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Psammophis namibensis BROADLEY, 1975

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Psammophiinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesNamib Sand Snake 
SynonymPsammophis leightoni namibensis BROADLEY 1975
Psammophis leightoni namibensis — BAUER et al. 1993
Psammophis namibensis — BROADLEY 2002
Psammophis namibensis — BAUER & BRANCH 2003
Psammophis namibensis — SHINE et al. 2006
Psammophis namibensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 577
Psammophis leightoni namibensis — CUNNINGHAM et al. 2018 
DistributionAngola, Namibia, Republic of South Africa (Namaqualand, Northern Cape)

Type locality: Harus in the Uri-Hauchab Mountains, Diamond Area No. 2, South West Africa.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: TM 37093 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A race of P. leightoni, differing from both described subspecies in its more numerous ventrals (Fig. 3). The typical markings of the subspecies (Plate I) are distinctive, but there is clinal variation in markings, southern specimens being close to typical leightoni in pattern, while eastern specimens come close to trinasalis. This appears to be the largest form in the P. leightoni-notostictus group (Fig. 6), with six specimens exceeding 750 mm in snout-vent length [from BROADLEY 1975].

Description: (118 specimens examined). Nostril pierced between 3 nasals, the upper posterior with a posterior prolongation; preocular 1, in broad contact with frontal; postoculars 2; temporals basically 2+2+3, but with frequent fusions; supralabials 8, fourth & fifth entering orbit; infralabials 10 (rarely 9 or11), the first 4 (rarely 5) in contact with anterior sublinguals; dorsal scales in 17-17-13 rows; ventrals 167-188; cloacal shield divided; subcaudals 90-116. Colour pattern similar to that of P. leightoni in the south, but this breaks up into a black and yellow speckled pattern further north [from BROADLEY 2002]. 
CommentKelly et al. (2008) did not much genetic support for the elevation of namibensis to full species status but rather for intraspecific variation.

Distribution: see map in BROADLEY 2002: 89 (Fig. 3). 
Etymology 
References
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bauer, A.M., and Branch, W.R. 2003. The herpetofauna of the Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. Herpetological Natural History 8: 111-160 [2001]
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Branch, William R. & Haacke, Wulf D. 1993. The herpetofauna of the Kamanjab area and adjacent Damaraland, Namibia. Madoqua (Windhoek) 18 (2): 117-145.
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1902. Description of a new snake of the genus Psammophis, from Cape Colony. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1902: 126 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1975. A review of Psammophis leightoni and Psammophis notosticus in southem Africa (Serpentes: Colubridae). Arnoldia 7 (13): 1-17
  • Broadley, D.G. 2002. A review of the species of Psammophis Boie found south of Latitude 12° S (Serpentes: Psammophiinae). African Journal of Herpetology 51 (2): 83-119 - get paper here
  • Cunningham, P., Maartens, L., & Prickett, M. 2018. A contribution to the reptiles of the Kunene River Mouth area. Namibian Journal Of Environment, 2, Section B, 1-8. Retrieved from - get paper here
  • Cunningham, Peter. 2013. Psammophis namibensis (Broadley, 1975) Namib Sand Snake. Predation. African Herp News (60): 24-25
  • FitzSimons, V.F.M. 1974. A field guide to the snakes of Southern Africa. 2nd edition. COLLINS, 221 pp. [first ed. 1970]
  • Fitzsimons, V.F.M.; Brain, C.K. 1958. A Short account of the Reptiles of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. Koedoe, 1(1): 99-104 - get paper here
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • 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)
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1867. Über eine Sammlung von Flederthieren und Amphibien aus Otjimbingue in Südwestafrica, welche Hr. Missionär Hahn dem zoologischen Museum zugesandt hat. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1867 (April): 234-237 - get paper here
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2015. Reptilien Namibias. Namibia Scientific  Society, 276 pp.
  • Shine, Richard; William R. Branch, Jonathan K. Webb, Peter S. Harlow, and Terri Shine 2006. Sexual Dimorphism, Reproductive Biology, and Dietary Habits of Psammophiine Snakes (Colubridae) from Southern Africa. Copeia 2006 (4): 650-664 - 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.
  • Werner, F. 1902. Über westafrikanische Reptilien. Verh. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien 52: 332-348
 
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