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Suta suta (PETERS, 1863)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Curl Snake, Myal Snake 
SynonymHoplocephalus sutus PETERS 1863: 234
Alecto wiebelii JAN 1863
Hoplocephalus frenatus PETERS 1870: 646
Hoplocephalus carpentariae MACLEAY 1887: 403 (fide COGGER 1983)
Hoplocephalus frontalis OGILBY 1890: 1027
Hoplocephalus stirlingi LUCAS & FROST 1896: 149
Denisonia suta — BOULENGER 1896
Denisonia frontalis propinqua DE VIS 1905: 51
Denisonia forresti BOULENGER 1906: 440
Demansia forresti — KINGHORN 1929 (?)
Suta suta — WORRELL 1962
Suta suta — COGGER 1983: 237
Suta suta — WELCH 1994: 109
Suta suta — COGGER 2000: 692
Suta suta — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Suta suta — WALLACH et al. 2014: 691
Suta suta — MARYAN et al. 2020 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia)

Type locality: “Buchsfelde bei Adelaide in Südaustralien” (Loos, near Gawler, South Australia [Hoplocephalus sutus PETERS 1863])  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 4715 (Hoplocephalus sutus PETERS 1863)
Holotype: ZMB 6922, from Lake Elphinstone, Qld. [Hoplocephalus frenatus].
Holotype: AM R31926, from near Normanton, Qld. (status unclear because this specimen differs from the original description fide COGGER 1983) [Hoplocephalus carpentariae].
Holotype: AM R655, from Narrabri, N. S. W. [Hoplocephalus frontalis].
Lectotype: (only extant syntype), NMV D11758, from Charlotte Waters, N. T., other type localities in original description were Oodnadatta, S. A., Alice Springs, N. T., and Hermannsburg, N. T., lectotype designated by Coventry (1970) [Hoplocephalus stirlingi].
Holotype: QM J198, from Qld. [Denisonia frontalis propinqua].
Syntypes: BMNH 1946.1.20.72-3, from Alexandria, N. T. [Denisonia forresti].
Holotype: ZMH R04380 [Alecto wiebelii] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Partially based on Hutchinson (1990). Species within the genus Suta are small to moderate-sized nocturnal viviparous snakes (total length to 879 mm* in the largest species S. suta) with: head depressed and slightly to moderately wider than neck, no canthus rostralis, frontal not much longer than wide, internasals present slightly smaller than prefrontals, preocular in contact or not with nasal, temporals 2 + 2 (2 + 1 in some S. gaikhorstorum sp. nov. and in most S. monachus) lower primary temporal descending deeply between last two supralabials (oc- casionally contacting oral margin), supralabials 6, infralabials 7 (typically fourth infralabial distinctly divided in S. spectabilis), a consistent colour pattern of dark head markings (a brown to black hood in all but S. fasciata and S. punctata) and variable body colouration of shades of brown, greyish, reddish brown or bright red (cross-banded in S. fasciata, typically a dark vertebral stripe or zone in S. nigriceps), midbody scales very glossy and smooth, in 15‒19 (rarely 21) rows, anal and subcaudal scales undivided, ventral surface white with glossy shine (typically grey anterior edge of ventrals and subcaudals in S. ordensis**), eyes are black with pupils not distinguishable from irises or eyes are yellowish-brown to dark with round to widely elliptic pupils (Bush 2017). Further distinguished by unique 2n = 30 karyomorph (Mengden 1985). *Based on specimen held in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MAGNT R4820: SVL 775 mm, TailL 104 mm; Storr 1984: 250; G. Dally, pers. obs.). **Based on specimen observed in life (MAGNT R38139; C. Jolly, pers. obs.) (Maryan et al. 2020: 7). 
CommentType species: Hoplocephalus sutus PETERS 1863 is the type species of the genus Suta WORREL 1961: 25.

Phylogenetics: see Maryan et al. 2020 for a phylogenetic analysis of the genus.

