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Sanzinia madagascariensis (DUMÉRIL & BIBRON, 1844)

IUCN Red List - Sanzinia madagascariensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaBoidae (Sanziniinae, Sanziniidae), Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Madagascar Tree Boa
G: Madagaskar-Hundskopfboa 
SynonymXiphosoma madagascariensis DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 549
Sanzinia madagascariensis — GRAY 1849
Corallus madagascariensis — BOULENGER 1893: 103
Sanzina madagascarensis [sic] — AUFFENBERG 1958
Sanzinia madagascariensis — KLUGE 1991: 10
Boa manditra — KLUGE 1991: 47 (replacement name)
Sanzinia madagascariensis — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 327
Boa manditra — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 186
Sanzinia madagascariensis — ANDREONE et al. 2000
Sanzinia madagascariensis — VENCES et al. 2001
Sanzinia madagascariensis — REYNOLDS et al. 2014
Sanzinia madagascariensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 660
Sanzinia madagascariensis — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 38 
DistributionE Madagascar, Nossi Be = Nosy Bé

Type locality: Madagascar, likely from Nosy Be Island, Madagascar (Duméril & Duméril 1851), though also given as from Ankarana, Madagascar (Henkel & Schmidt 2000).  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 0043, MNHN-RA 7329, USNM 10982; A fourth possible syntype is ZMB 6400 (Bauer et al., 2002; Wallach et al., 2014). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (family Sanziniidae). Sanziniids can be distinguished from all other similar or related taxa by the following combination of characters: mineralized internarial septum presenting only a small fenestra, postorbital and frontal broadly separated by the parietal, distal border of the optic foramen formed mostly by the parietal with anterior margin formed by the frontal, apex of the coronoid extends well above the surangular, lateroventral ledge of the surangular restricted to the anterior region, posterior trunk intercostal arteries supply one body segment each, hemipenis with longitudinal flounce, and sulcus terminating below the tips of the arms (see Kluge 1993, Pyron et al. 2014). 
CommentSubspecies: Both (sub-) species are parapatric and their distribution areas approach each other only in the very south of Madagascar. Some authors suggested that S. m. volontany should be elevated to specific status despite an apparent lack of diagnostic morphological differences (Orozco-Terwengel et al., 2008, Reynolds et al. 2014).

Type species: Xiphosoma madagascariensis DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 549 is the type species of the genus Sanzinia GRAY 1849.

Type genus. Sanzinia Gray 1849 is the type genus of the family Sanziniidae Romer 1956. Pyron et al. 2014 placed Acrantophis and Sanzinia in the family.

