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Rhabdophis tigrinus (BOIE, 1826)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesRhabdophis tigrinus tigrinus (BOIE 1826)
Rhabdophis tigrinus formosanus (MAKI 1931) 
Common NamesE: Tiger Keelback
G: Tiger-Wassernatter, Tigernatter 
SynonymTropidonotus tigrinus BOIE 1826: 205
Amphiesma tigrinum — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 732
Tropidonotus lateralis BERTHOLD 1859
Amphiesma tigrinum — HALLOWELL 1860: 499
Tropidonotus orientalis GÜNTHER 1861: 391
Tropidonotus tigrinus — GÜNTHER 1888: 171
Tropidonotus tigrinus — BOULENGER 1893: 249
Tropidonotus tigrinus — BOULENGER 1896: 607
Natrix tigrina — STEJNEGER 1907: 272
Natrix tigrina lateralis — STEJNEGER 1907: 278
Natrix tigrina lateralis — MELL 1931 [1929]
Natrix tigrina lateralis ab. caerulescens — EMELIANOV 1936
Natrix tigrina lateralis — GLASS 1946
Natrix tigrina — ALEXANDER & DIENER 1958
Rhabdophis tigrina — MALNATE 1960
Rhabdophis tigrinus lateralis — SZYNDLAR 1984
Rhabdophis tigrina lateralis ZHAO & JIANG 1986
Rhabdophis tigrina — KHARIN 2011
Rhabdophis lateralis — TAKEUCHI et al. 2012
Rhabdophis tigrinus — TAKEUCHI et al. 2012
Rhabdophis tigrinus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 637

Rhabdophis tigrinus formosanus (MAKI 1931)
Natrix tigrina formosana MAKI 1931
Rhabdophis tigrinus formosanus OTA & MORI 1985
Rhabdophis tigrinus formosanus OTA et al. 1999
Rhabdophis formosanus — TAKEUCHI et al. 2012 
DistributionE Russia (Primorskiy and Khabarovsk territories)
North Korea, South Korea
China (widely distributed, except western third and extreme south; Chekiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hupeh, Guizhou, Sichuan, Gansu, Shensi, Suiyuan), Taiwan,
Vietnam,
Japan (Yakushima, Taegashima, Kyushu, Shikoku, Honshu, Ryukyu Islands)

lateralis: Asian mainland

tigrinus: Japan

formosanus: Taiwan

Type locality: “Japan”, “Dejima of Nagasaki City, eastern Kyushu, Japan” (fide Zhao & Adler, 1993). Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesType: BMNH 1861.12.27.9 (and possibly additional specimens). 
CommentVenomous!

Nomenclature: “tigrina” fide KHALIKOV 1998 (pers. comm.).

Distribution: not listed for Vietnam (by SANG et al. 2009).

Diagnosis (formosanus): Rhabdophis formosanus has many subcaudal (≤ 80 in males, ≤ 77 in females). Therefore, subcaudal counts could distinguish R. formosanus from R. tigrinus and R. lateralis, except the Kyushu populations of R. tigrinus with partially overlap of the ranges (Ota & Mori, 1985; Ota et al., 1999). They can be discriminated by longitudinally narrower dark blotches counts from the neck to the fiftieth ventral (BB50), which is in the range 15–20 in R. formosanus but 7–14 in the Kyushu populations of R. tigrinus (Toriba, 1992; Ota et al., 1999). Therefore, R. formosanus has the diagnosability from R. tigrinus and R. lateralis by a combination of characters (≤ 80 subcaudal in males, ≤ 77 subcaudal in females, and BB50 in both sexes). On the other hand, we have found no key characters that collectively discriminate R. lateralis from R. tigrinus. Therefore, further studies are needed to identify them. [from TAKEUCHI et al. 2012).

