Toxicocalamus ernstmayri O'SHEA, PARKER & KAISER, 2015
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Toxicocalamus ernstmayri?
|Higher Taxa||Elapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||Star Mountains Worm-Eating Snake|
|Synonym||Toxicocalamus ernstmayri O'SHEA, PARKER & KAISER 2015|
Micropechis ikaheka (collection name)
|Distribution||Papua New Guinea (Star Mountains)|
Type locality: Wangbin village (5°14’26.72’’S, 141°15’31.92’’E), elevation 1,468 m (4,800 ft), near the Ok Tedi River, in the Star Mountains of the North Fly District, Western Province, PNG
|Types||Holotype: MCZ R-145946, an adult female|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Toxicocalamus ernstmayri is the largest known species in the genus Toxicocalamus and the only one with an SVL in excess of 1.0 m. It can be distinguished from all other known Toxicocalamus by the following combination of characters: large size (SVL of the holotype 1,100 mm), dorsum of head exhibiting the typical ‘‘colubrid–elapid dorsal nine- scute arrangement’’ (sensu O’Shea, 2005: 12) that comprises paired internasals, paired prefrontals, a frontal between the supraoculars, and paired parietals (Fig. 4A9), six supralabials, with third–fourth contacting the orbit (Fig. 4C9, D9); dorsal scales in 15– 15–15 rows; 203 ventrals, 29 subcaudals, mostly paired, a few single; divided anal plate, short tail terminating with spinous, cone-shaped terminal scale (Fig. 4E in O’Shea et al. 2015).|
Comparisons: has been confused with Micropechis ikaheka. The patterning of T. ernstmayri is similar to that of the almost patternless ‘‘yellow phase’’ M. i. ikaheka from West Papua Province, Indonesia exemplified by the holotype of M. i. ikaheka (MNHN 7669).
|Comment||Known only from a single specimen (fide Mark O’Shea, pers. comm., 3 Apr 2017).|
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