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Toxicocalamus mintoni KRAUS, 2009

IUCN Red List - Toxicocalamus mintoni - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymToxicocalamus mintoni KRAUS 2009
Toxicocalamus mintoni — O’SHEA et al. 2015 
DistributionPapua New Guinea

Type locality: ridge on W slope of Mt. Rio, 11.49610° S, 153.42413° E, 410 m elevation, Sudest Island, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: BPBM 20822 (field tag FK 9717), adult male, collected by J. Slapcinsky, on 21 April 2004. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A moderately sized species of Toxicocalamus having 15 scale rows, 194 ventrals, preocular fused with prefrontal (Fig. 1A), frontal fused with supraoculars (Fig. 1B), internasal unfused with prefrontal, temporal scales unfused with supralabials, six supralabials, divided anal plate, paired subcaudals, uniformly light brown dorsum, and an unpatterned, light-brown venter. Toxicocalamus mintoni sp. nov. may be distinguished from T. grandis, T. holopelturus, T. loriae, and T. spilolepidotus in having the preocular fused with the prefrontal (vs. unfused); from T. buergersi and T. preussi in having the internasal unfused to the prefrontal and the temporal unfused to the last supralabial; from T. stanleyanus in having a divided (vs. single) anal plate, six (vs. five) supralabials, and unpatterned (vs. spotted) venter; from T. longissimus in having 15 (vs. 17) dorsal scale rows, an unpatterned (vs. striped) venter, and far fewer ventrals (194 vs. 262–273); and from T. misimae in having fewer ventrals (194 vs. 223–231), an unpatterned (vs. striped) venter, and brown (vs. gray) dorsum. Toxicocalamus mintoni sp. nov. differs from all other members of the genus in having the frontal fused with the supraoculars. Further, among the six members of the genus having the preocular fused with the prefrontal it is the only one to have normal-sized ventral scales (vs. narrow ventrals only 3–4 times the size of first scale row).
CommentKnown only from a single specimen (fide KRAUS 2009).

Not listed by WALLACH et al. 2014.

Habitat: fossorial (digging).

Behavior: diurnal 
EtymologyThe species epithet is named for the late Sherman Minton (1919-1999) in recognition of his many contributions to our understanding of venomous snakes. 
  • Bechtel, H. Bernard 1999. Obituaries: In Remembrance of Sherman A. Minton, Jr. 1919—1999. Herpetological Review 30 (4): 202-204. - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Kraus, Fred 2009. NEW SPECIES OF TOXICOCALAMUS (SQUAMATA: ELAPIDAE) FROM PAPUA NEW GUINEA. Herpetologica 65 (4): 460 - 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
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