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Prosymna meleagris (REINHARDT, 1843)

IUCN Red List - Prosymna meleagris - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Prosymninae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesGhana Shovel-snout, Speckled Shovel-snout Snake 
SynonymCalamaria meleagris REINHARDT 1843
Temnorhynchus meleagris PETERS 1875: 198
Prosymna meleagris — LOVERIDGE 1955
Prosymna meleagris — BROADLEY 1998
Prosymna meleagris — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 525
Prosymna meleagris — WALLACH et al. 2014: 581 
DistributionSenegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia (HÅKANSSON 1981), Uganda

Type locality: "Guinea," as old museum specimen, possibly near Gambia? [fide LOVERIDGE 1958] 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.
 
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesLectotype: ZMUC 60618
Holotype: MCZ [laurenti] 
CommentProsymna maleagris greigerti MOCQUARD 1906 (and its subspecies collaris) have been elevated to full species status.

Type species: Calamaria meleagris REINHARDT 1843 is the type species of the genus Prosymna GRAY 1849.

Type genus: Prosymna GRAY 1849 is also the type genus of the family Prosymnidae KELLY et al. 2009. Only the genus Prosymna is currently included in this family.

Distribution: apparently not in Guinea-Bissau (?), Uganda, W Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), S Sudan, Mali, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso (Lobi), as reported previously (see Chirio et al. 2011). Listed for Ethiopia by LARGEN & RASMUSSEN 1993.

Definition (genus): Maxillary teeth 7-11, the foremost minute, the rest increasing in size posteriorly to the last 3, which are large, strongly compressed, lancet-like; palatal teeth minute, vestigial or absent ; mandibular teeth few, very small, subequal. Head not distinct from neck, snout strongly depressed, projecting, with angular or sharp horizontal edge ; eye relatively small, with vertically subelliptic pupil; nasal semidivided by a (sometimes interrupted or absent) horizontal suture extending from the nostril to the loreal; a preocular (usually single, occasionally absent) ; internasal single or paired; prefrontal usually single. Body cylindrical, short; scales smooth or keeled, with apical pits in 15-21 rows; anal entire. Tail short, terminating in a horny spine; subcaudals paired [from LOVERIDGE 1958].

History: Calamaria meleagris was described by Reinhardt on the basis of two specimens (a third, subsequently seen, re- ceives passing mention in a postscript), obviously a male and female, though this is not stated. Both were from "Guinea," a name that in 1843 was applied to any of the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea from Portuguese Guinea to the French Congo. Fortunately Reinhardt states that his two snakes had different origins. One formed part of a collection sent to Copenhagen Museum in 1836 by Herr Chenon, assistant to the "government establishment on the coast." Presumably he refers to Christiansborg, one-time seat of Danish administration on the coast of Ghana near Accra, for the various species of snakes donated by Chenon are still common in Ghana [from LOVERIDGE 1958].

Diet: reptile eggs 
References
  • Aylmer, G. 1922. The Snakes of Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone Studies 5: 7-37
  • Barnett, Linda K. 2001. The herpetofauna of Abuko Nature Reserve, the Gambia. Herpetological Bulletin (77): 5-1 - get paper here
  • Böhme, Wolfgang, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Christian Brede & Philipp Wagner 2011. The reptiles (Testudines, Squamata, Crocodylia) of the forested southeast of the Republic Guinea (Guinée forestière), wit a country-wide checklist. Bonn zoological Bulletin 60 (1): 35-61 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1979. Predation on Reptile Eggs by African Snakes of the Genus Prosymna. Herpetologica 35 (4): 338-341 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1980. A revision of the African snake genus Prosymna Gray. Bull. Mus. natl. Hist. nat., Paris 22: 362-382
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • Chirio L., Ineich I., Schmitz A., Trape Jean-François. 2011. Note sur la systématique de quelques espèces du genre Prosymna Gray, 1849 en Afrique au nord de l'équateur (Serpentes, Prosymnidae). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 118 (1): 157-173
  • 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
  • Hoogmoed, M.S. 1979. Herpetologische waarnemingen in Ghana [part 1 - introduction]. Lacerta 37 (10-11): 164-168 - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 2013. Snakes of Bénin, West Africa. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 144: 101-159
  • Kelly, Christopher M. R.; Nigel P. Barker, Martin H. Villet and Donald G. Broadley 2009. PHYLOGENY, BIOGEOGRAPHY AND CLASSIFICATION OF THE SNAKE SUPERFAMILY ELAPOIDEA: A RAPID RADIATION IN THE LATE EOCENE. Cladistics 25: 38-63
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Largen,M.J. & Rasmussen,J.B. 1993. Catalogue of the snakes of Ethiopia (Reptilia Serpentes), including identification keys. Tropical Zoology 6: 313-434 - get paper here
  • LeBreton, Matthew 1999. A working checklist of the herpetofauna of Cameroon. Netherlands Committee for IUCN, 160 pp.
  • Lönnberg, E. 1910. Two new snakes from Lower Congo. Arkiv för Zoologi 7 (8): 1-8
  • Loveridge, A. 1956. On snakes collected in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by J.S. Owen, Esq. Sudan Notes Rec. 36: 37-56 [1955]
  • Loveridge,A. 1958. Revision of five african snake genera. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 119: 1-198 (141) - get paper here
  • Mocquard, F. 1906. Description de quelques espéces nouvelles de Reptiles. Bull. Mus. nat. Hist. nat., Paris 7: 464-466. - get paper here
  • Padial, J. M. 2006. COMMENTED DISTRIBUTIONAL LIST OF THE REPTILES OF MAURITANIA (WEST AFRICA). Graellsia, 62(2): 159-178
  • Pitman,C.R.S. 1974. A guide to the snakes of Uganda. Codicote, Wheldon & Wesley, L., 290 pp.
  • Rasmussen, J.B. & B. Hughes 1996. Description of some new snake species. I. [English translation of the original Danish text of T. Reinhardt 1843]. Steenstrupia 22: 13-39
  • Reinhardt, J. T. 1843. Beskrivelse af nogle nye Slangearter. Danske Vidensk. Selsk. Afhandl. 10: 233-279. - get paper here
  • Rödel,M.O.; Kouadio,K, & Mahsberg,D. 1999. Die Schlangenfauna des Comoé-Nationalparks, Elfenbeinküste: Ergänzungen und Ausblick. Salamandra 35 (3): 165-180
  • Segniagbeto GLazcano. H., Trape J. F., David P., Ohler A., Dubois A. & Glitho I. A. 2011. The snake fauna of Togo: systematics, distribution and biogeography, with remarks on selected taxonomic problems. Zoosystema 33 (3): 325-360. DOI: 10.5252/z2011n3a4 - get paper here
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mané, Y. 2002. Les serpents du Sénégal: liste commentée des espèces. Bull. Soc. Pathol. Exot. 95 (3): 148-150
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mané, Y. 2004. Les serpents des environs de Bandafassi (Sénégal oriental). Bull. Soc. Herp. France 109: 5-34 - get paper here
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mané, Y. 2006. Guide des serpents d’Afrique occidentale. Savane et désert. [Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger]. IRD Editions, Paris, 226 pp. - 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
  • Trape, Jean-François; Mané, Youssouph 2000. Les serpents des environs de Dielmo (Sine-Saloum, Sénégal). Bull. Soc. Herp. France 95: 19-35 - get paper here
  • Ullenbruch, K.; Grell, O.; Böhme, W. 2010. Reptiles from southern Benin, West Africa, with the description of a new Hemidactylus (Gekkonidae), and a country-wide checklist. Bonn Zool. Bull. 57 (1): 31-54 - 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.
 
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