Synonymy modified after COGGER 1983. Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic name Hulimkai Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected its use instead of Suta.

  • Boulenger, G. A. 1906. Description of a new lizard and a new snake from Australia. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (7) 18: 440-441 - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Coventry, A. J. 1970. Reptile and amphibian type specimens housed in the National Museum of Victoria. Mem. Natl. Mus. Vic. 31: 115-124. - get paper here
  • Coventry, A. J. 1971. Identification of the black-headed snakes (Denisonia) within Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 88: 304-306 - get paper here
  • Coventry, A. J. & Rawlinson, P. A. 1980. Taxonomic revision of the elapid snake genus Drysdalia Worrell, 1961. Mem. Natl. Mus. Vict. 41: 65-78 - get paper here
  • de Vis, Charles Walter de 1905. A new genus of lizard. On Typhlops torresianus. Ann. Queensland Museum (Brisbane) 6: 48 - get paper here
  • de Vis, Charles Walter de 1905. A new genus of lizard. Ann. Queensland Museum (Brisbane) 6: 46-52
  • Hoser, R. 2012. The description of a new genus of west Australian snake and eight new taxa in the genera Pseudonaja Gunther, 1858, Oxyuranus Kinghorn, 1923 and Panacedechis Wells and Wellington, 1985 (Serpentes: Elapidae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 11: 32-50 - get paper here
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • Kinghorn, J. Roy 1920. Studies in Australian reptiles. No. 1. Rec. Austral. Mus. 13 (3): 110-117 - get paper here
  • Kinghorn, J. Roy 1929. Herpetological notes 1. Rec. Austral. Mus. 17 (2): 76-84 - get paper here
  • Lucas, A. H. S. & Frost, C. 1896. Reptilia. Report on the work of the Horn Expedition to Central Australia. 2: 112-151
  • Macleay, W. 1887. On a new Hoplocephalus from the Gulf of Carpentaria. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales (2) 2: 403-404 [1888 on title page] - get paper here
  • MARYAN, BRAD; IAN G. BRENNAN, MARK N. HUTCHINSON, LUKAS S. GEIDANS 2020. What’s under the hood? Phylogeny and taxonomy of the snake genera Parasuta Worrell and Suta Worrell (Squamata: Elapidae), with a description of a new species from the Pilbara, Western Australia. Zootaxa 4778 (1): 1–47 - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2011. Diplodactylus tessellatus Gunther, 1875 (Squamata: Diplodactylidae), Parasuta dwyeri Greer, 2006 and Suta suta Peters, 1863 (Squamata: Elapidae): Distribution extension in the Murray catchment of New South Wales, South-eastern Australia. Check List 7 (5): 578-580 - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Ogilby, J. D. 1890. Description of a new snake belonging to the genus Hoplocephalus. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales (2) 4: 1027-1030 [1889 on title page] - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1863. Eine Übersicht der von Hrn. Richard Schomburgk an das zoologische Museum eingesandten Amphibien, aus Buchsfelde bei Adelaide in Südaustralien. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1863 (April): 228-236 - get paper here
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1870. Eine Mitteilung über neue Amphibien (Hemidactylus, Urosaura, Tropidolepisma, Geophis, Uriechis, Scaphiophis, Hoplocephlaus, Rana, Entomogossus, Cystignathus, Hylodes, Arthroleptis, Phyllobates, Cophomantis) des Königlich-zoologischen Museums. Monatsber. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1870: 641-652
  • Schmida, G. 2005. Betrachtungen zu ostaustralischen Bartagamen. Draco 5 (22): 46-53 - get paper here
  • Smith, L. A. 1978. The elapid snakes Denisonia pallidiceps and Denisonia suta in the Kimberleys of Western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist 14: 75-76 - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1984. Revision of Denisonia suta (Serpentes: Elapidae) and the description of a new species closely related to it. Rec. West. Austr. Mus. 11 (3): 249-257 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 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.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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