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Naja senegalensis TRAPE, CHIRIO & WÜSTER, 2009

IUCN Red List - Naja senegalensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymNaja senegalensis TRAPE, CHIRIO & WÜSTER in TRAPE et al. 2009
Naja senegalensis — CHIRIO 2009
Naja senegalensis — HUGHES 2013
Uraeus senegalensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 763 
DistributionSenegal, Gambia, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, S Niger, W Nigeria, N Benin, N Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast

Type locality: near Dielmo (13°43’N,16°25’W)  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 2008.0074 (previously IRD S-8549), collected in September 2008 by Mr. Babacar N’Dao, veterinary agent at Keur Lahim Fatim; paratypes: MNHN-RA 2008.0075-0088 (14 paratypes) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Naja senegalensis resembles all other members of the N. haje complex and differs from all other Naja in having a row of subocular scales separating the orbit from the supralabial scales. Naja senegalensis can be distinguished from other species of the N. haje complex through a combination of scale counts and the coloration of juveniles and adults. Comparative scale counts are given in Table 3. Naja senegalensis is distinguishable from N. haje through its higher neck scale row count: N. senegalensis normally has 25 dorsal scale rows around the neck, although some specimens have 23 or 27. By contrast, W. African N. haje have fewer neck scale rows (19–21 in five specimens from Niger, 21–23 in three specimens from Nigeria, 21 in one specimen from Tombouctou, Mali). In other parts of Africa, the majority of specimens also have 21 or fewer scale rows around the neck (Table 3). A cobra specimen from Djibouti, with 27 scale rows around the neck and 23 at midbody, tentatively assigned to the N. haje complex by Ineich (2001), appears to be a spitting cobra. Other scalation characters do not distinguish N. senegalensis from N. haje, although the new species tends to occupy the upper end of the spectrum of ventral scale counts in the complex (for more details see Table 3 and text in Trape et al. 2009). 
EtymologyThe name of the new species refers to the country of origin of the type series. 
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. [detaileld review in HR 51 (1): 161] - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. 2009. Inventaire des reptiles de la région de la Réserve de Biosphère Transfrontalière du W (Niger/Bénin/Burkina Faso: Afrique de l’Ouest). [Herpetological survey of the W Transfrontier Biosphere Reserve area (Niger/Benin/Burkina Faso: West Africa]. Bull. Soc. Herp. France (132): 13-41 - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 2013. Snakes of Bénin, West Africa. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 144: 101-159
  • Trape J-F and Mané Y. 2015. The snakes of Niger. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 9(2) [Special Section]: 39–55 (e110) - get paper here
  • Trape, J.F.; Chirio, L.; Broadley, D.G. & Wüster, W. 2009. Phylogeography and systematic revision of the Egyptian cobra (Serpentes: Elapidae: Naja haje) species complex, with the description of a new species from West Africa. Zootaxa 2236: 1–25 - get paper here
  • TRAPE, JEAN-FRANÇOIS & CELLOU BALDÉ 2014. A checklist of the snake fauna of Guinea, with taxonomic changes in the genera Philothamnus and Dipsadoboa (Colubridae) and a comparison with the snake fauna of some other West African countries. Zootaxa 3900 (3): 301–338 - get paper here
  • Trape, Jean-François & Youssouph Mané 2017. The snakes of Mali. Bonn zoological Bulletin 66 (2): 107–133 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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