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Lycophidion semiannule PETERS, 1854

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Eastern Wolf Snake
G: Östliche Wolfsnatter 
SynonymLycophidium semiannulis PETERS 1854: 622
Lycophidium semiannulis — BOULENGER 1893: 339
Lycophidion semiannule — LAURENT 1968
Lycophidion semiannule — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 25
Lycophidion semiannule — BROADLEY 1996
Lycophidion semiannule — WALLACH et al. 2014: 411 
DistributionMozambique (Inhambane, Benguerua Islands)

Type locality: “Tette” [Mozambique]; in error, possibly from Inhambane fide BROADLEY (cited in BAUER 1995).  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 4813 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Only one apical pit. Snout shorter than the parietals. Postnasal in contact with both 1st and 2nd labials. Scale rows 17-17-17. Ventrals: 134-148 )females), 144-168 (males). Subcaudals: 27-31 (males), 18-30 (females). Brownish, the individual scales generally white stippled or white bordered. A broad white band with sinuous border around the head. Belly and throat dark [from LAURENT 1968].

Diagnosis. Nostril pierced in an entire nasal, no postnasal. Dorsal scales with single apical pits in 17-17-15 rows; ventrals 144 in 2 males, 150 in female; subcaudals 30 in 2 males, 24 in female. Skull elongate, but without parietal crests (Broadley 1996).

Color: Head black, with some fine white stippling above and a well-defined silvery or yellowish-white band round the snout; body black, heavily stippled with white to give a blue-grey appearance except for 30-34 solid black crossbars on body and about seven partially confluent ones on tail; ventrum black, the ends of each ventral heavily speckled with white (Broadley 1996). 
CommentDistribution: Has been previously reported from South Africa (N Zululand), Zambia, Zimbabwe, and SE Malawi (Stevens 1974), but more recently restricted to coastal Mozambique. Not in South Africa according to A. Bauer & A. Feldman (pers. comm., 9 Mar 2011). Map: Laurent 1968: 482, Broadley 1996. Not in East Africa (i.e. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi fide S. Spawls, pers. comm., 28 June 2018).

Synonymy: this species is regarded as a synonym of Lycophidion acutirostre (S. Spawls, pers. comm., 28 June 2018). 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Broadley, D G 1992. The taxonomy and zoogeography of the genus Lycophidion (Serpentes: Colubridae). Journal of the Herpetological Association of Africa 40: 30-36 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Broadley, D.G. 1996. A revision of the genus Lycophidion Fitzinger (Serpentes: Colubridae) in Africa south of the equator. Syntarsus 3: 1-33. - get paper here
  • Jacobsen, Niels H.G.; Errol W. Pietersen & Darren W. Pietersen 2010. A preliminary herpetological survey of the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary on the San Sebastian Peninsula, Vilankulo, Mozambique. Herpetology Notes 3: 181-193
  • Laurent, R.F. 1968. A re-examination of the snake genus Lycophidion Duméril & Bibron. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harvard 136 (12): 461-482 - get paper here
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1854. Diagnosen neuer Batrachier, welche zusammen mit der früher (24. Juli und 17. August) gegebenen Übersicht der Schlangen und Eidechsen mitgetheilt werden. Ber. Bekanntmach. Geeignet. Verhandl. Königl.-Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1854: 614-628
  • 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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