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Oxyuranus temporalis DOUGHTY, MARYAN, DONNELLAN & HUTCHINSON, 2007

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesWestern Desert Taipan, Central Ranges Taipan 
SynonymOxyuranus temporalis DOUGHTY, MARYAN, DONNELLAN & HUTCHINSON 2007
Oxyuranus temporalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 521 
DistributionWestern Australia

Type locality: east of the Walter James Range, Western Australia (24°40’06”S, 128°45’52”E). 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.
ReproductionIt is likely that the female was approaching maturity as there are four undeveloped follicles in the left ovary (largest = 2.87 mm) and three in the right ovary (largest = 3.18 mm). Size at maturation in the other species of Oxyuranus is close to the size of the holotype (Shine & Covacevich 1983). Numerous fat bodies are present. 
TypesHolotype: WAM R166250 (SAMA field number BS-009075). A subadult female collected on 22 September 2006 by M. Hutchinson. Liver stored frozen at SAMA. 
CommentColouration in preservative. Body is light pale brown with diffuse darker olive grey variegations. Head creamy brown and distinctly paler than body. No dark collar separating the pale head from the browner body colour. The skin from many scales has sloughed off revealing a pale whitish underlying ground colour with darker olive grey scales maintaining contrast to ground colour. Ventral surface pale yellowish white; no yellow tinge on subcaudals. Slight indication of spotting on ventral surface towards head. Eye black with black iris, pupil round. Lining of mouth pale.

Diet. Dissection of the gut revealed several clumps of hair from recent small mammal prey items.

Habitat and behaviour. The specimen was captured on a hot sunny day crossing a dirt road on a deep sandy flat with very open low mallee (Eucalyptus spp.) and Grevillea over storey and diverse shrubby understorey dominated by Triodia. The snake was sighted from a motor vehicle, at approximately 1600 h. When the vehicle passed the snake and stopped, the snake remained immobile rather than fleeing, and when approached it adopted an “S” threat pose typical of Pseudonaja and Oxyuranus (M. Hutchinson, pers. obs.).

EtymologyFrom the Latin temporalis in reference to the different arrangement of temporal scales compared to the other two species of Oxyuranus. 
  • Brennan, Karl E. C., Morley, Terry, Hutchinson, Mark, and Donnellan, Steve 2012. Redescription of the western desert taipan, Oxyuranus temporalis (Serpentes : Elapidae), with notes on its distribution, diet and genetic variation. Australian Journal of Zoology 59, 227–235 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp.
  • DOUGHTY, PAUL; BRAD MARYAN, STEPHEN C. DONNELLAN & MARK N. HUTCHINSON 2007. A new species of taipan (Elapidae: Oxyuranus) from central Australia. Zootaxa 1422: 45-58 - get paper here
  • Shea, G. M. 2007. A possible second record of the Central Ranges taipan Oxyuranus temporalis (Elapidae). Herpetofauna 37: 95–97
  • Shine, R.; Covacevich, J. 1983. Ecology of highly venomous snakes: the Australian genus Oxyuranus (Elapidae). Journal of Herpetology 17 (1): 60-69 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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