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution in Madagascar

The Etymology of the genus is unclear. However, it may have been named after Victor Sganzin who traveled to some islands on which the species is found (Borer 2013). 
  • ANDREONE F., F. GLAW, R. A. NUSSBAUM, C. J. RAXWORTHY, M. VENCES, and J. E. RANDRIANIRINA 2003. The amphibians and reptiles of Nosy Be (NW Madagascar) and nearby islands: a case study of diversity and conservation of an insular fauna. Journal of Natural History 37 (17): 2119–2149 - get paper here
  • Andreone F., Randrianirina J., Jenkins P.D. & Aprea G. 2000. Species diversity of Amphibia, Reptilia and Lipotyphla (Mammalia) at Ambolokopatrika, a rainforest between the Anjanaharibe-Sud and Marojejy massifs, NE Madagascar. Biodiversity and Conservation 9: 1587–1622 - get paper here
  • Auffenberg, W. 1958. The trunk musculature of Sanzina and its bearing on certain aspects of the myological evolution of snakes. Breviora (82): 1-12 - get paper here
  • Borer, M. 2010. Sanzinia madagascariensis. Haltung und Zucht der Madagaskar-Hundskopfboa oder des Madagassischen Hundskopfschlingers. Reptilia (Münster) 15 (86): 57-59 - get paper here
  • Borer, M. 2019. Auf Schlangensuche in Madagaskar. Reptilia (Münster) 24 (138): 66-79 - get paper here
  • Borer, Markus 2013. Madagaskarboas Acrantophis und Sanzinia - Lebensweise, Pflege und Fortpflanzung. KUS-Verlag, 136 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
  • Branch, W. R. 1981. Hemipenes of the Madagascan boas Acrantophis and Sanzinia with a review of hemipeneal morphology in the Boinae. Journal of Herpetology 15 (1): 91-99 - get paper here
  • Brygoo, E. R. 1983. Les ophidiens de Madagascar. Mem. Inst. Butantan 46: 19-58 [1982] - get paper here
  • Carpenter, C.C., J.B. Murphy & L.A. Mitchell 1978. Combat Bouts with Spur Use in the Madagascan Boa (Sanzinia madagascariensis) Herpetologica 34 (2): 207-212. - get paper here
  • D'Cruze, Neil; Annette Olsonn, David Henson, Sunil Kumar, and David Emmett. 2009. The Amphibians and Reptiles of the Lower Onilahy River Valley, a Temporary Protected Area in Southwest Madagascar. Herp. Cons. Biol. 4: 62-79 - get paper here
  • D'Cruze, Neil; Jeremy Sabel, Katie Green, Jeffrey Dawson, Carlie Gardner, Janine Robinson, Georgina Starkie, Miguel Vences, and Frank Glaw. 2007. The First Comprehensive Survey of Amphibians and Reptiles at Montagne des Francais, Madagascar. Herp. Cons. Biol. 2 (2): 87-99 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C. and G. Bibron. 1844. Erpetologie Générale ou Histoire Naturelle Complete des Reptiles. Vol.6. Libr. Encyclopédique Roret, Paris, 609 pp. - get paper here
  • D’Cruze, N.; Köhler, J.; Franzen, M & Glaw, F. 2008. A conservation assessment of the amphibians and reptiles of the Forêt d’Ambre Special Reserve, north Madagascar. MADAGASCAR CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT 3 (1): 44-54 - get paper here
  • Evans, A. M., Marshal, J. P., & Alexander, G. J. 2021. Forest patch characteristics affect reptile occurrence in north‐western Madagascar. Austral Ecology - get paper here
  • Gehring, P.S. 2010. Fady, Tavy und Aye-Aye - unterwegs im Nordosten Madagaskars. Elaphe 18 (2): 62-71
  • Glaw, F. & Glaw, K. 2004. Geheimnisvolle Madagaskarboas: Sanzinia und Acrantophis. Draco 5 (19): 37-43 - get paper here
  • Gray, J. E. 1849. Catalogue of the specimens of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Edward Newman, London, i-xv; 1-125. - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Hilgartner, R. Raoilison, M. 2005. Freilandbeobachtungen am Madagaskar-Leguan Oplurus cuvieri GRAY, 1831. Reptilia (Münster) 10 (53): 64-69 - get paper here
  • Hyde-Roberts, S. & C. Daly 2014. A rapid herpetofaunal assessment of Nosy Komba Island, northwestern Madagascar, with new locality records for seventeen species. Salamandra 50 (1): 18-26 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1864. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 7. Livraison. J.B. Bailière et Fils, Paris - get paper here
  • Kluge, A.G. 1991. Boine snake phylogeny and research cycles. Publ. Mus Zool Univ Michigan 178: 1-58 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Meier, H. 1980. Beobachtungen an der Riesenschlange Sanzinia madagascariensis. Das Aquarium, Wuppertal 127: 36-37
  • Mezzasalma M., F. Andreone, F. Glaw, F.M. Guarino, G. Odierna, A. Petraccioli & O. Picariello 2019. Changes in heterochromatin content and ancient chromosome fusion in the endemic Malagasy boid snakes Sanzinia and Acrantophis (Squamata: Serpentes). Salamandra 55 (2): 140-144 - get paper here
  • Orozco-Terwengel, P., Nagy, Z.T., Vieites, D.R., Vences, M., Louis Jr., E. 2008. Phylogeography and phylogenetic relationships of Malagasy tree and ground boas. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 95, 640–652. - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Pawlik, K. 2012. Chamäleon-Urlaub – eine Madagaskar-Reise. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (96): 103-109 - get paper here
  • Progscha, K. H. & H. D. Lehmann 1970. Angeborene Mißbildungen in einem Wurf von Sanzinia madagascariensis (Reptilia, Boidae). Salamandra 6 (3-4): 108-114 - get paper here
  • Pyron, R. Alexander; Reynolds, R. Graham & Frank T. Burbrink 2014. A Taxonomic Revision of Boas (Serpentes: Boidae). Zootaxa 3846 (2): 249–260 - get paper here
  • Radovanovic, Adam 2011. Captive husbandry and reproduction of the Madagascan tree boa Sanzinia madagascariensis (Duméril & Bibron, 1844). Herpetological Bulletin (118) - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham and Robert W. Henderson 2018. Boas of the World (Superfamily Booidae): A Checklist With Systematic, Taxonomic, and Conservation Assessments. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology Sep 2018, Vol. 162, No. 1: 1-58. - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham; Matthew L. Niemiller, Liam J. Revell 2014. Toward a Tree-of-Life for the boas and pythons: Multilocus species-level phylogeny with unprecedented taxon sampling. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 71: 201–213 [published online in 2013] - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Dieter 2010. Vermehrung und Zucht von Riesenschlangen. Draco 11 (44): 4-17 - get paper here
  • Schneider, C. 2016. Reptiliensuche auf Madagaskar. Reptilia 21 (118): 74-79 - get paper here
  • Schueler, C.H. 1986. Breeding results: Sanzinia madagascariensis. Litteratura Serpentium 6 (2): 76-77 - get paper here
  • Trutnau, L. 1979. Schlangen im Terrarium. Bd. 1: Ungiftige Schlangen. Stuttgart (Ulmer Verlag)
  • Valeev, Arslan Hadzhi-Muratovich 2015. Some Additional Data About Reproductive Biology of Endangered Species Sanzinia madagascariensis (Serpentes: Boidae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 22 (2): 128-132
  • Vences, M. & F. Glaw 2003. Phylogeography, systematics and conservation status of boid snakes from Madagascar (Sanzinia and Acrantophis). Salamandra 39 (3-4): 181-206 - get paper here
  • VENCES, M., F. GLAW, J. KOSUCH, W. BÖHME & M. VEITH 2001. Phylogeny of South American and Malagasy Boine snakes: Molecular evidence for the validity of Sanzinia and Acrantophis and biogeographic implications. Copeia 2001 (4): 1151-1154 - 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.
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