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Cylindrophis osheai KIECKBUSCH, MADER, KAISER & MECKE, 2018

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Higher TaxaCylindrophiidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: O’Shea’s pipe snake, Boano pipesnake
Indonesian: Ular Pipa O’Shea, Ular Pipa Boano
G: O’Shea-Walzenschlange, Boano-Walzenschlange 
SynonymCylindrophis osheai KIECKBUSCH, MADER, KAISER & MECKE 2018 
DistributionIndonesia (Boano, an island off the NW coast of Seram)

Type locality: Boano Island, Central Maluku Regency, northern Maluku Province, Indonesia.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: RMNH 5460 (formerly RMNH 5460.70) (Figs. 1A, 2, 3A, 4, 5A), an adult female, collected in 1865 by natural history collector Dirk Samuel Hoedt (1815–1893). Paratype. RMNH 47930 (formerly RMNH 5460.69) (Fig. 1B), a subadult male with collection data as for holotype. 
DiagnosisDefinition. A species of the genus Cylindrophis that can be easily distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of eidonomic characters: (1) 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody; (2) 224−226 ventral scales; (3) 8−9 subcaudal scales; (4) 25−28 dark ventral blotches, aligned to form a broad, wavy stripe along most of body (Fig. 3A); (5) a dark ventral pattern completely separated from the dark dorsal coloration; (6) tail with an almost completely dark-colored ventral surface (Fig. 2D); (7) a dark bar running from the eye through the 3rd and 4th supralabials to the mouth (Fig. 2B); and (8) a dark, double-diamond-shaped ventral pattern in the area immediately posterior to the genials (Figs. 1A, 2C). Cranial characteristics (Figs. 4, 5A) of this taxon include (1) well-developed postorbitofrontals that project laterally well beyond the maxilla in dorsal view, creating a characteristic, horn-like appearance; (2) a broad parietal with a bulbous middle section; (3) 10–12 maxillary teeth; (4) nine palatine teeth; (5) 7–9 teeth on the pterygoid; and (6) 11–13 teeth on the dentary.

