Montivipera xanthina (GRAY, 1849)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Montivipera xanthina?
|Higher Taxa||Viperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Subspecies||Montivipera xanthina xanthina (GRAY 1849)|
Montivipera xanthina nilsoni CATTANEO 2014
Montivipera xanthina dianae CATTANEO 2014
Montivipera xanthina occidentalis CATTANEO 2017
|Common Names||E: Coastal Viper, Ottoman Viper|
G: (Kleinasiatische oder Türkische) Bergotter
|Synonym||Daboia xanthina GRAY 1849: 24|
Vipera xanthina — STRAUCH 1868: 291
Daboia xanthina — ENGELMANN et al. 1993
Vipera xanthina — WELCH 1994: 123
Vipera (Montivipera) xanthina — NILSON et al. 1999: 101
Vipera xanthina — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 412
Montivipera xanthina — NILSON et al. 1999
Montivipera xanthina — GARRIGUES et al. 2005
Montivipera xanthina — STÜMPEL & TRAPP 2006
Vipera (Montivipera) xanthina — VENCHI & SINDACO 2006
Montivipera xanthina — TRAPP 2007
Daboia xanthina — GAULKE 2008
Montivipera xanthina — ARIKAN et al. 2008
Montivipera xanthina — WALLACH et al. 2014: 459
|Distribution||W Turkey, |
Greece (NE Makri, Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Kalymnos, Symi, Chalki),
Elevation up to 3000 m.
nilsoni: Island of Chios
dianae: Island of Leros
Type locality: Xanthus, SW Turkey
|Reproduction||(ovo-) viparous. Experimental hybridizations between M. wagneri and M. xanthina result in fertile offspring (Stümpel et al. 2016).|
|Types||Syntypes: BMNH 19188.8.131.52 (formerly BMNH ii.1.3a, Xanthos) and BMNH 19184.108.40.206 (Asia Minor). Lectotype: BMNH 19220.127.116.11, as designated by Nilson and Andren, 1986, Bonn. Zool. Monogr. 20:63.|
Holotype: MCZR (originally as MCZRVR/02359, Museo Civico di Zoologia, Roma), adult male, ; isola greca di Leros, località Ag. Petros, c. 110 m s.l.m. (Dodecaneso); A. Cattaneo leg., 22/05/2007 (trovato morto) [dianae]
Holotype: MCZR (originally as MCZRVR 02358, Museo Civico di Zoologia, Roma), adult male; isola greca di Chios, località Dafnonas, c. 220 m s.l.m. (Mar Egeo orientale), A. Vesci leg., 11/05/2001 (trovato morto) [nilsoni]
Holotype: ZFMK 101040 (paper says that types will be transferred to ZFMK; paper cites private collection: MX/TR20/5 C.C. = Collezione Erpetologica Augusto Cattaneo, Roma); adult male, Tracia greca centrale, Regione dei Rodopi, località Proskinites, 121 m s.l.m., A. Cattaneo legit (trovato morto), 06/05/2015. Farà parte della Collezione Erpetologica del Museo Alexander Koenig (Bonn) [occidentalis]
Subspecies: Vipera bornmuelleri has been considered as a subspecies of V. xanthina but is now considered as a valid species. M. xanthina appears to constitute a cryptic species complex with three or four new taxa (Stümpel et al. 2016).
Synonymy: The new subspecies (nilsoni, dianae, and occidentalis) may be synonyms of M. xanthina (Wolfgang Wüster, pers. comm., 21 Oct 2017). In fact, the descriptions do not include any phylogenetic or molecular data and there is broad overlap of meristic characters across the subspecies (Table 4 in Cattaneo 2017).
M. x. nilsoni is distinct from the typical form as it is far larger in size that the standard type (males up to 140 cm in total length and weighing almost 1300 g, respectively, up to 95 cm and 380 g on the continent); for the tendency to have three rows of unilateral or bilateral circumocular scales (instead of two); for the larger number of rows of anterior dorsal scales (average about 24 instead of 23); for the more extensive development of the dorsal pattern and absence or poor definition of the ventral semilunar spots in the adult.
M. x. dianae differs from the typical form as it has a larger number of rows of dorsal (with consequent increase in size) and anterior (25) scales, and also at mid-trunk (24 or 25, almost never 23) and to the rear (often 18 and 19) (in the typical form habitual respective values are 23, 23 and 17), as well as having a dark subocular spot, with the two black specks on the pileus mostly absent or poorly represented. It also presents unusual, paroxysmal or extreme defensive reactions, never found in specimens of M. xanthina elsewhere.
M. x. occidentalis differs from other known subspecies for the tendency to a reduced size and correspondingly for a lower number of intercanthals and of dorsal scales rows, both in the midbody (mostly 21-22) and in the posterior part of the body (often 15-16).
Type species: Daboia xanthina GRAY 1849: 24 is the type species of the genus Montivipera NILSON et al. 1999.
|Etymology||Montivipera xanthina nilsoni has been named after Prof. Dr. Göran Nilson (Göteborg).|
M. x. dianae has been named after the Greek goddess Diana; a sanctuary dedicated to her was found near its type locality on the island of Leros.
M. x. occidentalis was named after its type locality, which is in the westernmost territory inhabited by this subspecies.
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