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Rhabdophis ceylonensis (GÜNTHER, 1858)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Sri Lankan Keelback Blossom krait 
SynonymTropidonotus chrysargus var. ceylonensis GÜNTHER 1858
Tropidonotus ceylonensis — GÜNTHER 1864
Tropidonotus ceylonensis — BOULENGER 1893: 252
Rhabdophis ceylonensis — WALL 1921
Amphiesma ceylonensis — WALL 1921: 103
Balanophis ceylonensis — SMITH 1943: 310
Balanophis ceylonensis — HARDING & WELCH 1980
Rhabdophis chysargus — MURPHY et al. 1994 (in error)
Rhabdophis ceylonensis — FRANK & RAMUS 1995
Balanophis ceylonensis — DAS 1996: 54
Balanophis ceylonensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 89
Rhabdophis ceylonensis — TAKEUCHI et al. 2018 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: “Ceylon”  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.15.25, subadult male (H. Cuming). 
CommentFrank & Ramus (1995) list this species as “Rhabdophis ceylonensis GÜNTHER 1864” (instead of 1858).

Type species: Tropidonotus chrysargus var. ceylonensis GÜNTHER 1858 is the type species of the genus Balanophis SMITH 1938. 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution on Ceylon (= Sri Lanka). 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Gabadage, Dinesh; Thilina Surasinghe, Anslem de Silva,<br />Ruchira Somaweera, Buddhika Madurapperuma, Majintha Madawala & Suranjan Karunarathna, 2018. Ecological and zoological study of endemic Sri Lankan keelback (Balanophis ceylonensis): with implications for its conservation. Vert. Zool. 68 (3): 225–236 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281 - get paper here
  • Murphy, J. C.; Voris, H. K.; Karns, D. R. 1994. A field guide and key to the snakes of the Danum Valley, A bornean tropical rainforest ecosystem. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 29: 133-151
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Pyron, R. Alexander; H.K. Dushantha Kandambi, Catriona R. Hendry, Vishan Pushpamal, Frank T. Burbrink, Ruchira Somaweera 2013. Genus-level phylogeny of snakes reveals the origins of species richness in Sri Lanka. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66 (3): 969-978 - get paper here
  • Samarawickrama, V.A.M.P.K.; H.I.G.C. Kumara, D.R.N.S. Samarawickrama 2019. Diversity of Reptiles in the Eastern and Southern parts of the Sinharaja Rain Forest. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment - get paper here
  • Smith, M. A. 1938. The nucho-dorsal glands of snakes. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 107B: 575-583
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Takeuchi, H., Savitzky, A. H., Ding, L., Silva, A., Das, I., Nguyen, T. T., … Mori, A. 2018. Evolution of nuchal glands, unusual defensive organs of Asian natricine snakes (Serpentes: Colubridae), inferred from a molecular phylogeny. Ecology and Evolution 8 (20): 10219–10232 - get paper here
  • Wall, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages - 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.
  • Weinstein, Scott A. 2017. Non-Front-Fanged Colubroid Snakes. In: J. Brent et al. (eds.), Critical Care Toxicology. Springer Verlag, pp. 2453-2492 - get paper here
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