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Helophis schoutedeni (DE WITTE, 1942)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Schouteden's Sun Snake 
SynonymPelophis schoutedeni DE WITTE 1922: 318
Helophis schoutedeni — DE WITTE 1942: 113 (nom. nov.)
Helophis schoutedeni — LAURENT 1958: 121
Helophis schoutedeni — BROADLEY 1998
Helophis schoutedeni — NAGY et al. 2014
Helophis schoutedeni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 324 
DistributionW/C Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), SE Congo (Brazzaville) (K. Jackson, pers. comm.)

Type locality: “Kwamouth (district du Moyen-Congo) [et ...] Tondu, sur Ie Lac Tumba (district de l’Equateur)” (DRC)  
TypesSyntypes: RMCA (= MRAC 2468, a 446 mm specimen (H. Schouteden, 24 Feb. 1924), and 2469, a 540 mm specimen (H. Schouteden, 23 May 1921). 
CommentSynonymy: Pelophis is preoccupied by Pelophis Fitzinger, 1843 [type species: Brachyorrhos (now Enhydris) alternans Reuss, 1834].

Similar species: Hydraethiops sp.; The assignment of this species to Natricinae is based on morphological data as no DNA could be collected yet (NAGY et al. 2013).

Type species: Pelophis schoutedeni DE WITTE 1922: 318 is the type species of the genus Helophis DE WITTE & LAURENT 1942.

Distribution: for a map of the genus see Deepak et al. 2021: Fig. 1.

Phylogenetics: for a phylogenetic analysis of Sub-saharan Natricine genera see Deepak et al. 2021. 
Etymologynamed after the collector of the types, Dr. Henri Schouteden. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. [detaileld review in HR 51 (1): 161] - get paper here
  • Deepak, V, Simon T Maddock, Rhiannon Williams, Zoltán T Nagy, Werner Conradie, Sara Rocha, D James Harris, et al. 2021. Molecular Phylogenetics of Sub-Saharan African Natricine Snakes, and the Biogeographic Origins of the Seychelles Endemic Lycognathophis seychellensis. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 161: 107152 - get paper here
  • Laurent, R.F. 1958. Notes herpétologiques africaines II. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 58 (1–2): 115–128
  • NAGY, ZOLTÁN T.; VÁCLAV GVOŽDÍK, DANNY MEIRTE, MARCEL COLLET, OLIVIER S.G. PAUWELS 2014. New data on the morphology and distribution of the enigmatic Schouteden’s sun snake, Helophis schoutedeni (de Witte, 1922) from the Congo Basin. Zootaxa 3755 (1): 096–100 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Trape, J.F. & R. ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995. Les serpents du Congo: liste commentée et clé de détermination. Journal of African Zoology 109 (1): 31-50
  • 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.
  • Witte, G. F. de 1922. Description d'un ophidien nouveau récolté au Congo par le Dr. Schouteden. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., Tervuren 10: 318-319
  • Witte, G. F. de & R. LAURENT 1942. Contribution à la Faune Herpétologique du Congo belge. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr. 36 (2): 101-115
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