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Tropidonophis mairii (GRAY, 1841)

IUCN Red List - Tropidonophis mairii - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesTropidonophis mairii mairii (GRAY 1841)
Tropidonophis mairii plumbea (MACLEAY 1877) 
Common NamesE: Common keelback, Mair’s keelback
G: Kielrücken Wassernatter 
SynonymTropidonotus mairii GRAY 1841: 442
Tropidonotus australis GRAY 1842: 54
Tropidonotus semicinctus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 603 (part. ?)
Tropidonotus angusticeps MACLEAY 1884: 433
Tropidonotus ater MACLEAY 1885: 67
Tropidonotus mairii — BOULENGER 1897: 703
Tropidonotus mairii — DE ROOIJ 1917: 79
Natrix mairii — WORRELL 1946
Amphiesma mairii — COGGER & LINDNER 1974
Styporhynchus mairii — COGGER 1983: 214
Tropidonophis mairii mairii — MALNATE & UNDERWOOD 1988: 109
Tropidonophis mairii — COGGER 2000: 628
Tropidonophis mairii — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Tropidonophis mairii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 750

Tropidonophis mairii plumbea (MACLEAY 1877)
Katophis plumbea MACLEAY 1877: 36
Tropidonophis mairii brongersmai MALNATE & UNDERWOOD 1988: 115
Tropidonophis mairii plumbea — O’SHEA 1996 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia),
S Papua New Guinea, Indonesia (Irian Jaya)

mairii: Australia and SE New Guinea; Type locality: New Holland (= Australia). Neotype locality: Port Essington, NT.

plumbea: CS New Guinea; Type locality: Katow (=Mawatta), Western Province.  
TypesNeotype: BMNH 1946.1.13.52 (formerly, original holotype in FPM, now lost.
Syntypes: BMNH 1946.1.13.52 (neotype for T. mairii; designated by MALNATE & UNDERWOOD 1988), BMNH 1946.1.12.88-90, from Port Essington, N. T. [Tropidonotus australis].
Syntype: MNHP 7419, from Australia; other syntypes not found, original description cites New Guinea and Australia [Tropidonotus semicinctus].
Lectotype: AMS (AM) R31900 (formerly MAMU R620), Katow [= Mawatta], Binaturi River, Papua New Guinea. Designation by Wells & Wellington (1985) [plumbea]
Holotype: AM R31902, from Ripple Creek, Herbert River, Qld. [Tropidonotus angusticeps].
Holotype: AM B5943, from "vicinity of Herbert River", Qld. [Tropidonotus ater].
Holotype: USNM 213424 [Tropidonophis mairii brongersmai] 
CommentSynonymy modified after COGGER 1983 and MALNATE & UNDERWOOD 1988. Shea (1990) proposed to synonymize Tropidonophis mairii brongersmai with Tropidonophis mairii plumbea. 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. John Mair (1798-1877), Scottish physician. See Shea 2021 for biographical details. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1898. An account of the reptiles and batrachians collected by Dr. L. Loria in British New Guinea. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, 18: 694—710 [1897?] - get paper here
  • Brongersma, L. D. 1948. A new subspecies of Natrix mairii (Gray) from Dutch New Guinea. Proc. K. Ned. Akad Wet. 51: 372-381
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. & Lindner, D. A. 1974. Frogs and reptiles. In: Fauna survey of the Port Essington District, Cobourg Peninsula, Northern Territory of Australia. Frith, H. J. & Calaby, J. H. (eds. ). CSIRO Div. Wildl. Res. Tech. Pap. 28: 63-107
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • de Rooij, N. DE 1917. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Il. Ophidia. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 334 S. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M.C., G. BIBRON & A.H.A. DUMÉRIL 1854. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. Vol. 7 (partie 1). Paris, xvi + 780 S. - get paper here
  • Escoriza Boj, D. 2005. Australia. Reptiles and Amphibians, Part 2: Desert and tropical savanna. Reptilia (GB) (41): 52-57 - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1841. A catalogue of the species of reptiles and Amphibia hitherto described as inhabiting Australia, with a description of some new species from Western Australia. Appendix E, pp. 422-449. In: G. Grey, Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery in Northwest T. and W. Boone, London. Vol. 2: 422-449 + plates - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1842. Description of two hitherto unrecorded species of reptiles from New Zealand; presented to the British Museum by Dr. Dieffenbach. Zoological Miscellany 2: 72.Treuttel, Würtz & Co., London. - get paper here
  • Hediger, H. 1934. Beitrag zur Herpetologie und Zoogeographie Neu-Britanniens und einiger umliegender Gebiete. Zool. Jahrb. (Syst.) 65: 441-582
  • Lidth DE JEUDE, T.W. VAN 1911. Reptilien (Schlangen). Nova Guinea. Résultats de l’expedition scientifique néerlandaise à la Nouvelle Guinée en 1907 sous les auspices de Dr. H.A. Lorenz 9. Leiden (E. J. Brill), pp. 265-287
  • Macleay, W. 1877. The ophidians of the Chevert Expedition. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 2: 33-41 (given as 1878 on title page but published in 1877) - get paper here
  • Macleay, W. 1884. Notes on some reptiles from the Herbert River, Queensland. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 8: 432-436 - get paper here
  • Macleay, W. 1885. On some Reptilia lately received from the Herbert River District, Queensland. Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 10: 64-68 - get paper here
  • Malnate E V; Underwood G 1988. Australasian natricine snakes of the genus Tropidonophis. PROCEEDINGS OF THE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES OF PHILADELPHIA 140 (1) : 59-201 - 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, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Parkin, T., Jolly, C. J., de Laive, A., & von Takach, B. 2020. Snakes on an urban plain: Temporal patterns of snake activity and human–snake conflict in Darwin, Australia. Austral Ecology - get paper here
  • Shea G M. 1990. On the status of Katophis plumbea Macleay (Serpentes: Colubridae). Journal of Herpetology 24 (3): 313-314 - get paper here
  • Shea, G. M. 2021. Dr. John Mair, Captain Collet Barker, and the discovery of the Australian Keelback, Tropidonophis mairii (Serpentes, Colubridae). Bibliotheca Herpetologica 15 (3): 18–28 - get paper here
  • Shine, Richard; Claire Goiran, Catherine Shilton, Shai Meiri, Gregory P Brown 2019. The life aquatic: an association between habitat type and skin thickness in snakes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, blz136 - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. 2009. Snakes of Darwin. Poster, University of Sydney
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • 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.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Worrell, E. 1946. The northern river snake (Natrix mairii). Proc. R. Zool. Soc. N. S. W. 1945-46: 32 - get paper here
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