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Naja subfulva LAURENT, 1955

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Brown forest cobra
G: Braune Waldkobra 
SynonymNaja melanoleuca subfulva LAURENT 1955: 132
Naja melanoleuca subfulva — BROADLEY 1962
Naja subfulva — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
Naja melanoleuca subfulva — CHIRIO & LEBRETON 2007
Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca subfulva — BROADLEY & BLAYLOCK 2013
Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca — CONRADIE et al. 2016
Naja (Boulengerina) subfulva — WÜSTER et al. 2018: 85 
DistributionCentral African Republic, Chad, Cameroon, SE Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, (South ?) Sudan, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola, Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi (all based on Wüster et al. 2018: 81)

Type locality: Lwiro, Kivu, Zaire  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesHolotype: RMCA (= MRAC = RGMC = Musée Royal du Congo Belge) 17514 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Midbody scale rows 19, except along coastal regions of East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania), where most specimens have 17 rows. Pattern highly variable. Adults of most populations distinguishable in having a brown forebody, often with spots, generally becoming darker or blackish posteriorly. Labial pattern may be attenuated in many adults. Venter with several black, dark brown or greyish crossbands on the first 50 ventrals, gradually becoming uniform black caudad in some populations, but often remaining entirely light, often with extensive darker spotting or speckling. Where present, the light forebody and/or light posterior venter are diagnostic for this species. Generally fewer ventral bands and ventral scales than N. melanoleuca or N. savannula and fewer subcaudals than N. savannula (Table 8). Genetically diagnosable through possession of unique mitochondrial haplotypes (cyt b: GenBank MH337603–633; ND4: MH337409–439) and unique PRLR and UBN1 haplotypes (PRLR: MH337441–471; UBN1: MH337531, MH337536–562, MH337564–566) [Wüster et al. 2018: 85] 
CommentVenomous!

Similar species: Naja melanoleuca has been split up into 4 species by Wüster et al. 2018, namely N. melanoleuca s. str., N. guineensis, N. savannula, and N. subfulva, all of which are variable and partly sympatric (see map in Wüster et al. 2018: 81, Fig. 6). See also N. melanoleuca. 
Etymology 
References
  • Broadley, D. & Blaylock 2013. The Snakes of Zimbabwe and Botswana. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 387 pp. [book review in Sauria 35 (2): 59 and Copeia 2014: 388] - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1962. On some reptile collections from the North-Western and North-Eastern Districts of Southern Rhodesia 1958-1961, with descriptions of four new lizards. Occ. Pap. Nat. Mus. South. Rhodesia 26 (B): 787-843
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Chirio, Laurent and Ivan Ineich 2006. Biogeography of the reptiles of the Central African Republic. African Journal of Herpetology 55(1):23-59. - get paper here
  • Conradie, Werner; Gabriela B. Bittencourt-Silva, Hanlie M. Engelbrecht, Simon P. Loader, Michele Menegon, Cristóvão Nanvonamuquitxo, Michael Scott, Krystal A. Tolley, 2016. Exploration into the hidden world of Mozambique’s sky island forests: new discoveries of reptiles and amphibians. Zoosyst. Evol. 92 (2): 163–180, DOI 10.3897/zse.92.9948 - get paper here
  • Laurent, R.F. 1955. Diagnoses preliminaires des quelques Serpents venimeux. Rev. Zool. Bot. Afr., 51: 127-139
  • Marques, Mariana P.; Luis M. P. Ceríaco , David C. Blackburn , and Aaron M. Bauer 2018. Diversity and Distribution of the Amphibians and Terrestrial Reptiles of Angola -- Atlas of Historical and Bibliographic Records (1840–2017). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (Ser. 4) 65: 1-501 (Supplement II)
  • WÜSTER, WOLFGANG; LAURENT CHIRIO, JEAN-FRANÇOIS TRAPE, IVAN INEICH, KATE JACKSON, ELI GREENBAUM, CESAR BARRON, CHIFUNDERA KUSAMBA, ZOLTÁN T. NAGY, RICHARD STOREY, CARA HALL, CATHARINE E. WÜSTER, AXEL BARLOW, DONALD G. BROADLEY 2018. Integration of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences and morphology reveals unexpected diversity in the forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) species complex in Central and West Africa (Serpentes: Elapidae). Zootaxa 4455 (1): 068–098 - get paper here
 
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