Vermicella intermedia KEOGH & SMITH, 1996
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|Higher Taxa||Elapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Synonym||Vermicella intermedia KEOGH & SMITH 1996: 688|
Vermicella intermedia — COGGER 2000: 772
Vermicella intermedia — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Vermicella intermedia — WALLACH et al. 2014: 785
|Distribution||Australia (Northern Territory, Western Australia)|
Type locality: Humpty Doo District of the Northern Territory (12"38'S, 131"15'E).
|Types||Holotype: NTM R17146, Humpty Doo district, NT, collected G. Gow, 1985. Paratypes AMS (AM) R12846|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: Vermicella intermedia can be differentiated from V. annulata, V. snelli, and V. vermiformis by the condition of the internasal scales (absent in V. intermedia and V. multifasciata) and band width (black and white bands are one to two scales thinner in V. intermedia) and from V. multifasciata by number of body bands (fewer in V. multifasciata) and band width (black and white bands on the ventral surface are approximately one scale wider in V. intermedia). Also, V. intermedia tends to be slightly thinner-bodied than V. annulata and slightly wider-bodied than V. multifasciata and V. snelli. See Figs 4-6 for interspecific comparisons in these characters (Keogh & Smith 1996).|
Variation: Approximately half of V. intermedia specimens display body and tail bands which completely encircle the body (55.6% of 36 specimens), whereas the remaining specimens display a mottled black and white pattern on the ventral surface. Ventral scale number, subcaudal number, and tail length display sexual dimorphism (Table I). Females have significantly more ventral scales (P < 0.0001), fewer subcaudal scales (P < 0.0001), and shorter tails than do males (P < 0.0001)-see Table I. Females also have more total ventral scales (ventral plus subcaudal scales) than do males (one-factor ANOVA, F1,33 = 15.60, P= 0.0004). The total number of ventral scales and total number of body and tail bands is highly correlated (r= 0.093, F1,34 = 4.60, P =0.0393). The geographic range of this taxon is small and no clear patterns of geographic variation are evident (Keogh & Smith 1996).
|Etymology||The specific name is in reference to the intermediate number of ventral scales, and number, bandwidth, and relative bodywidth when compared to the other species of Vermicella.|
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