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Rhabdophis flaviceps (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Orangeneck Keelback, Yellow-headed Keelback
G: Gelbkopf-Kielrückennatter, Rotkopf-Kielrückenwassernatter 
SynonymAmphiesma flaviceps DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 738
Amphiesma lindmani BLEEKER 1857 (nomen nudum)
Amphiesma flaviceps — JAN 1863
Amphiesma rufo torquatum EDELING 1864:204 (fide BOULENGER 1894)
Tropidonotus leucomelas GÜNTHER 1864 (fide BOULENGER 1912)
Amphiesma lindmanni GÜNTHER 1872
Tropidonotus flaviceps — BOETTGER 1886
Tropidonotus (Amphiesma) flaviceps — BOETTGER 1887
Macropisthodon flaviceps — BOULENGER 1893: 266
Macropisthodon flaviceps — KOPSTEIN 1938
Macropisthodon flaviceps — TAYLOR 1965: 849
Macropisthodon flaviceps — GRANDISON 1978: 289
Macropisthodon flaviceps — WALLACH et al. 2014: 418
Macropisthodon flaviceps — HUSSON et al. 2018
Rhabdophis flaviceps — TAKEUCHI et al. 2018 
DistributionIndonesia (Bangka, Borneo/Kalimantan, Nias, Sumatra);
Malaysia (Malaya and East Malaysia);

Type locality: “Bornéo”  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.14.33 (and possibly additional specimens). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Taylor 1965: 849 
CommentType species: Amphiesma flaviceps DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 738 is the type species of the genus Macropisthodon BOULENGER 1893. However, Takeuchi et al. 2018 synonymized Macropisthodon with Rhabdophis.

Morphology: Macropisthodon is only one of three genera that posseses nuchal glands (Takeuchi et al. 2018).

TL average 70 cm, rarely > 100 cm. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin flavus = yellow and “ceps” = head, although the head is usuall red (or brown) but rarely yellow. 
  • Auliya, M. 2006. Taxonomy, Life History, and conservation of giant reptiles in west Kalimantan. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 432 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1912. A vertebrate fauna of the Malay Peninsula from the Isthmus of Kra to Singapore incl. the adjacent islands. Reptilia and Amphibia. London (Taylor & Francis), xiii + 298 S. - get paper here
  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • David,P. & Vogel, G. 1996. The snakes of Sumatra. An annotated checklist and key with natural history notes. Bücher Kreth, Frankfurt/M.
  • Duméril, A.M.C., G. BIBRON & A.H.A. DUMÉRIL 1854. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. Vol. 7 (partie 1). Paris, xvi + 780 S. - get paper here
  • Dunaev E.A., Orlova V.F. 2003. Diversity of snakes (on the materials of the exposition of the Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University). Moscow: Moscow State University Press, 376 pp
  • Gumprecht, A. & Trautmann, D. 2007. Rotkopf-Kielrückenwassernatter - Macropisthodon flaviceps (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854). Reptilia (Münster) 12 (64): 51-54 - get paper here
  • Husson, S.J.; S.H. Limin, Adul, N.S. Boyd, J.J. Brousseau, S. Collier, S.M. Cheyne, L.J. D’Arcy, R.A. Dow, N.W. Dowds, M.L. Dragiewicz, D.A. Ehlers Smith, Iwan, Hendri, P.R. Houlihan, K.A. Jeffers, B.J.M. Jarrett, I.P. Kulu, H.C. Morrogh-Bernard, S.E 2018. Biodiversity of the Sebangau tropical peat swamp forest, Indonesian Borneo. Mires and Peat 22 (05): 1–50 - get paper here
  • Kopstein, F. 1938. Ein Beitrag zur Eierkunde und zur Fortpflanzung der Malaiischen Reptilien. Bull. Raffles Mus. No 14: 81-167
  • Stuebing, R.B. & INGER, R.F. 1999. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo. Natural history Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, 254 pp. [corrections in HR 31: 124]. - get paper here
  • Stuebing, R.B., Inger, R.F. & Lardner, B. 2014. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo, second edition. Natural history Publications (Borneo)
  • Syafiq MF, Badli-Sham BH, Grismer LL, Ahmad AB 2023. Uneven species occurrence and richness of lowland snakes (Serpentes, Squamata) in Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia, with new locality records. ZooKeys 1168: 11–39
  • 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
  • Taylor,E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096 - get paper here
  • TEYNIÉ, ALEXANDRE; PATRICK DAVID, & ANNEMARIE OHLER 2010. Note on a collection of Amphibians and Reptiles from Western Sumatra (Indonesia), with the description of a new species of the genus Bufo. Zootaxa 2416: 1–43 - get paper here
  • Tweedie, M. W. F. 1983. The snakes of Malaya. Third edition. Singapore National Printers (Pte) Ltd., Singapore. 167 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.
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