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Pseudonaja modesta (GÜNTHER, 1872)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Ringed Brown Snake 
SynonymCacophis modesta GÜNTHER 1872: 35
Furina ramsayi MACLEAY 1885: 61 (fide COGGER 1983)
Brachysoma sutherlandi DE VIS 1884: 139
Demansia modesta — FRY 1914: 192
Diemenia modesta — STERNFELD 1925: 226
Demansia modesta LOVERIDGE 1934
Pseudonaja modesta — COGGER 1983: 233
Pseudonaja modesta — WELCH 1994: 105
Pseudonaja modesta — COGGER 2000: 671
Notopseudonaja modesta — WELLS 2002
Notopseudonaja ramsayi — WELLS 2002
Notopseudonaja sutherlandi — WELLS 2002
Pseudonaja modesta — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Pseudonaja modesta — WALLACH et al. 2014: 605 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia)  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.1.17.46, Western Australia, presented Dr. Gunther. Designation by Wells & Wellington (1985).
Syntypes: AM B5945, AM B5947-8, from Milparinka, Barrier Ranges, N. S. W. (original register entry and type labels cite Silverton, N. S. W. ) [Furina ramsayi] 
DiagnosisOriginal description: “Scales smooth, in seventeen series. Head of moderate width and length, not depressed. Rostral shield somewhat projecting (as in Liophis controstris), higher than broad. Anterior frontals one third or one fourth the size of posterior. Vertical five-sided, much longer than broad; occipitals as long as vertical and postfrontals together, rounded behind. Nasal simple, pierced in the middle by the nostril, in contact with the single preocular. Two postoculars. Six upper labials, the sixth as long as the two preceding together. Temporals 1 + 2 + 3, the foremost in contact with the occipital, lower postocular, and two posterior labials. Eye of moderate size, with round pupil. Ventral and subcaudals 154+48, 157 +49, 165+42. Anal bifid. Upper parts uniform greenish olive, the lower whitish. In one specimen a darker collar, edged with yellowish in front and behind, is distinctly visible this specimen has also greyish spots on the abdomen. Anteocular generally yellow. This species has the appearance of a Diemenia, from which genus it differs by its pholidosis. We have obtained three examples from Western and North-western Australia; the largest is 16 inches long, the tail being 3 inches. One was obtained at Perth by Mr. Duboulay.” (Günther 1872: 35) 
CommentSynonymy of WELLS’ new names according to W. WÜSTER (pers. comm.).

  • Bush, B. 1981. Reptiles of the Kalgoorlie-Esperance Region. B. Bush, Perth, 46 pp - get paper here
  • Bush, B. & Maryan, B. 2006. Snakes and Snake-like Reptiles of Southern Western Australia. Snakes Harmful & Harmless, Stoneville, Perth, Western Australia, 40 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Dittmer, D. E., Chapman, T. L. & Bidwell, J. R. 2020. In the shadow of an iconic inselberg: Uluru’s shadow influences climates and reptile assemblage structure at its base. J. Arid Environ. 181, 104179 (2020) - get paper here
  • Fry, D. B. 1914. On a collection of reptiles and batrachians from Western Australia. Rec. West. Austral. Mus. 1:174-210 - get paper here
  • Gillam, M. W. 1979. The genus Pseudonaja (Serpentes : Elapidae) in the Northern Territory. Territory Parks Wildl. Commn. Res. Bull. 1: 1-28
  • Günther,A. 1872. Seventh account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 9: 13-37 - get paper here
  • Macleay, W. 1885. On a new snake from the Barrier Ranges. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 10: 61-62 [1886 on title page]. - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam 2009. A multivariate morphometric analysis and systematic review of Pseudonaja (Serpentes, Elapidae, Hydrophiinae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 155 (1): 171-197 - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam; Stephen C. Donnellan; Mark N. Hutchinson and Rhonda G. Hutchinson 2005. A phylogenetic analysis of Pseudonaja (Hydrophiinae, Elapidae, Serpentes) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Volume 37 (2): 558-571 - get paper here
  • Sternfeld, R. 1925. Beiträge zur Herpetologie Inner-Australiens. Abhandlungen Herausgegeben von der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, 38: 221—251
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • 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.
  • Wells, Richard W. 2002. Taxonomy of the Genus Pseudonaja (Reptilia: Elapidae) in Australia. Australian Biodiversity Record (7): 1-41
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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