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Macroprotodon mauritanicus GUICHENOT, 1850

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymMacroprotodon mauritanicus GUICHENOT 1850: 22
Macroprotodon cucullatus mauritanicus — BUSACK & MCCOY 1990: 268
Macroprotodon mauritanicus — CARRANZA et al. 2004
Macroprotodon mauritanicus — MONTORI et al. 2005
Macroprotodon cucullatus mauritanicus — GRUBER 2009
Macroprotodon mauritanicus — KWET 2010
Macroprotodon mauritanicus — PINYA & CARRETERO 2011
Macroprotodon mauritanicus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 420 
DistributionW/N Algeria, N Tunisia, Balearic Islands.

Type locality: Algeria  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesSyntypes: MNHN (the following catalogue numbers supposedly represent types, but are not found in online catalogue: RA 2172, four specimens respectively MNHN-RA 2172, a 469 mm male, MNHN-RA 1994.2339, formerly MNHN-RA 2172A, a 452 mm female, MNHN-RA 1994.2340, formerly MNHN-RA 2172B, a 487 mm female, and MNHN-RA 1994.2341, formerly MNHN-RA 2172C, a 557 mm male. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Macroprotodon characterised by a series of three maxillary teeth preceding the grooved fangs; divided nuchal collar; a short, or less frequently, an entire postorbital streak. Dorsal pattern of the 'undifferentiated' or the 'taeniatus' state. Supralabial-parietal contact on both sides in the majority of specimens. Dorsal scales in 19 rows, sometimes 20 or 21 at points irregularly along the body but never in 21 rows continuously. Ventral scutes 162-193, subcaudals 43-61. Readily distinguishable from M. abubakeri and M. cucullatus by the number of maxillary teeth in the series preceding the fangs (3 as opposed to 4 and 4 or 5 respectively). From M. cucullatus it is separable by the high incidence of supralabial parietal contact (as opposed to virtually no contact) and possession of the 'undifferentiated'-'taeniatus' as opposed to the 'textilis' body patterns. (Wade 2001).

Detailed description of the syntypes in Wade 2001. 
CommentSynonymy mostly after WADE (2001).

Illustration of M. c. brevis in Schlüter (2004). See also literature for M. cucullatus.

Taxonomy: CARRANZA et al. (2004) recognizes 4 species of Macroprotodon: M. cucullatus, M. brevis, M. mauritanicus, and M. abubakeri WADE 2001.

Distribution: Specimens from Lampedusa Island have been assigned to M. mauritanicus or M. cucullatus textilis (fide WADE 1988). See M. cucullatus for more details. Not in Morocco (Martínez et al. 2019, and pers. comm. 18 Jan 2021). See map in Wade 2001: 102 (fig. 10).

Type species: Macroprotodon mauritanicus GUICHENOT 1850: 22 is the type species of the genus Macroprotodon GUICHENOT 1850.

Key: Wade 2001 provides a key to all species of the genus. 
  • Bezaz, Y. I., Hadjab, R., Khammar, H., Redjaimia, L., & Saheb, M. 2021. First data on the diversity of the herpetofauna of the Oum El Bouaghi Region (Northeast of Algeria). Ecol. Env. & Cons. 27 (3): 983-989
  • Busack S D. & MCCOY C J. 1990. Distribution variation and biology of Macroprotodon cucullatus (Reptilia: Colubridae: Boiginae). Annals of the Carnegie Museum. 59 (4): 261-286. - get paper here
  • Carranza, S.; E.N. Arnold; E. Wade and S. Fahd 2004. Phylogeography of the false smooth snakes, Macroprotodon (Serpentes, Colubridae): mitochondrial DNA sequences show European populations arrived recently from Northwest Africa. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 33 (3): 523-532 - get paper here
  • Corti, C., Haj, S. B., Nouira, S., Ouni, R., Rivière, V., Delaugerre, M. J., & Cascio, P. L. 2022. The Herpetofauna of the Tunisian islands. Naturalista Siciliano, 4(66), 117-124
  • FARAONE, F. P., MELFI, R., DI NICOLA, M. R., GIACALONE, G. & M. LO VALVO 2020. The genetic identity of the only Italian population of the genus Macroprotodon Guichenot, 1850 on the island of Lampedusa, Sicily. Vertebrate Zoology 70 (2): 235–240
  • Guichenot, A. 1850. Histoire naturelle des reptiles et des poissons. Exploration Scientifique de l’Algérie pendant les annees 1840, 1841, 1842. Imprimerie Nationale, Paris, 147 pp. (+ atlas) - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2010. Reptilien und Amphibien Europas. Kosmos-Verlag, Stuttgart, 252 pp.
  • Kwet, Axel & Benny Trapp 2014. Liste der Reptilien Europas. Draco 15 (60): 72-79 - get paper here
  • Montori, Albert; Gustavo A. Llorente, Miguel Ángel Alonso-Zarazaga, Óscar Arribas, Enrique Ayllón, Jaime Bosch, Salvador Carranza, Miguel Ángel Carretero, Pedro Galán, Mario García-París, David James Harris, Javier Lluch, Rafael Márquez, José Antonio 2005. Lista patrón actualizada de la herpetofauna española. Asociación Herpetológica Española, 45 pp.
  • Pinya, Samuel and Miguel A. Carretero. 2011. The Balearic herpetofauna: a species update and review on the evidence. Acta Herpetologica 6 (1): 59-80 - get paper here
  • Silva-Rocha I, Salvi D, Sillero N, Mateo JA, Carretero MA 2015. Snakes on the Balearic Islands: An Invasion Tale with Implications for Native Biodiversity Conservation. PLoS One 10 (4): e0121026. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121026 - get paper here
  • Wade,E. 1988. Intraspecific variation in the colubrid snake genus Macroprotodon. The Herpetological Journal 1: 237-245 - 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.
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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