Toxicocalamus longissimus BOULENGER, 1896
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|Higher Taxa||Elapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Woodlark or Fergusson Island forest snake|
|Synonym||Toxicocalamus longissimus BOULENGER 1896: 152|
Vanapina lineata DE VIS 1905: 49
Apisthocalamus longissimus — BOULENGER 1908
Toxicocalamus longissimus — WELCH 1994: 113
Toxicocalamus longissimus — KRAUS 2009
Toxicocalamus longissimus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 732
Toxicocalamus longissimus — O’SHEA et al. 2015
|Distribution||Papua New Guinea (Woodlark Islands)|
Type locality: Woodlark Island, Milne Bay Province
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 19126.96.36.199-92; BMNH 19188.8.131.52 was designated as the “holotype” (= lectotype) by McDowell (1969).|
Holotype: QM, apparently now lost, fide O’Shea et al. 2018 [Vanapina lineata]
|Diagnosis||Comparisons. The genus Toxicocalamus can be distinguished from all other New Guinea elapids, including M. ikaheka but excepting Pseudonaja textilis (Duméril et al., 1854), by the absence of a temporo-labial scale between the fifth and sixth supralabials (O’Shea et al. 2015).|
See also Toxicocalamus pumehanae for updated comments on the diagnosis of Toxicocalamus.
|Comment||Abundance: Toxicocalamus longissimus is known from twelve specimens, all except one from Woodlark Island (O’Shea et al. 2018: 405).|
Habitat: fossorial (digging)
Distribution: probably not on Ferguson Islands (see
Behavior (genus): animals are not prone to bite in self defense: Kraus (2017) has handled dozens of animals and never seen an attempt to bite. Despite their invertebrate diet and inoffensive behavior, the venom of the sole species studied to date (Toxicocalamus longissimus) contains surprisingly toxic components (Calvete et al., 2012).
Type species: Toxicocalamus longissimus BOULENGER 1896: 152 is the type species of the genus Toxicocalamus BOULENGER 1896.
Key: Roberts & Austin 2020, Kraus 2020 provide keys to the species of Toxicocalamus. For updated keys see Kraus et al. 2022: 1031 and Roberts et al. 2022: 406.
Diet (genus): The genus feeds primarily upon earthworms (O’Shea, 1996; Shine and Keogh, 1996; unpubl. data) although fly pupae and a land snail also have been reported among stomach contents (Bogert and Matalas, 1945; McDowell, 1969).
|Etymology||Named in reference to its length (long- = long; -issimus = very much), although it is not the longest known member of the genus.|
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