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Demansia reticulata (GRAY, 1842)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesDemansia reticulata cupreiceps STORR 1978
Demansia reticulata reticulata (GRAY 1842) 
Common NamesE: Yellow-faced Whipsnake, Yellow-Faced Whip Snake 
SynonymLycodon reticulatus GRAY 1842: 54
Diemenia psammophis — BOULENGER 1896
Demansia psammophis var. reticulata — FRY 1914: 191
Demansia reticulata reticulata—STORR 1978: 297
Demansia psammophis reticulata — WELCH 1994: 53
Demansia psammophis reticulata — APLIN et al. 2001
Demansia psammophis reticulata — WILSON & SWAN 2013: 500
Demansia reticulata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 214
Demansia reticulata — COGGER 2014

Demansia reticulata cupreiceps STORR 1978
Demansia reticulata cupreiceps STORR 1978
Demansia psammophis cupreiceps — WELCH 1994: 53
Demansia psammophis cupreiceps — APLIN et al. 2001
Demansia psammophis cupreiceps — WILSON & SWAN 2013: 500
Demansia psammophis cupreiceps — COGGER 2014
Demansia reticulata cupreiceps — EIPPER & EIPPER 2019 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia from Dirk Hartog Island south to Harvey; coast and adjacent areas of Western Australia south of Shark Bay)

Type locality: Australia

cupreiceps: Western Australia (arid interior to mid-western coast of Western Australia and western Kimberleys). Type locality: Callagiddy, 25° 02'S, 114°01’ E, W. A.  
TypesSyntypes: lost, formerly BMNH. The "hololectotype" BMNH 1946.1.19.79, from Australia, designated by Storr (1978) cannot be one of the type series, as it was donated by G. Krefft over a decade after the description of the species by Gray (1845) (G. Shea, pers. comm., Feb 2019).
Holotype: WAM R34555 cupreiceps] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderately large green Demansia, distinguishable from D. r. cupreiceps by olive rather than coppery head (Storr 1978: 297).

Description (reticulata): Snout-vent length (mm): 219-700 (N 60, mean 545.4). Length of tail (% SVL): 24.2-36.1 (N 58, mean 29.4). Ventrals 172-201 (N 50, mean 187.8). Subcaudals 67-88 (N 55, mean 75.1). Ventrals plus subcaudals 244- 279 (N 48, mean 262.7).
Head pale to moderately dark olive green, except for occasional specimens with blackish head and nape. Rest of coloration as in D. r. cupreiceps (Storr 1978: 297)

Diagnosis (cupreiceps): A moderately large green Demansia with reticulate dorsal pattern, coppery tail, and well-developed transrostral and circumorbital markings; distinguishable from D. r. reticulata by coppery rather than olive head (Storr 1978: 295)

Description (cupreiceps): Snout-vent length (mm): 186-764 (N 49, mean 550.4). Length of tail (% SVL): 23.3-33.5 (N 44, mean 28.9). Ventrals 179-205 (N 45, mean 191.3). Subcaudals 63-91 (N 42, mean 77.2). Ventrals plus subcaudals 250- 288 (N 40, mean 269.1).
Head, hind part of body and tail coppery brown, except for occasional specimens with head and nape blackish. Rest of back and sides bright pale green, posterolateral edges of scales black (margin widest at apex). Trans- rostral line dark brown, margined with yellow. Narrow dark brown circum- orbital ring with short grey tail, broadly margined with yellow. Faint longi- tudinal streak occasionally discernible on each side of chin. Throat yellow; rest of under surface yellowish white, except where black of dorsal reticula- tion extends briefly on to free edge of ventrals (Storr 1978: 296) 
CommentSynonymy: WALLACH et al. 2014 list Demansia psammophis cupreiceps (STORR 1978) as a synonym of D. reticulata.


Type species: Lycodon reticulatus GRAY 1842 is the type species of the genus Demansia GRAY 1842.

Synonymy: WALLACH et al. 2014 list Demansia psammophis cupreiceps (STORR 1978) as a synonym of D. reticulata. Some recent authors argue that cupreiceps should be a subspecies of reticulata but the issue is not conclusively settled (G. Shea, pers. comm., 19 Nov 2019). 
  • Aplin, K.P. and L.A. Smith 2001. Checklist of the frogs and reptiles of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement No. 63: 51–74 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Bush, B. & Maryan, B. 2006. Snakes and Snake-like Reptiles of Southern Western Australia. Snakes Harmful & Harmless, Stoneville, Perth, Western Australia, 40 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Fry, D. B. 1914. On a collection of reptiles and batrachians from Western Australia. Rec. West. Austral. Mus. 1:174-210 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1842. Description of some hitherto unrecorded species of Australian reptiles and batrachians. Zoological Miscellany 2: 51—57 (London: Treuttel, Würtz & Co) - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2020. An annotated list of reptiles and amphibians from the 1905 Hamburg expedition to southwest Australia deposited in the Zoological Museum Hamburg. Evolutionary Systematics 4: 61 - get paper here
  • Hutchinson M N 1990. The generic classification of the Australian terrestrial elapid snakes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 29 (3): 397-405
  • 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.
  • Welch, K. R. G. 1994. Snakes of the World. A Checklist. I. Venomous snakes. KCM Books, Somerset, England.
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