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Psammophis subtaeniatus PETERS, 1882

IUCN Red List - Psammophis subtaeniatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Psammophiinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesWestern Yellow-bellied Sand Snake, Stripe-bellied Sand Snake
G: Gelbbauch-Sandrennnatter 
SynonymPsammophis sibilans var. subtaeniata PETERS 1882: 121
Psammophis moniliger var. bilineatus PETERS 1867: 237 (see comment)
Psammophis sibilans var. subtaeniata — FISCHER 1884: 12
Psammophis bocagii BOULENGER 1895 (fide WALLACH pers. comm.)
Psammophis subtaeniatus — LOVERIDGE 1936: 38
Psammophis subtaeniatus subtaeniatus — AUERBACH 1987: 168
Psammophis subtaeniatus — BOYCOTT 1992
Psammophis subtaeniatus — BROADLEY 1998
Psammophis subtaeniatus — BROADLEY et al. 2003: 166
Psammophis subtaeniatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 580 
DistributionN Namibia, N/E Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, E Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), NE Republic of South Africa, Swaziland, S Angola, S/SE Zambia, Malawi, Sudan, Central African Republic, Ethiopia.

Type locality: “Tete, ... Boror”; restricted to “Tete” [Mozambique] by BROADLEY 1966.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 9992 (2 specimens), 2470 (P. sibilans var. subtaeniata) 
DiagnosisDescription (subtaeniatus): (595 specimens examined) Nostril pierced between 2 nasals; preocular 1 (very rarely 2), in short contact with or separated from frontal; postoculars 2; temporals basically 2+2+3, but with frequent fusions; supralabials 9, the fourth, fifth & sixth entering orbit, rarely 8 (4 & 5), 8 (3,4,5), 9 (5 & 6), 10 (5,6,7) or 10 (4,5,6,7); infralabials usually 10 (rarely 9 or 11), the first 4 (rarely 5) in contact with anterior sublinguals; dorsal scales in 17-17-13 rows; ventrals 155-181; cloacal shield divided; subcaudals 106-132. Head brown above, uniform, or more often with largely transverse grey markings which may be present only posteriorly, continuing onto the neck as a series of faint crossbars; supralabials, chin and throat white, yellow or vermillion, usually heavily speckled with black; 7 mid-dorsal scale rows brown, sometimes each scale bordered with black; a yellow or white dorsolateral stripe on scale rows 4 and 5 is black-edged above and below and followed by a chestnut to brown lateral band, the lower half of outer scale row (scale row 1) and ends of ventrals white, separated by a pair of black ventral hair lines from a yellow mid-ventral band. A more or less uniform colour morph, with both dorsal and ventral stripes vestigial or completely absent, is not uncommon in the Middle Zambezi Valley, these specimens have previously been considered hybrids between P. subtaeniatus and P. phillipsii (Broadley 1977, 1983). 
CommentSynonymy: PETERS’ older name was suppressed as a result of ICZN Opinion 1210 (BAUER 1995). The 1881 name is not listed in the 1881 Zoological Record.

Mildly venomous.

Distribution: see map in BROADLEY 2002: 90 (Fig. 4). Not in East Africa (i.e. Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi fide S. Spawls, pers. comm., 28 June 2018). Also reported from the Sudan by WERNER 1919: 504 who discusses its differences to other species of the genus.

Subspecies: Psammophis subtaeniatus orientalis BROADLEY 1977 and P. s. sudanensis WERNER 1919 have been elevated to full species status. Note: Distribution not corrected for this elevation. 
Etymology 
References
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Barts, M. & W. D. Haacke 1997. Zur Reptilienfauna der Tsodilo - Berge und angrenzender Gebiete in NW - Botswana Teil II: Sauria II; Serpents. Sauria 19 (4): 15-21 - get paper here
  • 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.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
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  • CONRADIE, W., ENGELBRECHT, H., HERREL, A., MEASEY, G.J., NIELSEN, S.V., V ANHOOYDONCK, B., & TOLLEY, K.A. 2011. Reptile survey of Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve, Limpopo Province - South Africa. African Herp News (55): 6-12
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  • Loveridge, A. 1956. On snakes collected in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by J.S. Owen, Esq. Sudan Notes Rec. 36: 37-56 [1955]
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  • 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
  • Peters,W. 1882. Naturwissenschaftliche Reise nach Mossambique auf Befehl seiner Majestät es Königs Friedrich Wilhelm IV. in den Jahren 1842 bis 1848 ausgefeführt von Wilhelm C. Peters. Zoologie III. Amphibien. Berlin (Reimer), 191pp.
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  • Pietersen, Darren W. Pietersen, Errol W. Haacke, Wulf D. 2013. First herpetological appraisal of the Parque Nacional de Banhine, Gaza Province, southern Mozambique. Annals of the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History 3: 153-163 - get paper here
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  • Steehouder, A.M. 1984. Repeated successful breeding of the Red striped sand snake Psammophis subtaeniatus sudanensis, and some remarks on the 'polishing behaviour' of this species. Litteratura Serpentium 4 (3/4)90-103 - get paper here
  • Steehouder, A.M. 1985. Egg retention and mechanical removal of the egg from Psammophis subtaeniatus sudanensis. Litteratura Serpentium 5 (1): 28-30 - get paper here
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