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Toxicocalamus spilolepidotus MCDOWELL, 1969

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Spotted forest snake 
SynonymToxicocalamus spilolepidotus MCDOWELL 1969: 464
Toxicocalamus spilolepidotus — WELCH 1994: 113
Toxicocalamus spilolepidotus — KRAUS 2009
Toxicocalamus spilolepidotus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 733 
DistributionPapua New Guinea

Type locality: Purosa, near Okapa, Eastern Highlands  
Reproductionoviparous; the holotype of T. spilolepidotus (AMNH R-85745) contained seven eggs (O’Shea et al. 2018: 422). 
TypesHolotype: AMNH 85745 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Differing from members of the subgenera Toxicocalamus and Ultrocalamus in having a well developed postorbital bone, the frontal bone entering the orbital margin, and a distinct preocular scute; differing from T. (Apistocalamus) holopelturus in its divided subcaudals and smaller number of ventrals and subcaudals (205 and 33, respectively, total 238). Differs from all other species of Toxicocalamus in its colour pattern of pale dots on a dark ground, nearly every dorsal scale (excepting vertebral row) and head scute bearing a sharply defined pale spot. Most conspicuously differing from other species of subgenus Apistocalamus, except for T. (A.) grandis, in its larger size (total length 770 rom, against 690 rom, the maximum total length known for T. (A.) loriae (AMNH 75337) and 620 rom the total length of the unique type of T. (A.) holopelturus); in having four pairs of infralabials symmetrically in basal contact with the pregenials, this specimen, at least, differs from all other specimens of Toxicocalamus. 
CommentKnown only from a single specimen (fide KRAUS 2009).

EtymologyNamed after Greek “spilos” = spotted; “lepis” = scale, peel, bark; -otus = pertaining to. This is a reference to the distinctive spotted pattern of this species.
  • 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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