAP VAN MEEUWEN 1964) 
CommentSynonymy partly after COGGER 1983 and PARKER 1972. MCDOWELL 1970 considered Denisonia boschmai as a geographic variation of Suta carpentariae.

EtymologyNamed after Professor Dr. Hilbrand Boschma (1893-1976), a Dutch zoologist, herpetologist, and (primarily) expert on crustaceans. 
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  • Brongersma, L. D. & Knaap van Meeuwen, M. S. 1964. On a new species of Denisonia (Reptilia, Serpentes) from New Guinea. Zoologische Mededelingen 39: 550-554 [1964 ?] - get paper here
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  • Worrell, E. 1961. Herpetological Name Changes. Western Australian Naturalist 8: 18—27. - get paper here
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