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Toxicocalamus pachysomus KRAUS, 2009

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

Type locality: along Upaelisafupi Stream,10.4970833° S, 150.2329666° E, 715 m, Cloudy Mountains, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: BPBM 15771 (field tag FK 5368), adult male, collected by F. Kraus on 22 April 2002. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A robust species of Toxicocalamus having 15 scale rows; 171 ventrals; preocular unfused with prefrontal, in contact with internasal (Fig. 1C); prefrontal separated from nasal by intervening preocular/internasal contact (Fig. 1D); frontal unfused with supraoculars; internasals unfused; temporal scales unfused with supralabials, one anterior, two posterior; six supralabials, second in contact with nasal, excluding contact between third supralabial and nasal; divided anal plate; paired subcaudals; uniformly medium brown dorsum; and an unpatterned, light brown venter. Toxicocalamus pachysomus sp. nov. may be distinguished from T. buergersi, T. longissimus, T. mintoni sp. nov., T. misimae, T. preussi, and T. stanleyanus in having a distinct preocular that is unfused with the prefrontal; from T. grandis, T. loriae, and T. spilolepidotus in having the internasal in contact with the preocular, excluding contact between the prefrontal and nasal; and from T. holopelturus in having paired (vs. entire) subcaudals and in having the second supralabial in contact with the nasal, thereby excluding contact between the third supralabial and nasal. In addition to these diagnostic scale features, Toxicocalamus pachysomus is uniquely robust for its genus, having a much greater mass for its body length than any other species of the genus seen by me (Fig. 4 in KRAUS 2009).
CommentKnown only from a single specimen (fide KRAUS 2009).

Not listed by WALLACH et al. 2014.

Habitat: fossorial (digging).

Behavior: diurnal

EtymologyThe name is a masculine compound Greek adjective meaning ‘‘having a thick body,’’ in recognition of its most immediately distinctive feature. 
  • 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
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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