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Macrocalamus gentingensis YAAKOB & LIM, 2002

IUCN Red List - Macrocalamus gentingensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Calamariinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Genting Highlands Reed Snake 
SynonymMacrocalamus gentingensis YAAKOB & LIM 2002
Macrocalamus gentingensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 417
Macrocalamus gentingensis — QUAH et al. 2019 
DistributionMalaysia (Genting Highlands, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia)

Type locality: Genting Highlands, about 32 km north-east of Kuala Lumpur, in the vicinity of the water pump at 1181 m in elevation, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia (03° 26’N, 101° 47’E).  
Reproductionoviparous. A gravid female (LSUHC 10701) containing two eggs was collected in early July, and a juvenile (USMHC 1857) was collected in mid-August, indicating that this species breeds during the middle of the year (Quah et al. 2019). 
TypesHolotype: ZRC 2.5062 (formerly DWNP R.0037) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Eight supralabials, seven lower labials; body iridescent black, belly lighter, with a median yellowish stripe from nape to anus, series of yellow blotches from behind nape towards the flanks; series of yellow lateral spots from tip of tail towards anterior; yellow stripe from postocular to below neck.

Diagnosis: Adults males reach 315 mm SVL, 369 mm TL, adult females 381 mm SVL, 406 mm TL. Head narrow, tapered and indistinct from neck; rostral scale longer than broad, separating nasals, in contact with the prefrontals; one elongate loreal scale, touches second and third or second to fourth supralabials but not internasals; one preocular; one postocular; 1 + 2 temporals; eight supralabials, fourth and fifth touching the eye; seven infralabials, first to fourth touching first chin shield; 15 dorsal scale rows at midbody; dorsal scales smooth; 122–148 ventral scales (122–129 in males, 135–148 in females); single cloacal scale; 23–33 subcaudals (27–33 in males, 23–28 in females) (Norsham & Lim, 2002; Quah et al. 2019). 
CommentKnown only from the type locality (Quah et al. 2019).

Habitat: Norsham & Lim (2002) report that the majority of the specimens they found were dead or alive on the road and on pavement of buildings and suggested that this species moves out from refuges to warm themselves in more open habitats, where many are inadvertently killed by desiccation from the heat during the day. Quah et al. 2019 collected most specimens crossing the roads at night. Specimen USMHC 1772 was found crossing the road mid-morning, at ~11.00 h, on an overcast day with drizzle.

Sympatry: M. cf. emas and M. cf. chanardi 2 in the Genting Highlands, but M. cf. chanardi 2 occurs at lower elevations, near 800 m, whereas M. gentingensis has been recorded between 1181 and 1689 m a.s.l. with M. cf. emas (Quah et al. 2019). Other species of semifossorial snakes known to occur in the same vicinity are Co. williamsoni, Calamaria schlegeli and Calamaria lovii gimletti. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • David, P. & Pauwels, O.S.G. 2004. A re-evaluation of the taxonomy of Macrocalamus lateralis Günther, 1864 (Serpentes: Colubridae), with the descriptions of two new species. Raffl. Bull. Zool., 52(2): 635-645 - get paper here
  • Quah, Evan S H; Shahrul Anuar, Lee L Grismer, Perry L Wood, Siti Azizah Mohd Nor 2019. Systematics and natural history of mountain reed snakes (genus Macrocalamus; Calamariinae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 188: 1236 - 1276 - 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.
  • Yaakob, Norsham Suhaina and Boo Liat Lim 2002. A new species of mountain reed snake, Macrocalamus gentingensis, from Genting Highlands, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. Hamadryad 27 (1):83-89 - get paper here
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