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Thamnosophis mavotenda GLAW, NAGY, KÖHLER, FRANZEN & VENCES, 2009

IUCN Red List - Thamnosophis mavotenda - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Pseudoxyrhophiinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymThamnosophis mavotenda GLAW, NAGY, KÖHLER, FRANZEN & VENCES 2009
Thamnosophis mavotenda — WALLACH et al. 2014: 728 
DistributionN Madagascar (Mahajanga)

Type locality: western Madagascar, Mahajanga Province, Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Bendrao forest, 18°47’ 04’’ S, 44° 51’ 37’’ E, 427 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZSM 127/2006 (FGZC 0922), adult male; collected by F. Glaw, J. Köhler, P. Bora & H. Enting, 26.03.2006 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The male holotype of Thamnosophis mavotenda sp. n. differs from males of T. stumpffi, T. epistibes, T. lateralis, and T. infrasignatus by a higher number of ventrals (188 vs. 141–166) and subcaudals (110 vs. 66–104) (see Table 2 in Glaw et al. 2005). In addition, it differs from T. stumpffi by its extensive dark spots and stripes on the venter (vs. venter immaculate). The new species is virtually identical to its presumed sister species, T. martae, with regard to standard scale counts. For better comparisons, we were able to examine five additional individuals of T. martae (previously known from the holotype only; Table 2) which had been obtained during recent field surveys in Foret d’Ambre and Montagne des Franc¸ ais of northern Madagascar (see also D’Cruze et al. 2007, 2008). Morphometric data for these specimens are presented in Table 2; for collection data see Table 1. The holotype of T. mavotenda sp. n. differs from the adult specimens of T. martae by a more slender head (relative head width 1.9% of SVL vs. 2.0–2.5% in T. martae), by yellow colouration of labials and lateral neck (vs. greyish in life), a long postocular bar that is nearly confluent with the lateral markings (Figs. 4B, 5A; vs. postocular bar and lateral markings separated, Fig. 5C), a broad median dorsal stripe covering 5–6 dorsals (vs. 2–3 dorsals, if present), a greenish-brown ground colouration (vs. brown), a heavily blotched ventral side without distinct lateral rows of spots (vs. dusted with tiny markings and distinct lateral spots), and a palecoloured ventral side of the tail with isolated dark blotches (vs. intensive dark dusting). Since only a single specimen of T. mavotenda was available, the significance of all described colour differences and of the minor differences in head proportions requires confirmation from additional specimens, which might show some degree of intraspecific variability (see Cadle 1996). On the other hand, T. martae and T. mavotenda show substantial genetic differentiation as well. 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is derived from the Malagasy word “mavo’’ (yellow) and ‘‘tenda’’ (throat) and refers to the yellow throat of the holotype. It is to be treated as a noun in apposition for the purposes of nomenclature. 
References
  • BORA, PARFAIT; J. CHRISTIAN RANDRIANANTOANDRO, ROMA RANDRIANAVELONA, ELISOA F. HANTALALAINA, RAPHALI R. ANDRIANTSIMANARILAFY, DANIEL RAKOTONDRAVONY, OLGA R. RAMILIJAONA, MIGUEL VENCES, RICHARD K. B. JENKINS, FRANK GLAW, AND JÖRN KÖHLER 2009. AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF THE TSINGY DE BEMARAHA PLATEAU, WESTERN MADAGASCAR: CHECKLIST, BIOGEOGRAPHY AND CONSERVATION. Herp. Cons. Biol. 5 (1):111-125.
  • Glaw, Frank; Zoltán T. Nagy, Jörn Köhler, Michael Franzen, Miguel Vences 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of a new species of pseudoxyrhophiine snake (Reptilia: Lamprophiidae: Thamnosophis) suggest a biogeographical link between western and northern Madagascar. Organisms Diversity & Evolution 9 (1): 13-22 - 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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