Dasypeltis medici BIANCONI, 1859
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Dasypeltis medici?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Eastern Forest Egg-eater, East African Egg Eater|
G: Ostafrikanische Eierschlange (lamuensis: Östliche O.E.)
|Synonym||Dasypeltis medici medici (BIANCONI 1859)|
Dipsas Medici BIANCONI 1859
Dasypeltis palmarum PETERS 1878 (not of LEACH!)
Dasypeltis scaber var. fasciolata PETERS 1868: 451
Dasypeltis elongata MOCQUARD 1888: 131
Dasypeltis scabra var. bianconii BOETTGER 1893: 132
Dasypeltis scabra var. F BOULENGER 1894 (part.)
Dasypeltis scaber UTHMÖLLER 1934 (part.)
Dasypeltis scaber LOVERIDGE 1936 (part.)
Dasypeltis scaber SCORTECCI 1939: 276 (part.)
Dasypeltis scaber medici LOVERIDGE 1939 (part.)
Dasypeltis medici lamuensis GANS 1957
Dasypeltis medici medici — RASMUSSEN 1981: 180
Dasypeltis medici lamuensis — LANZA 1988
Dasypeltis medici lamuensis — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 32
Dasypeltis medici medici — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 32
Dasypeltis medici — BROADLEY et al. 2003: 231
Dasypeltis medici — WALLACH et al. 2014: 211
Dasypeltis medici medici — BATES et al. 2014: 411
Dasypeltis medici lamuensis — GÖTHEL 2015
Dasypeltis medici — BATES & BROADLEY 2018: 8
Dasypeltis medici — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 519
|Distribution||S Kenya, Tanzania, N/C Mozambique, Malawi, NE Zimbabwe, Somalia, Zambia, NE Republic of South Africa (Kwazulu Natal), Swaziland|
lamuensis: coastal Somalia, south through Kenya to NE Tanzania at Mount Kilimanjaro and Moshi; Type locality: Lamu Island, Kenya.
Type locality: Mozambique; probably Inhambane (fide BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991)
|Types||Holotype: ZMB 5737 [Dasypeltis scaber var. fasciolata PETERS 1868]|
Holotype: MCZ 40581 [lamuensis]
|Diagnosis||Description. Dorsal colour pattern varies considerably. Patterned specimens may be similar to D. scabra: grey to tan with narrow, darker, rectangular saddles (longer than wide) separated by narrow cream to white interspaces, with irregular narrow dark lateral bars situated for the most part adjacent to the pale interspaces. The saddles may be much elongated and closely set and give the appearance of a broad dark vertebral stripe broken by more-or-less equally spaced pale flecks. Pattern cycles 57–108 (mean 74.0, N = 24); 1–5 chevrons (pointing forward) on nape and anterior part of body (N = 13). Some specimens are uniform pink, orange, red, grey, fawn or brown above (Spawls et al. 2002), but specimens with intermediate patterns also occur, e.g. reddish (Fig. 2C–D) or grey (Fig. 2E–F) with fairly vague dark dorsal markings and mere indications of whitish interspaces (e.g. CAS 135751, FMNH 251325, ZMUC 6111); NMK 1699 is reddish-brown with 3–4 vague chevrons only (anterior part of body) and a cream venter. Edges of apical pits on dorsal scales darkly pigmented. Venter usually cream, often with fine grey stippling (may be extensive as in NMW 26926); but occasionally yellowish-cream (e.g. NMK S 3956, Mount Warges; ZFMK 63582, near Mombasa [with extensive grey speckling]); or salmon-coloured with central part of each plate dark brown anteriorly in FMNH 142635 (vicinity of Nairobi).|
Preoculars usually one on either side of head, but one on one side and two on the other in NMW 9964–18 and ZMB 8597, and two on either side in ZMUC 6143 (N = 61); postoculars usually two on either side of head, but one in 10.3% of specimens, and one on one side and two on the other in 4.6% of specimens (N = 87); frontal shield usually extensively pitted (States 3–4), but marginally pitted (States 1–2) in 10.5% of specimens (including three snakes ≥422 mm SVL) and smooth (State 0) in one adult (MSNG 42710b) (N = 57); inter-prefrontal suture usually weakly marked, but moderately marked in 18.9% of specimens, and deeply marked in AMNH 143717 (N = 53); supralabials 12–15, usually 14 (both sides of head), usually 7[3rd and 4th entering orbit] on either side of head, but variations are: 6[2,3] on both sides in NMK 1699, 6[2,3] on right side in MSNG 427210b and USNM 16755, 6[3,4] on both sides in NMK 2535 & 3249, 7[2,3,4] on right side in ZMUC 6124, 8[3,4] on left side in SMNS 4216A, and 8[3,4,5] on left and 7[3,4,5] on right side in SMNS 4216F (N = 85); anterior temporals usually two on either side of head (70.5%), occasionally three (14.8%), 3 left:2 right or 2:3 (13.1%) and 4:3 in USNM 16755 (N = 61); posterior temporals usually three on either side of head (60.7%), occasionally 3:4 or 4:3 (14.8%), four (14.8%), 3:2 or 2:3 (4.9%), 5:4 in MCZ 40580, five in ZMB 17453 (N = 61), and two (left side, right damaged) in ZMB 48150; temporal formula on either side of head usually 2+3, often 2+4, occasionally 3+3 and 3+4; midbody scale rows 22–27 (mean 24.8 ± 0.97, N = 57); ventrals 220–252 in males (N = 29), 218–252 in females (N = 49); subcaudals 75–109 in males (N = 27), 61–90 in females (N = 47). Ratio SVL: tail length 3.5–4.7 in males (N = 27), 4.0–6.1 in females (N = 44); total length: tail length 4.5–5.7 in males (N = 27), 5.0–7.1 in females (N = 44).
|Comment||Synonymy after GANS 1957 and BATES & BROADLEY 2018 who synonymized the subspecies lamuensis with medici.|
Distribution: see map in GÖTHEL 2015: 19, BATES & BROADLEY 2018: 12 (Fig. 3).
Habitat. Coastal and montane forest and savannah at elevations from sea level to about 2500 m on Mount Warges (Kenya). In southern Africa it occurs in lowland evergreen forest (Broadley 1990).
Sympatry. Sympatric with D. scabra at Belet Amin (Somalia), Kilifi (Kenya), and Amani, Dodoma, Morogoro and Zanzibar (Tanzania); sympatric with D. atra at Nyambene Hills (Kenya) and Moshi (Tanzania); sympatric with both of these species at Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (BATES & BROADLEY 2018).