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Philothamnus semivariegatus (SMITH, 1840)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Spotted Bush Snake, Spotted Green Snake, Variegated Green Snake
G: Gefleckte Buschschlange 
SynonymDendrophis (Philothamnus) semivariegata SMITH 1840
Chrysopelea Capensis SMITH 1837: 144
Philothamnus smithii BOCAGE 1882
Ahaetulla bocagii — GÜNTHER 1888
Philothamnus bocagii — GÜNTHER 1895
? Ahaetulla irregularis PARENTI & PICAGLIA 1886
Philothamnus semivariegatus — BOULENGER 1894: 99
Philothamnus semivariegatus — STERNFELD 1917
Philothamnus semivariegatus — SCORTECCI 1931: 17
Philothamnus semivariegatus semivariegatus — LOVERIDGE 1936: 33
Philothamnus semivariegatus semivariegatus — BOGERT 1942
Philothamnus semivariegatus semivariegatus — LOVERIDGE 1955
Philothamnus semivariegatus semivariegatus — AUERBACH 1987: 183
Philothamnus semivariegatus semivariegatus — BOYCOTT 1992
Philothamnus semivariegatus — BROADLEY 1998
Philothamnus semivariegatus — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 524
Philothamnus semivariegatus smithi — TRAPE & BALDÉ 2014: 311
Philothamnus smithi — TRAPE & BALDÉ 2014: 323
Philothamnus semivariegatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 558
Philothamnus semivariegatus — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 496 
DistributionNamibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, E Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, Natal, S Mozambique, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Congo (Brazzaville), Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Sudan, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea (Conakry), Mali, Senegal, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Angola, Gambia (HÅKANSSON 1981), Tanzania (incl. Zanzibar), Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone

Type locality: Bushman Flat, Cape Province, south Africa (restricted by Bogert 1940).  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.5.98 (and possibly additional specimens). 
Diagnosis 
CommentThe identity of PARENTI & PICAGLIA’s snake is uncertain. See Largen 1997.

Distribution: Not in Gabon fide PAUWELS & VANDE WEGHE 2008. Trape & Baldé 2014 list Philothamnus smithii for Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria (but they do not list P. semivariegatus as species).

Illustration: photo 141 on p. 201of Broadley et al. 2003 is NOT P. semivariegatus but P. dorsalis (Steve Spawls & Van Wallach via B. Hughes, pes. comm. 11 Jan 2017). The fact that there is no mid-dorsal stripe does not disqualify the identification as I have seen such museum specimens. The temporal pattern is almost unique, the extent of the light brown snout supportive.

Type species: Dendrophis (Philothamnus) semivariegata SMITH 1840 is the type species of the genus Philothamnus SMITH 1847.

Definition of genus in LOVERIDGE 1958: 49

Synonymy: partly after LOVERIDGE 1958: 105. Molecular studies suggest that Philothamnus smithii could deserve full species status but Trape & Baldé 2014 were unable to find meristic criteria to distinguish smithi from semivariegatus. 
Etymology 
References
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