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Naja nubiae WÜSTER & BROADLEY, 2003

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Nubian Spitting Cobra
G: Nubische Speikobra 
SynonymNaja nubiae WÜSTER & BROADLEY 2003
Vipera (Naia) haje ST. HILAIRE 1827: 157 (not LINNAEUS) (part)
Naja nigricollis — ANDERSON 1896: 109 (not REINHARDT)
Naja nigricollis — ANDERSON 1904: 5
Naja nigricollis — WERNER 1908: 1883
Naja nigricollis — BOULENGER 1915: 656 (part)
Naja nigricollis — WERNER 1919: 507
Naja nigricollis — WERNER 1927: 77
Naja nigricollis — SCORTECCI 1928: 306
Naja nigricollis — SCORTECCI 1930: 204
Naia nigricollis var. mossambica — BOULENGER 1896: 379 (not PETERS) (part.)
Naja nigricollis nigricollis — LOVERIDGE 1945: 3 (not REINHARDT)
Naja nigricollis nigricollis — MARX 1968: 40
Naja nigricollis pallida — EISELT 1962: 294 (not BOULENGER)
Naja mossambica pallida (not BOULENGER) BROADLEY 1968: 11 (part)
Naja mossambica pallida — HARDING & WELCH 1980: 12 (part)
Naja mossambica pallida — MEIRTE 1992: 58 (part)
Naja pallida — BRANCH 1979: 215 (part) (not BOULENGER)
Naja pallida — HUGHES 1983: 332, 352 (part)
Naja pallida — LARGEN & RASMUSSEN 1993: 382 (part)
Naja pallida — LARGEN 1997: 93
Naja pallida — SPAWLS & BRANCH 1995: 76 (part)
Naja pallida — GOLAY 1985: 47 (part)
Naja pallida — OSMAN & EL SIR 1988: 77
Naja pallida — BROADLEY et al. 1993: 190 (part)
Naja pallida — DAVID & INEICH 1999: 165 (part)
Naja (Afronaja) nubiae — WALLACH et al. 2009
Afronaja nubiae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 11 
DistributionEgypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger and Eritrea

Type locality: Kom Ombo (=Kawn Umbû), Aswan Governorate, Egypt (24°28’ N, 32°57’ E). Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
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: YPM R 3916, Peabody Museum, Yale University 
CommentVenomous!

The populations concerned had previously been assigned to N. pallida. The new species differs from N. pallida principally in having more than one dark band across the neck and under the throat, as well as a pair of spots under the throat. Naja mossambica is more closely related to N. nigricollis than to N. pallida and the new species.

Diagnosis: The new species can be differentiated from Naja pallida, with which it was until now confused, through its throat and neck pattern: N. pallida normally has a single, broad dark band across the throat; this encircles the body and crosses the neck. There is no other pattern on the body or throat, except in a small minority (c.5%)of specimens, which have a more or less obvious second dark band across the throat, but not across the neck. In N. nubiae, there are two bands across the neck: a nape band situated immediately behind the parietal scales, and the main band further back. The nape band may or may not cross the throat. The second, main neck band invariably crosses the throat, usually in a more posterior position than the throat band of N. pallida. A further dark ventral band is present in N. nubiae,but may be faint in older specimens. There is a distinct light throat area before the main throat band, and practically all specimens feature a small dark spot on each side of the throat, at the junction of the ventrals and the dorsals. This resembles the lateral throat spots seen in most Asiatic species. Additionally the bases of the scales are strongly blackened in N. nubiae, but not in N. pallida. Most N. nubiae have seven supralabials, even when two preoculars are present, whereas in most N. pallida, specimens with two preoculars have only six supralabials.