Diet: The diet of R. tigrinus on Kinkasan Island exclusively consisted of a frog, Rana tagoi, which is the only amphibian species inhabiting Kinkasan Island (Akira & Nagata 2016). 
References
  • Alexander, Donald R.;Diener, Richard A. 1958. A collection of amphibians and reptiles from Japan. Copeia 1958 (3): 218-219 - get paper here
  • Barbour, Thomas 1909. Notes on Amphibia and Reptilia from Eastern Asia. Proc. New England zool. Club 4: 53-78, 2 plates - get paper here
  • Berthold,A.A. 1859. Einige neue Reptilien des akad. zoolog. Museums in Göttingen. Nachr. Georg-August-Univ. Königl. Ges. Wiss. Göttingen, 1859 (17): 179-181
  • Boie. H. 1826. Merkmale einiger japanischer Lurche. lsis von Oken, Jena. 18-19: 203 - 216 - 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. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Emelianov, A.A. 1936. A new form from the family Natricidae (Ophidia) in the Far East of the USSR. [in Russian] Bull. Far E. Br. Acad. Sci. U.S.S.R. (19): 111-113
  • Glass, Bryan P. 1946. A collection of reptiles from Hunan and Anhwei provinces, China. Copeia 1946 (4): 249-252 - get paper here
  • Goris, R.C. & Maeda, N. 2004. Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Japan. Krieger, Malabar, 285 pp.
  • Günther, A. 1861. [Letter relating to specimens sent from China by Robert Swinhoe]. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1861: 390-391 [1862?] - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1888. On a collection of reptiles from China. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 1: 165-172 - get paper here
  • Hallowell, E. 1861. Report upon the Reptilia of the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, under command of Capt. John Rogers, U. S. N. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12 [1860]: 480 - 510 - get paper here
  • Itoh, Masahiro; Sasaki, Motomichi; Makino, Sajiro. 1970. The chromosomes of some Japanese snakes, with special regard to sexual dimorphism. Japanese Journal of Genetics 45(2):121-128
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  • Macey, J. Robert;Papenfuss, Theodore J.;Zhao, Ermi 1988. The snakes of Ningxia Hui autonomous region as an indication of a herpetofaunal corridor. Chinese Herpetological Research 2 (1): 4-5
  • Matsubara, Kazumi;Chizuko Nishida, Yoichi Matsuda, and Yoshinori Kumazawa 2016. Sex chromosome evolution in snakes inferred from divergence patterns of two gametologous genes and chromosome distribution of sex chromosome-linked repetitive sequences. Matsubara et al. Zoological Letters (2016) 2:19 - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • Mori, Akira and Eiko Nagata 2016. Relying on a Single Anuran Species: Feeding Ecology of a Snake Community on Kinkasan Island, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan Current Herpetology Aug 2016, Vol. 35, No. 2: 106-114. - get paper here
  • Mori,M. 1982. Japans Schlangen, Vols. 1-3 (80, 102, 123 pp.). Tokyo (Igaku-Shoin Ltd.) [bilingual edition in German and Japanese]
  • Nietzke, G. 2002. Die Terrarientiere 3: Krokodile und Schlangen. Ulmer Verlag (Stuttgart), 375 pp.
  • Ota, H.;Mori, A. 1985. Notes on the fourth collected specimen of Rhabdophis tigrinus formosanus and the morphological features characteristic of this subspecies. Japanese Journal of Herpetology 11: 41-45
  • Ota, Hidetoshi, Szu-Lung Chen, Jun-Tsong Lin and Michihisa Toriba. 1999. Taxonomic status of the Taiwanese population of Rhabdophis tigrinus (Squamata: Colubridae): Morphological and karyological assessement. Japanese Journal of Herpetology 18 (1): 1-6
  • Seung Hoon, Cha 2012. Snake, the world most beautifull curve [in Korean]. Hownext, 304 pp. [ISBN 978-89-965656-7-3] - get paper here
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  • Stejneger, LEONHARD H. 1907. Herpetology of Japan and adjacent territory. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 58: xx, 1-577 - get paper here
  • Szyndlar, Z. 1984. A description of a small collection of amphibians and reptiles from the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, with notes on the distribution of the herpetofauna in that country. Acta Zool. Cracov. 27 (1): 3-18
  • TAKEUCHI, HIROHIKO; HIDETOSHI OTA FLS,, HONG-SHIK OH and TSUTOMU HIKIDA 2012. Extensive genetic divergence in the East Asian natricine snake, Rhabdophis tigrinus (Serpentes: Colubridae), with special reference to prominent geographical differentiation of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in Japanese populations. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 105, 395–408
  • Toriba, Michihisa 2002. On the blue color phase of Rhabdophis tigrinus [in Japanese]. Bulletin of the Herpetological Society of Japan 2002(2):68-69. - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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  • ZHU, GUANG-XIANG; YING-YONG WANG,HIROHIKO TAKEUCHI & ER-MI ZHAO 2014. A new species of the genus Rhabdophis Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Guangdong Province, southern China. Zootaxa 3765 (5): 469–480
  • ZHU, Guangxiang; ZHAO Ermi, WEI Mengjing, GUO Peng 2014. A Multivariate Morphometric Analysis of Rhabdophis tigrinus lateralis (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Herpetofauna of China. Sichuan J Zool 33 (3) - get paper here
 
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