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Opisthotropis atra GÜNTHER, 1872

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymOpisthotropis ater GÜNTHER 1872: 16
Opisthotropis atra — DAVID et al. 2011
Opisthotropis ater — YANG et al. 2011
Opisthotropis atra — WALLACH et al. 2014: 508 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.15.31 
CommentType species: Opisthotropis ater GÜNTHER 1872 is the type species of the genus Opisthotropis GÜNTHER 1872. However, the origin of this species in “West Africa” is considered as incorrect (POPE 1935). If this taxon proved not to be congeneric with the Asian species, the next available generic name for the oriental species is Calamohydrus Boulenger, 1888 (type species C. andersonii). See Ziegler et al. 2008 for more details.

Key: for a key to the species of Opisthotropis, see Teynié et al. 2014 and Ren et al. 2017.

Abundance: known only from the type specimen (P. David, pers. comm. 5 May 2013).

Distribution: unknown. Type locality: West Africa (in error).

Behavior: nocturnal

Habitat: Opisthotropis are mostly nocturnal, and inhabit flowing streams and occasionally dwell in riparian habitats (Yang et al. 2013). 
EtymologyThe generic name comes from Greek οπισθε, opisthe, meaning “posterior, backwards”, and the noun Τροπις, tropis, the keel of a ship. The gender of the genus is feminine although some authors have claimed it is masculine (e.g. Hikida 2015). 
  • DAVID, PATRICK; CUONG THE PHAM, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN & THOMAS ZIEGLER 2011. A new species of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 (Squamata: Natricidae) from the highlands of Kon Tum Province, Vietnam. Zootaxa 2758: 43–56 - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1872. Seventh account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 9: 13-37 - get paper here
  • Hikida, Tsutomu 2015. Book Review: A Field Guide to the Reptiles of Thailand. Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 61(1): 41–51
  • TEYNIÉ, ALEXANDRE; ANNE LOTTIER, PATRICK DAVID, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN & GERNOT VOGEL 2014. A new species of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 from northern Laos (Squamata: Natricidae). Zootaxa 3774 (2): 165–182 - 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.
  • YANG, JIAN-HUAN; YIK-HEI SUNG & BOSCO PUI-LOK CHAN 2013. A new species of the genus Opisthotropis Günther, 1872 (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) from Guangdong Province, China. Zootaxa 3646 (3): 289–296 - get paper here
  • YANG, JIAN-HUAN; YING-YONG WANG, BING ZHANG, MICHAEL WAI-NENG LAU & WEN-HAO CHOU 2011. Revision of the diagnostic characters of Opisthotropis maculosa Stuart and Chuaynkern, 2007 with notes on its distribution and variation, and a key to the genus Opisthotropis (Squamata: Natricidae). Zootaxa 2785: 61–68 - get paper here
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