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Pseudoboodon sandfordorum SPAWLS, 2004

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Sandford’s Ethiopian (mountain) snake 
SynonymPseudoboodon sandfordorum SPAWLS 2004
Pseudoboodon sandfordorum — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 478
Pseudoboodon sandfordorum — WALLACH et al. 2014: 600 
DistributionSW Ethiopia (central highlands)

Type locality: Mugher River Gorge, near Keriyo Hamlet (09° 24' N 38° 39' E, elevation 1 800 m).  
TypesHolotype: LIVCM (also as WML = Liverpool Museum) LIV2003.47.4 (male), 23 November 1997. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Arelatively large species of Pseudoboodon, identified to the genus by the presence of the diagnostic pit on the upper labials. Distinguished from other members of the genus by the following combination of characters: (a) a ventral count of 216-223 (maximum 208 in P. lemniscatus, 214 in P. gascaeand 195 in P. boehmei, Rasmussen & Largen 1992), (b) a distinctive colour pattern consisting of a grey dorsum, with low contrast brown spots but no striping, the head brown without arrow-shaped markings, (c) a distinctive temporal formula, 2 + 3 in 6/7 types (1+2 in 103/112 P. lemniscatus, 1+2 in 21/22 P. gascae, 1+2 in all specimens of P. boehmei, Rasmussen & Largen 1992), (d) a consistent dorsal scale count of 15 at the level of the 15th ventral before the anal scale (usually 17 in P. lemniscatusand P. gascaeand 17 in all known specimens of P. boehmei, Rasmussen & Largen 1992), (e) maxillary teeth 15-18 in undamaged adult specimens (19-23 in P. lemniscatus, 17-22 in P. gascae and 20 in P. boehmei(Rasmussen & Largen 1992) and (f) a distinctive broad pear-shaped head that narrows abruptly in front of the eyes. 
EtymologyThe specific name is in honour of the Sandford family. Three generations of Sandfords have served Ethiopia, their adopted country, in the military field, in education and development. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Spawls, Stephen. 2004. A New Species of Pseudoboodon (Reptilia: Serpentes) from the Central Highlands of Ethiopia; with notes on some other members of the genus. African Journal of Herpetology 53 (1): 13-19 - get paper here
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - 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.
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