Morelia viridis (SCHLEGEL, 1872)
|Higher Taxa||Pythonidae, Henophidia, Pythonoidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Green tree python, Southern green python|
G: Grüner Baumpython
|Synonym||Python viridis SCHLEGEL 1872: 54|
Chondropython azureus MEYER 1874: 134
Chondropython pulcher SAUVAGE 1878: 37
Chondropython viridis — BOULENGER 1893: 90
Chondropython viridis — DE ROOIJ 1917: 29
Chondropython viridis — STIMSON 1969
Morelia viridis — KLUGE 1993
Morelia viridis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 175
Chondropython viridis — COGGER 2000: 603
Morelia viridis — KIVIT & WISEMAN 2000
Chondropython viridis shireenae HOSER 2003
Chondropython viridis adelynhoserae HOSER 2009
Morelia azurea — SCHLEIP & O’SHEA 2010: 44
Morelia viridis — SCHLEIP & O’SHEA 2010: 45
Morelia viridis — REYNOLDS et al. 2014
Morelia azurea — WALLACH et al. 2014: 452
Morelia viridis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 453
Morelia azurea — BARKER et al. 2015
|Distribution||Indonesia (Aru I, Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, Island of Gag, Australia (NE Cape York Peninsula of Queensland)|
Type locality: Aru (as Aroe) Islands, Indonesia.
azureus: Type locality: “Kordo auf Mysore” [= Korido on Biak Island]
adelynhoserae: Type locality: Normanby Island, d’Entrecasteaux Archipelago, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.
shireenae: Type locality: Cape York, Queensland, Australia. Map legend:
- Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.
NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
|Types||Syntypes: RMNH 4672 (2 specimens)|
Holotype: AM R129716 [adelynhoserae]
Holotype: NMV D51862 [shireenae]
Syntypes: ZMB 8832, MTKD 638, MTKD 639, all lost; neotype: UTA-R-61633, designated by Barker et al. 2015 [azurea]
|Comment||Hybridization: KIVIT & WISEMAN (2005) report a hybrid between M. viridis and M. spilota cheynei. See Switak (2006) for a collection of photos of color variants.|
Hoser (2003) diagnoses Chondropython viridis shireenae ssp. nov. as “the only Green Pythons (C. viridis) found on mainland Australia and can be separated from all other C. viridis on this basis. In the absence of good locality data, the subspecies is best separated from other C. viridis by comparative DNA analysis [missing in Hoser’s paper], which has already been successfully used to separate this subspecies. Australian C. viridis have as adults, white or other markings along the vertebra and few other markings, whereas those from elsewhere do not always have this trait. Hence this is a diagnostic character for Australian specimens of C. viridis.”
Based on Hoser’s 2003 paper, the status of this subspecies remains uncertain.
M. azureus was resurrected from the synonymy of M. viridis by Hoser (2009). Rawlings and Donnellan (2003) also revealed the existence of two populations that are genetically distinct, one from north of the central cordillera (corresponding to azurea), the other from the south, including the Aru Island and Australian populations. However, further studies are required to establish the validity of these clades. To our knowledge no attempt has been made to diagnose azureus.
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