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Toxicocalamus goodenoughensis ROBERTS & AUSTIN, 2020

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymToxicocalamus goodenoughensis ROBERTS & AUSTIN 2020 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Milne Bay Province)

Type locality: low-elevation camp along the banks of the Blawin River among mixture of bush and gardens (-9.2650667, 150.2238833, elevation 147 m), Goodenough Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea  
TypesHolotype: LSUMZ 98043 (CCA 15692), an adult female (confirmed by lCT scans), collected by Christopher Austin on 10 July 2012.
Paratype: LSUMZ 98042 (CCA 15458), juvenile, Papua New Guinea, Milne Bay Province, Goodenough Island, collected by Christopher Austin crossing bush track near camp along small creek that is a tributary of Moniu River (-9.2899667, 150.21425, elevation 992 m), Goodenough Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea, on 20 June 2012. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderately sized species (holotype 691 total length, 14.1 maximum width) with 15–15–15 dorsal scale rows, 178–186 ventral scales, 37–49 paired subcaudals, preocular scale present and not fused with prefrontal, preocular in contact with prefrontal, internasal, and nasal; prefrontal separated from nasal by contact between preocular and internasal; frontal not fused with supraoculars; internasals not fused; three circumoculars (holotype has three on the left and four on the right side [fragmented third supralabial adds a preocular; see description below])—one supraocular, one or two preoculars, one postocular; nasals entire; one anterior temporal, one or two posterior temporals not fused with supralabials; six supralabials, the second in contact with the nasal, preventing contact between nasal and third supralabial; divided cloacal plate; uniform mottling of dark brown on yellowish ventral scales, ventrals progressively become darker brown posteriorly, with ontogenetic lightening of ventrals from dark brown to lighter brown.
Toxicocalamus goodenoughensis can be distinguished from T. holopelturus by having paired subcaudals (vs. single); from T. mintoni, T. stanleyanus, T. cratermontanus, T. misimae, T. longissimus, T. pumehanae, T. buergersi, and T. preussi by having a preocular scale unfused to the prefrontal scale (vs. fused in listed congeners); and from T. nigrescens, T. loriae, T. spilolepidotus, T. grandis, and T. ernstmayri by having internasal scales contacting preocular scales, preventing contact between nasals and prefrontals (vs. internasals and preoculars separated by contact between nasals and prefrontal scales).
Toxicocalamus goodenoughensis is most similar morphologically to T. pachysomus but differs by having undivided (or entire) nasal scales completely surrounding the nares; pale yellow on supralabials (vs. purple blotches); yellow nape band present (vs. nape unbanded); more than 175 ventral scales (vs. 171 ventral scales); dark gray-brown dorsum (vs. medium brown); and dark brown mottling on yellow ventral scales, darkening toward cloaca (vs. uniform light brown).

Color in Life. The holotype (Fig. 2A) has a universally colored dorsum that is a dark gray-brown with light iridescence. All dorsal patterning is found on the nape and face but is faint and mottled. On the nape, immediately after the temporal scales, pale mottled yellow coloring extends toward dorsum from venter on both sides, but it does not connect into a complete band, leaving the space immediately posterior from parietals the dark gray brown seen on rest of dorsum. On the face, the pale yellow seen on the venter and chin scales extends up onto the supralabials about halfway. Again, the color is not uniform, with some mottling. Lastly, the pale yellow extends from the chin anterior to the eye and onto the preocular and prefrontal scales, almost connecting and forming a snout band at the prefrontal suture. The ventrals are pale yellow with dark brown mottling that increases posteriorly toward the cloaca, making the last ventral scale the darkest. The subcaudal scales are uniform dark brown and darker than all ventral scales.
The paratype (Fig. 2B) exhibits the same overall patterning of the holotype, but the contrast between the dark gray-brown dorsum and pale yellow venter is stronger. The nape band again almost completes behind the parietal scales, but does not. A pale yellow band at the frontal-prefrontal suture is present, but it does not connect with the pale yellow extending toward the dorsum from the ventral side of chin on supralabials two and three. The pale color from the venter extends further up the dorsum at supralabial five and six, extending toward dorsum all the way to the anterior margin of the parietal scales but stopping short of the frontal scale. The ventral scales again become darker toward the cloaca, but they are darker than the ventrals of the holotype.

CommentOnly limited data provided as authors did not provide more details upon request. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet, goodenoughensis, refers to Goodenough Island, where both specimens were found. Goodenough is the northernmost island in the D’Entrecasteaux Archipelago (Fig. 1). 
  • Roberts, Jackson R.; Christopher C. Austin 2020. A New Species of New Guinea Worm-Eating Snake (Elapidae: Toxicocalamus Boulenger, 1896), with Comments on Postfrontal Bone Variation Based on Micro-computed Tomography. Journal of Herpetology 54 (4): 446-459 - get paper here
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