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Toxicocalamus cratermontanus KRAUS, 2017

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymToxicocalamus cratermontanus KRAUS 2017 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Chimbu Province)

Type locality: 9.6 km east of Haia, Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area, 6.7239°S, 145.0931°E, 920 m elevation, Chimbu Province, Papua New Guinea.  
TypesHolotype: USNM 562941 (field tag BSFS 11114), collected by D. Bickford on 1 March 1996. 
DiagnosisDescription: A moderately sized species of Toxicocalamus having 15-15-15 scale rows, 281 ventrals, 25 paired subcaudals, preocular fused with prefrontal, frontal separate from supraoculars, internasals separate from prefrontals, temporal scales separate from last supralabial, five supralabials, last supralabial broader than tall, single anal plate, brown dorsum with cream centers to scales on lower rows, no nuchal collar, and a brown ventrum barred with darker brown.
The new species differs from T. holopelturus in having divided (vs. entire) subcaudals; from T. ernstmayri, T. grandis, T. loriae, T. nigrescens, T. pachysomus, and T. spilolepidotus in having the preocular fused to (vs. separate from) the prefrontal; from T. mintoni in having the frontal separate from (vs. fused to) the supraoculars; from T. buergersi and T. preussi in having separate (vs. fused) internasal and prefrontal scales and having a temporal scale separating the last supralabial from contact with the parietal (vs. temporal fused with last supralabial, allowing contact between the last supralabial and the parietal); and from T. longissimus and T. misimae in having the anal entire (vs. divided). This species is most similar to T. stanleyanus and would key out to that species in the key provided by Kraus (2010). It differs from that species in having more ventrals (281 vs. 227–255 in T. stanleyanus); the last supralabial broader than tall (vs. taller than broad in T. stanleyanus); ventrals and subcaudals brown, barred with darker brown anteriorly and posteriorly (vs. ventrals and subcaudals immaculate white or white with small, lateral brown spots in T. stanleyanus); brown chin and throat (vs. immaculate white in T. stanleyanus); pale nuchal collar absent (vs. present in T. stanleyanus); and lower dorsal scale rows brown with a pale center (vs. white with a brown center in T. stanleyanus). 
CommentHabitat: midelevation primary rain forest. 
EtymologyThe name is a compound masculine nominative adjective meaning ‘‘from Crater Mountain.’’ 
  • Kraus, Fred 2017. Two New Species of Toxicocalamus (Squamata: Elapidae) from Papua New Guinea. Journal of Herpetology 51 (4): 574-581 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, Mark; Allen Allison, Hinrich Kaiser 2018. The taxonomic history of the enigmatic Papuan snake genus Toxicocalamus (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae), with the description of a new species from the Managalas Plateau of Oro Province, Papua New Guinea, and a revised dichotomous key. Amphibia-Reptilia 39 (4): 403-433 - get paper here
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