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Naja annulata PETERS, 1876

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesNaja annulata annulata BUCHHOLZ & PETERS 1876
Naja annulata stormsi (DOLLO 1886) 
Common NamesE: Ringed Water Cobra
G: Wasserkobra 
SynonymNaja annulata annulata PETERS 1876
Naja annulata BUCHHOLZ & PETERS in PETERS 1876
Aspidelaps bocagei SAUVAGE 1884: 205
Boulengerina annulata — SCHMIDT 1923: 123
Boulengerina annulata — MERTENS 1956
Boulengerina annulata — PERRET 1961
Boulengerina annulata annulata— WELCH 1994: 35
Boulengerina annulata — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
Naja annulata — WÜSTER et al. 2007
Boulengerina annulata — JACKSON 2008
Naja annulata annulata — PAUWELS & VANDE WEGHE 2008
Naja (Boulengerina) annulata — WALLACH et al. 2009
Boulengerina annulata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 119
Naja annulata — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 549
Naja annulata — PAUWELS & COLYN 2023

Naja annulata stormsi (DOLLO 1886)
Boulengerina stormsi DOLLO 1886
Boulengerina stormsi — GÜNTHER 1888: 334
Boulengerina stormsi — LOVERIDGE 1929
Boulengerina stormsi — DE WITTE 1933
Boulengerina annulata stormsi — KRATZER 1965
Boulengerina annulata stormsi — WELCH 1994: 35
Boulengerina annulata stormsi — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 24
Boulengerina annulata stormsi — BROADLEY & COTTERILL 2004
Naja annulata stormsi — WÜSTER et al. 2007 (by implication) 
DistributionCameroon, Gabon, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Congo (Brazzaville), Central African Republic, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Angola, Republic of South Sudan (RSS)

stormsi: shores of Lake Tanganyika, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire, Katanga); Type locality: Lake Tanganyika, Zaire.

Type locality: “Dorfe Mbusa (Eliva Sonange am Ogowe)” [Gabon] [Naja annulata BUCHHOLZ & PETERS 1876]

Aspidelaps bocagei: Type locality: Gabon and Majumba.  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 8772
Holotype: MNHN-RA 1884.0015 [Aspidelaps bocagei]
Holotype: IRSNB 2011, collected by Capt. Storm on 26 February 1886 [stormsi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (Boulengerina): Intracranial (dorsal) anterior Vidian canal position, 2–4 solid maxillary teeth, penultimate (sixth) supralabial high, combination of one preocular and one anterior temporal (except N. christyi, which sometimes has two anterior temporals), rostral much broader than deep, internasals shorter than prefrontals, dorsal scales highly polished, fangs not modified for spitting. 

Type species: Boulengerina stormsi Dollo, 1886 (= Naja annulata) is the type species of the subgenus Boulengerina DOLLO 1886.

Authors: Note that the author of Naja annulata is sometimes referred to as PETERS & BUCHHOLZ (1876) as PETERS used specimens collected by Buchholz.

Sources: The description by SCHMIDT (1923) is available online (see URL below).

Habitat: near and in rivers and lakes.

Diet: mostly fish

Distribution: For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013. For a map with localities in Equatorial Guinea see SÁNCHEZ-VIALAS et al. 2022.

Synonymy: Paranaja multifasciata is nested within Naja in a tree based on DNA sequence data and thus WÜSTER et al. suggested to synonymize it with Naja. Aspidelaps bocagei SAUVAGE 1884: 205 is a synonym of N. annulata, not of N. melanoleuca, as many previous authors have stated, according to Wüster et al. 2018. 
EtymologyNamed after the diminutive form (“annul-”) of Latin “anus” = ring.

The subgenus is dedicated to George Albert Boulenger, Belgian herpetologist. 
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  • BRANCH, W. R. & CONRADIE, W. 2013. Naja annulata annulata (Bucholtz & Peters, 1876). African Herp News (59): 50-53 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G.; Doria, C.T. & Wigge, J. 2003. Snakes of Zambia. An Atlas and Field Guide. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 280 pp. [review in Sauria 26 (3): 21]
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  • COLLET, Marcel & Jean-Francois TRAPE 2020. Une nouvelle et remarquable espèce de naja semi-aquatique (Elapidae, sous-genre Boulengerina Dollo, 1886) de la République Démocratique du Congo. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 173: 41-52
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  • Pauwels, O. S., & Colyn, M. 2023. On a Collection of Snakes from Bengamisa, Right Bank of the Congo River, Northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society, 58(6), 81-92
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