Rhinophis zigzag GOWER & MADUWAGE, 2011
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|Higher Taxa||Uropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Zigzag Rhinophis|
|Synonym||Rhinophis zigzag GOWER & MADUWAGE 2011|
Rhinophis dorsimaculatus — DERANIYAGALA 1941
Rhinophis dorsimaculatus — SOMAWEERA 2006: 235, photo A
Rhinophis sp. 2 — CADLE et al. 1990
Rhinophis zigzag — WALLACH et al. 2014: 652
Type locality: “Bibilegema Rd.”, near Passara, Province of Uva. There are no precise coordinates for the locality, though Bibilegama is at 06°54’N, 81°08’ E and approximately 1,000 m elevation.
|Reproduction||viviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022)|
|Types||Holotype: CAS 226306, male, collected May 1974 by C. Gans.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. In having more than 200 ventral scales, R. zigzag (207–221) differs from all other Rhinophis except R. dorsimaculatus, R. oxyrhynchus, R. punctatus, R. porrectus, R. homolepis, and R. sanguineus. Of these six species, R. punctatus, R. porrectus, and R. dorsimaculatus have more than 230 ventrals whereas R. zigzag has fewer than 230, and the former three species plus R. oxyrhynchus have a dorsally crested/carinate rostral scale vs the dorsally rounded rostral of R. zigzag. Rhinophis homolepis has a notably smaller head and its tail shield lacks the heterogeneity in the size of the spines seen in R. zigzag. Rhinophis sanguineus also lacks notable spine heterogeneity on the tail shield, and differs from R. zigzag also in having a much larger shield, conspicuous (but low) multiple carinae on the distal edges of scales on the underside of the tail, and in having a shorter rostral that barely interjects between the prefrontal scales. Rhinophis zigzag also differs from all congeners in its distinctive and consistent colour pattern of a dark middorsal, meandering/zigzag stripe.|
|Etymology||The species name is an allusion to the distinctive zigzag dorsal stripe, present in all known specimens. The specific epithet is considered a noun in apposition.|
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