Comparisons with other species. Cylindrophis osheai differs from all congeners by a combination of unique color pattern characters, including a light snout bordered by a dark head cap with a bar running from the eye through the 3rd and 4th supralabials to the mouth (only present elsewhere in the genus in a majority of C. melanotus specimens); a dark, double-diamond-shaped ventral blotch in the area immediately posterior to the genials (Fig. 2C); 25−28 dark ventral blotches aligned to form a broad wavy stripe for most part of the body (Fig. 3A; the ventral pattern of other taxa is shown in Fig. 3B–F); a dark ventral pattern completely separated from the dark dorsal coloration; and an almost completely dark ventral surface of the tail, with only the last subcaudal and terminal spine in a light color (Fig. 2D) (dark coloration covers 3/4–5/6 of tail length, whereas in C. melanotus 78% of the specimens we examined had less than half of the tail length showing a dark color).
In the following individual comparisons of external morphology, the characters for Cylindrophis osheai (n = 3) are provided in parentheses. Cylindrophis aruensis possesses 23 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 176−179 (224−226) ventrals, and six (8−9) subcaudals (Boulenger 1920; McDowell 1975). Cylindrophis boulengeri (n = 4) possesses 195−204 (224−226) ventrals, 5−6 (8−9) subcaudals, and a light collar (collar absent). Cylindrophis burmanus Smith, 1943 (n = 21) possesses 190−221 (224−226) ventrals and 4−7 (8−9) subcaudals. Cylindrophis engkariensis Stuebing, 1994 (n = 1) possesses 17 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 234 (224−226) ventrals, five (8−9) subcaudals, and rugose (smooth) dorsals on the tail. Cylindrophis isolepis Boulenger, 1896 (n = 2) possesses 21 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 5−6 (8−9) subcaudals, and has the nasals separated by the rostral (nasals in contact). Cylindrophis jodiae Amarasinghe, Ineich, Campbell & Hallermann, 2015 (n = 90) possesses 21 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 177−201 (224−226) ventrals, and 5−7 (8−9) subcaudals. Cylindrophis lineatus Blanford, 1881 (n = 1) possesses 21 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 210−218 (224−226) ventrals, and a dorsal pattern of stripes (stripes absent) (see also Amarasinghe et al., 2015). Cylindrophis maculatus (Linnaeus, 1758) (n = 37) has 4−7 (8−9) subcaudals and a dorsal pattern of paired reddish brown blotches enclosed by dark ground color (no enclosed blotches). Cylindrophis melanotus (n = 39) possesses 228−266 (224−226) ventrals; Moluccan populations (n = 3) possess 232−251 (224–226) ventrals. Cylindrophis opisthorhodus Boulenger, 1897 (n = 6) possesses 23 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody, 185−210 (224−226) ventrals, 4−7 (8−9) subcaudals, and a light dorsum with dark speckles forming two paravertebral rows and occasionally a discontinuous vertebral line (no speckles or vertebral line on dorsum) (see also Amarasinghe et al., 2015). Cylindrophis ruffus (Laurenti, 1768) sensu lato (as defined by Kieckbusch et al. 2016; n = 243) possesses 5−7 (8−9) subcaudals. Cylindrophis subocularis Kieckbusch, Mecke, Hartmann, Ehrmantraut, O’Shea & Kaiser, 2016 (n = 9) possesses a subocular scale (subocular scale absent), 190−196 (224−226) ventrals, and 6−7 (8−9) subcaudals. Cylindrophis yamdena (n = 5) possesses 21 (19) dorsal scale rows at midbody and 183−195 (224−226) ventrals.
The following comparison of cranial characters were made between the holotype (RMNH 5460) and paratype (RMNH 47930) of Cylindrophis osheai and specimens of C. boulengeri (NMBA 12913), C. melanotus (ZMB 4049), as well as a voucher of C. ruffus sensu lato (ZMB 13129) (Fig. 5). As for eidonomic characters, cranial features of C. osheai are listed in parentheses. Cylindrophis boulengeri (Fig. 5B) differs by having a broader cranium in dorsal view (slender and long in dorsal view); smaller prefrontals in comparison to frontals (frontals slightly smaller than prefrontals); very small postorbitofrontals that do not project beyond the maxilla in dorsal view (well-developed postorbitofrontals projecting laterally well beyond the maxilla, creating a characteristic horn- like appearance on the sides of the cranium); a very slender parietal with a less pronounced bulbous middle section (broad parietal with obvious bulbous middle section); seven (nine) palatine teeth; and six (7–9) teeth on the pterygoid. Cylindrophis melanotus (Fig. 5C) differs by having very small postorbitofrontals that do not project beyond the maxilla in dorsal view (well-developed postorbitofrontals projecting laterally well beyond the maxilla, creating a characteristic horn-like appearance on the sides of the cranium); a very broad parietal that has an obvious bulbous middle section (less broad parietal with less bulbous middle section); seven (nine) palatine teeth; and five (7–9) teeth on the pterygoid. Cylindrophis ruffus (Fig. 5D) differs by having a short and broad cranium in dorsal view (slender and long cranium); slightly smaller prefrontals in comparison to the frontals (frontals slightly smaller than prefrontals); small postorbitofrontals that do not project beyond the maxilla in dorsal view (well-developed postorbitofrontals projecting laterally well beyond the maxilla, creating a characteristic horn-like appearance on the sides of the cranium); and 6–7 (nine) palatine teeth. 
CommentTypes: The original entry in the collection catalogue of the herpetological collection at RMNH lists both specimens (under the registration number 5460) as “Cylindrophis rufus” and indicates that they were later identified as “Cylindrophis melanotus var.” by Dutch zoologist Leo Daniël Brongersma (1907–1994).

Known from only 3 specimens. 
EtymologyNamed after Mark O’Shea, British herpetologist 
References
  • KIECKBUSCH, MAX; FELIX MADER, HINRICH KAISER & SVEN MECKE 2018. A new species of Cylindrophis Wagler, 1828 (Reptilia: Squamata: Cylindrophiidae) from Boano Island, northern Maluku Province, Indonesia. Zootaxa 4486 (3): 236–250 - get paper here
 
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