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Naja nigricollis REINHARDT, 1843

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Black-necked Spitting Cobra
G: Afrikanische Speikobra 
SynonymNaja nigricollis REINHARDT 1843: 369
Naja nigricollis var. crawshayi GÜNTHER 1893
Naja nigricillis var. occidentalis BOCAGE 1895
Naja nigricollis — SCHMIDT 1923: 128 (fide BROADLEY 1968)
Naja nigricollis atriceps LAURENT 1955
Naja nigricollis crawshayi — LAURENT 1956: 298
Naja nigricollis occidentalis — LAURENT 1973
Naja nigricollis nigricollis — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 24
Naja nigricollis nigricollis — WELCH 1994: 93
Naja crawshayi — BROADLEY & COTTERILL 2004
Naja nigricollis — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
Naja crawshayi — BRANCH 2008
Naja nigricollis — WALLACH et al. 2009
Afronaja nigricollis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 10
Afronaja crawshayi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 9
Naja (Afronaja) nigricollis — CONRADIE et al. 2016 
DistributionAngola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire, except in the center), Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Gambia (HÅKANSSON 1981), Mauritania, Sudan, Tanzania, Somalia, Togo, Uganda, Zambia

nigricollis: Savannas from Senegal east to Kenya and south to Angola, Zambia, and Tanzania; Type locality: Guinea = coast of Ghana.

atriceps (invalid): Type locality: Mugera, Ruyigi, Burundi.

crawshayi: Democratic Republic of the Congo (Katanga), Congo (Brazzaville) through N Malawi to Tanzania; Type locality: Lake Mweru [= Lake Meru, N Zambia] Map legend:
TDWG region - 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.
 
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesHolotype: ZMUC 65371
Holotype: BMNH, skin of an adult [crawshayi] 
CommentVenomous!

Subspecies: BOYCOTT & HAACKE (1979) noted intergradation between nigricincta and woodi in Southern Namibia. Naja nigricollis nigricincta BOGERT 1940 has been elevated to full species status with N. n. woodi as subspecies.

Type species: Naja nigricollis REINHARDT 1843 is the type species of the subgenus Afronaja WALLACH, WÜSTER & BROADLEY 2009. Note that Raymond Hoser had named the same group of cobras “Spracklandus” 6 months earlier. Rhodin et al. 2015 requested to declare the Australasian Journal of Herpetology (AJH) Volumes 1–24 unavailable for nomenclatural purposes, thereby rendering the name Spracklandus unavailable.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic name Spracklandus Hoser 2009 invalid and rejected its use instead of Naja (Afronaja). Hoser (2013) requested to retain Spracklandus in ICZN Case 3601. Naja nigricollis var. crawshayi GÜNTHER 1893 has been removed from the synonym of N. nigricollis. According to Laurent (1956: 298; 1964: 120): the crawshayi of Katanga are different from nigricollis in ventral counts and head color (brown in adults, appears to be also the case in younger nigricollis …). Laurent 1964: 120 discusses the difference between crawshayi and occidentalis (from Angola) and the specimens from Broadley & Pitman (1960) attributed to crawshayi, which he attributes to occidentalis or possibly atriceps. W. Wüster recommended to treat N. crawshayi as synonym of nigricollis (pers. comm., 29 Sep 2016).

Diagnosis (Afronaja): Intracranial (dorsal) anterior Vidian canal position, 2–3 solid maxillary teeth, six supralabials (except some N. nubiae and N. pallida) with penultimate (fifth or sixth) shield low, combination of two preoculars and two or three anterior temporals, rostral as broad as deep; internasals as long as prefrontals, dorsal scales matte or moderately shiny, and fangs adapted for spitting.

Distribution: see map in BROADLEY 1974. 
References
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