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Toxicocalamus holopelturus MCDOWELL, 1969

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mt Rossel forest snake 
SynonymToxicocalamus (Apistocalamus) holopelturus MCDOWELL 1969: 467
Toxicocalamus holopelturus — WELCH 1994: 113
Toxicocalamus holopelturus — KRAUS 2009
Toxicocalamus holopelturus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 732
Toxicocalamus holopelturus — O’SHEA et al. 2015 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Rossel Island)

Type locality: Mt. Rossel, Rossel Island, Milne Bay Province.  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 76660 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Toxicocalamus holopelturus differs from all other members of the genus in having all but the first one of the subcaudals undivided and in having the mid-dorsal scale row of the body continued to the end of the tail; it further differs from members of the subgenera Toxicocalamus and Ultrocalamus in having a well developed postorbital, entry of the frontal into the orbital rim, and distinct preocular scute; from other members of the sub-genus Apistocalamus it differs particularly in much greater number of body-segments, as indicated by the total of ventrals plus subcaudals (285 in T. holope/turus, against 252 or fewer in other members of the subgenus Apistocalamus). 
CommentHabitat: fossorial (digging)

Behavior: diurnal

EtymologyNamed after its undivided, subcaudal scales (excepting the 1st subcaudal posterior to the paired anal plate), from Greek “holos” = entire; Greek “pelte” = small shield; Greek “urus” = of the tail. 
  • Kraus, Fred 2009. NEW SPECIES OF TOXICOCALAMUS (SQUAMATA: ELAPIDAE) FROM PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Herpetologica 65 (4): 460 - get paper here
  • McDowell, Samuel B. 1969. Toxicocalamus, a New Guinea genus of snakes of the family Elapidae. Journal of Zoology, London 159: 443-511 - get paper here
  • O'Shea,M. 1996. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Independent Publishing, Port Moresby, xii + 239 pp. - 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
  • O’Shea, Mark; Fred Parker, and Hinrich Kaiser 2015. A New Species of New Guinea Worm-Eating Snake, Genus Toxicocalamus (Serpentes: Elapidae), From the Star Mountains of Western Province, Papua New Guinea, With a Revised Dichotomous Key to the Genus. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 161 (6): 241-264. - 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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