Naja mossambica is very similar to N. nubiae in overall appearance and coloration, However, the dark throat pattern is more irregular, and the throat bands do not cross the neck of the snake. Also, N. mossambica has lower ventral scale counts (177–205; Broadley, 1983) than Naja nubiae (207–226), and never has more than six supralabials. In N. mossambica,most supralabials and head scales are more or less distinctly edged with black, whereas this is only the case for the ‘tear drop’ marking on the posterior edge of the fourth supralabial, below the eye, in N. nubiae and N. pallida.

Naja katiensis is easily distinguished by the absence of a small fifth supralabial (cuneate) and its much lower scale counts for ventrals (165–186) and subcaudals (47–55; Broadley, 1968).

Naja nigricollis differs in dorsal coloration (mostly dark, or patterned or variegated), in having a broad dark band across the throat, and a mostly dark venter. Additionally, this species also usually has 23 or fewer dorsal scale rows at midbody, vs the usual 25 in Naja nubiae. The southern taxon woodi is uniformly black as an adult, and grey with a black head as a juvenile, and the taxon nigricincta is boldly barred in black and white or red.

In Naja haje and N. annulifera, the supralabials are separated from the eyes by a series of subocular scales, and these cobras do not spit. The other non-spitting species of African cobra (N. nivea, N. melanoleuca) differ in having an enlarged sixth supralabial, which contacts the postoculars, a single anterior temporal, versus two or three in spitting cobras, and 21 or fewer dorsal scale rows (vs 25 in N. nubiae). [from WÜSTER & BROADLEY 2003]. 
References
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  • Andersson, L. G. 1904. List of reptiles and batrachians collected by the Swedish zoological expedition to Egypt, the Sudan and the Sinaitic Peninsula. In Results of the Swedish zoological expedition to Egypt, the Sudan and the Sinaitic Peninsula:1–12. Jägerskiöld, L. A. (E Uppsala.
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  • Venchi, Alberto and Roberto Sindaco 2006. Annotated checklist of the reptiles of the Mediterranean countries, with keys to species identification. Part 2 -Snakes (Reptilia, Serpentes). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "G. Doria", Genova, XCVIII: 259-364
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  • Werner, F. 1908. Ergebnisse der mit Subvention aus der Erbschaft Treitl unternommenen zoologischen Forschungsreise Dr. Franz Werner's nach nach dem Ägyptischen Sudan und Norduganda. XII. die Reptilien und Amphibien. [Mabuia mongallensis, Leptodira attarensis]. Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien 116 [1907]: 1823-1926 - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1927. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der mit Unterstützung der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien aus der Erbschaft Treitl von F. Werner unternommen zoologischen Expedition nach dem Anglo–Ägyptischen Sudan (Kordofan) 1914. XXIV. Miscellanea Sudanica. G. Zur Denkschr. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math.-natwiss. Kl. 101: 67–78.
  • Werner,F. 1919. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der mit Unterstützung der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien aus der Erbschaft Treitl von F. Werner unternommenen zoologischen Expedition nach dem Anglo-Aegyptischen Sudan (Kordofan) 1914. IV. Bearbeitung de Denkschr. Akad. Wiss Wien, Math.-Naturw. Klasse 96: 437-509 - get paper here
  • Werning, H. 2003. Eine neue Speikobra aus Nordostafrika. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (42): 5 - get paper here
  • Wüster, W. & Broadley, D.G. 2003. A new species of spitting cobra (Naja) from north-eastern Africa (Serpentes: Elapidae). Journal of Zoology 259: 345–359
  • Wüster, W. & Broadley, D.G. 2007. Get an eyeful of this: a new species of giant spitting cobra from eastern and north-eastern Africa (Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae: Naja). Zootaxa 1532: 51–68 - get paper here
  • Wüster, Wolfgang; Steven Crookes, Ivan Ineich, Youssouph Mané, Catharine E. Pook, Jean-Francois Trape, Donald G. Broadley 2007. The phylogeny of cobras inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences: Evolution of venom spitting and the phylogeography of the African spitting cobras (Serpentes: Elapidae: Naja nigricollis complex). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45: 437–453 - get paper here
 
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