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Inyoka swazicus (SCHAEFER, 1970)

IUCN Red List - Inyoka swazicus - Least Concern, LR

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Swazi Rock Snake, Swaziland House Snake
G: Swasiland-Hausschlange 
SynonymLamprophis swazicus SCHAEFER 1970
Lamprophis swazicus — BOYCOTT 1992
Lamprophis swazicus — BRANCH 1993
Lamprophis swazicus — SCHMIDT & SCOTT 2003
Inyoka swazicus — KELLY et al. 2011
Inyoka swazicus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 350
Inyoka swazicus — BATES et al. 2014: 362 
DistributionSwaziland, Republic of South Africa (E Transvaal, Swaziland)

Type locality: "Forbes Reef, Swaziland (26˚42' S, 31˚ 05' E)." [= Manzini District, western Swaziland]. Corrected to 26° 8'58.50"S, 31° 6'13.13"E and 26° 8'55.62"S, 31° 6'23.49"E by James Culverwell, pers. comm., 25 May 2015).  
TypesHolotype: PEM 1514/81, a 568 mm specimen (J. Culverwell, Oct. 1968?). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): An endemic southern African genus diagnosed by the following combination of characters: body and tail markedly elon- gated; head small, dorso-ventrally flattened, broader than neck and distinct from it; eye large, protruding, with vertically elliptical pu- pil; midbody scale rows 17 (13 anterior to vent), vertebral row not enlarged; dorsal scales smooth with a single apical pit; ventrals 199–208, without lateral keel; subcaudals paired, 75–91; anal en- tire; maxilla with seven anterior teeth in a graded series, followed after a short diastema by 9–10 posterior, subequal, ungrooved teeth; hemipenis shallowly forked, shaft elongate and mainly nude, without basal spines; two widely separated paired rows of small flat spines distally; lobes encircled by 10–11 pinnate rows of small, non-webbed spines; sulcus centrifugal, dividing on distal half of shaft (Schaefer, 1970; Visser, 1978, 1979; Broadley, 1990). 
CommentHabitat: rupicolous and occurs in rocky montane grassland

Type species: Lamprophis swazicus Schaefer, 1970, is the type species of the genus Inyoka BRANCH & KELLY in KELLY et al. 2011. 
EtymologyNamed after its type locality.

‘Inyoka’ means ‘snake’ in the Nguni language group, of which SiSwati is the main language of Swaziland, closely related to the isiZulu, isiNdebele and isiXhosa languages of adjacent areas. The Nguni languages have a number of noun classes that do not correspond to the gender classes of most Indo-European languages. Since gender is not inherent to such nouns, we treat Inyoka as masculine for the purposes of name formation and therefore retain the epithet swazicus in its current form for the type species of the genus. 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Boycott, R.C. 1992. An Annotated Checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Swaziland. The Conservation Trust of Swaziland - get paper here
  • Branch W R 1984. The house snakes of southern Africa (genus Lamprophis). Litteratura Serpentium 4 (3-4): 106-120
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • CONRADIE, WERNER; WILLIAM R. BRANCH, & GILLIAN WATSON 2019. Type specimens in the Port Elizabeth Museum, South Africa, including the historically important Albany Museum collection. Part 2: Reptiles (Squamata). Zootaxa 4576 (1): 001–045 - get paper here
  • Hermann R 1993. Seltene Hausschlangen Sudafrikas. Teil 2. Lamprophis inornatus (Dumeril, Bibron & Dumeril, 1854) und Lamprophis swazicus Schaefer, 1970. Sauria 15 (4): 3-8 - get paper here
  • Kelly, Christopher M.R.; William R. Branch, Donald G. Broadley, Nigel P. Barker, Martin H. Villet 2011. Molecular systematics of the African snake family Lamprophiidae Fitzinger, 1843 (Serpentes: Elapoidea), with particular focus on the genera Lamprophis Fitzinger 1843 and Mehelya Csiki 1903. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 58(3): 415-426 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Sachsse, W. 1975. Jährliche Nachzucht bei der Chinesischen Dreikielschildkröte, Chinemys reevesii, unter teilweise geschützten Freilandbedingungen in SW-Deutschland. Salamandra 11 (1): 7-19 - get paper here
  • Schaefer, N. 1970. A new species of House Snake from Swaziland, with notes on the status of the two Genera Lamprophis and Boaedon. Ann. Cape Prov. Mus. (nat.Hist.) 8 (14): 205-208.
  • Schmidt, Warren R. and Elizabeth Scott 2003. Geographic distribution. Lamprophis swazicus Schaefer, 1970 Swazi Rock Snake. African Herp News (36):14-15 - get paper here
  • Visser J 1979. Notes on two rare house snakes. Part 2. The generic status of Lamprophis fiskii Boulenger (1887) and Lamprophis swazicus Schaefer (1970). J. Herp. Assoc. Africa 21: 31-37 - get paper here
  • 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.
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