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Fowlea unicolor (MÜLLER, 1887)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymTropidonotus quincunciatus var. unicolor MÜLLER 1887
Tropidonotus quincunciatus var. γ GÜNTHER 1858
Tropidonotus quincunciatus var. γ — GÜNTHER 1864
Tropidonotus quincunciatus — THEOBALD 1876 [partim]
Tropidonotus quincunciatus — FERGUSON 1877 [partim]
Tropidonotus piscator — BOULENGER 1890 [partim]
Tropidonotus piscator — ABERCROMBY 1910 [partim]
Nerodia (Tropidonotus) piscator — WALL 1921 [partim]
Natrix piscator asperrimus (sic) — SMITH 1943 [partim]
Natrix piscator asperrimus (sic) — DERANIYAGALA 1955 [partim]
Natrix piscator asperrimus (sic) — DE SILVA 1969 [partim]
Natrix piscator —TAYLOR 1950
Fowlea piscator — MALNATE 1960 [partim]
Fowlea piscator — DEEPAK et al. 2021 [partim]
Xenochrophis piscator — MALNATE & MINTON 1965 [partim]
Xenochrophis piscator — DE SILVA 1980
Xenochrophis piscator — DAS & DE SILVA 2005
Xenochrophis piscator — Somaweera 2006
Xenochrophis piscator — TAKEUCHI et al 2018 [partim]
Xenochrophis cf. piscator — VOGEL & DAVID 2006
Xenochrophis cf. piscator — VOGEL & DAVID 2012
Xenochrophis cf. piscator — KARUNARATHNA & AMARASINGHE 2010
Xenochrophis cf. piscator — KARUNARATHNA & AMARASINGHE 2011
Xenochrophis cf. piscator — KARUNARATHNA & AMARASINGHE 2012
Xenochrophis cf. piscator — KARUNARATHNA et al. 2010
Xenochrophis cf. piscator — DE SILVA & UKUWELA 2017
Fowlea cf. piscator — MADAWALA et al. 2019
Fowlea unicolor — AMARASINGHE et al. 2022 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Peradenia (sic) (Peradeniya; 7°16’13.26’’N, 80°35’54.92’’E, datum = WGS84; 485 m above sea level), Kandy District, Central Province, Sri Lanka.  
TypesHolotype. NMB 723, adult female, collected by Paul Benedict Sarasin and Karl Friedrich Sarasin in 1886.
Other material (n = 17): NMB 725–726 from Peradeniya, Kandy District; NMSL uncatalogued (hereafter, uncat) 1 from Warakawehera, Kurunegala District, Northwestern Province; NMSL uncat 2 from Kottawa, Galle District, Southern Province; NMSL uncat 3–4 from Navinna, Galle District, Southern Province; FMNH 121494–121496 from Western Province; MNHN-RA 1890.0482 from Sri Lanka; NHMUK 1905.3.25.82 from Pundaluoya, Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka; NHMUK 1905.3.25.83–84, 1933.12.6.4 from Sri Lanka; ZMH R07930 from Wakwella, Galle District, Southern Province; ZMH R07935 from Sri Lanka; ZMB 2028 from Sri Lanka. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: “Fowlea unicolor comb. nov. is distributed in Sri Lanka and probably also in southern India, and it is distinguished from other congeners by having the following combination of characters: adults reaching a maximum total length 662 mm (males) and 714 mm (females), a longer tail of 32.0–35.3% of total length (in males) and 28.8–30.5% (in females), a single preocular, three postoculars (very rarely four), a single loreal scale, a divided cloacal plate, nasal scale completely divided by the nostril, smooth ventrals 125–132 in males and 131–138 in females, paired sub-caudals 86–93 in males and 79–91 in females, temporals 2 þ 2 (rarely 2 þ 1 or 2 þ 3), nine supralabials with fourth and fifth in contact with eye, 10 infralabials (rarely nine), dorsal scale rows 19-19-17, dorsals strongly keeled except the outer 2–4 rows, vertebral row not enlarged, greyish or brownish olive dorsum with 2–6 lines of irregular black blotches along the anterior body, dorsal marks become indistinct or obscure on the posterior body, small and narrow, vertical, white spots on flanks up to base of tail, two dark oblique streaks extending backwards on side of head and downwards from eye, thin or broad distinct black collar streak on the nape, collar streak mostly straight or curved forward (rarely pointed forward as an inverted V-shaped), a black thick ring mark (complete or broken) on the neck behind the collar streak, venter uniform cream or pale yellow (rarely with cloudy spots laterally). Fowlea unicolor comb. nov. is also genetically divergent from the eastern Indian F. piscator with p distance of 9.9% in the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene.” (Amarasinghe et al. 2022) 
CommentDistribution: see map in Amarasinghe et al. 2022: 213 (Fig. 9).

Synonymy: after Amarasinghe et al. 2022. 
  • Amarasinghe, A. A., Bandara, S. K., Weerakkody, S., Campbell, P. D., Marques, D. A., Danushka, A. D., ... & Vogel, G. 2022. Systematics of the Sri Lankan Water Snakes of the Genus Fowlea Theobald 1868 (Reptilia: Natricidae). Herpetologica 78(3) : 201-219 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
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