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Xenochrophis melanzostus (GRAVENHORST, 1807)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesJavanese Keelback Water snake 
SynonymColuber melanzostus GRAVENHORST 1807: 402
Tropidonotus melanzostus — H. BOIE 1826
Tropidonotus melanozostus (sic) — BOIE 1827
Coluber lippus REUSS 1834: 149
Tropidonotus quincunciatus var. melanzostus — MÜLLER 1890
Tropidonotus piscator var. melanzosta — BOETTGER 1892
Natrix piscator melanzostus — SMITH 1943
Tropidonotus quincunciatus SCHLEGEL 1837
Tropidonotus quincunciatus — DUMÉRIL et al. 1854
Tropidonotus quincunciatus var. A — GÜNTHER 1858
Tropidonotus quincunciatus —GÜNTHER 1864
Tropidonotus piscator (SCHNEIDER 1799) (partim) — BOULENGER 1890
Natrix piscator —BARBOUR 1912
Fowlea piscator — MALNATE 1960
Xenochrophis piscator — MALNATE & MINTON 1965
Xenochrophis piscator melanozostus — BOSCH 1985
Xenochrophis melanozostus — DAS 1996: 59
Xenochrophis melanozostus — DAS 1997: 43
Xenochrophis flavipunctatus melanozostus - MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997
Xenochrophis melanozostus — VOGEL & DAVID 2006
Xenochrophis melanzostus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 798 
DistributionIndonesia (Java, Bali)

Type locality: restricted by virtue of neotype designation: “Batavia, Java”, now Jakarta, Java Island, Indonesia  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesNeotype: MNHN 0060 
CommentSynonymy: Has been considered a synonym of Xenochrophis piscator; see discussion in Zhao & Adler. See also Xenochrophis piscator. Xenochrophis tytleri has been removed from the synonymy of Xenochrophis melanzostus by VOGEL & DAVID 2006.

Although Boie's (1826) redescription of Trop. (= Tropidonotus)
melanozostus is generally quoted as the original description of the taxon (see for example, Smith, 1943: 293), the first usage was by Gravenhorst (1807).

Distribution: This species has been mentioned from Sulawesi and Borneo but these records are erroneous. Reports from Sumatra have yet to be confirmed. Whitaker and Captain (2007) reported this species from the Andaman Islands (India). However, the populations from the Andamans have been assigned to X. tytleri.

Description: This species is characterized by (1) two different dorsal patterns: (a) a blotched form, characterized by elongated blotches, and (b) a striped form, with
broad dark longitudinal stripes; (2) a well-defined nuchal marking, always appearing as a direct, widely open V or U; (3) two well-defi ned subocular streaks; (4) ventral and subcaudal scales all with entire, broad, dark margins [VOGEL & DAVID 2006]. 
References
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • Das,I. 1996. Biogeography of the Reptiles of South Asia. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida
  • Frith,C.B. 1977. A survey of the snakes of Phuket island and adjacent mainland areas of peninsular Thailand. Nat. Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. (Bangkok) 26: 263-316
  • Gravenhorst, J. L. C. 1807. Vergleichende Übersicht des Linneischen und einiger neueren zoologischen Systeme, nebst dem eingeschalteten Verzeichnisse der zoologischen Sammlung des Verfassers und den Beschreibungen neuer Thierarten, die in derselben vorhanden sind. Heinrich Dietrich, Göttingen: i-xvi + 1-476. - get paper here
  • Grossmann,W. & Tillack,F. 2001. Bemerkungen zur Herpetofauna des Khao Lak, Phang Nga, thailändische Halbinsel. Teil II: Reptilia: Serpentes; Testudines; Diskussion. Sauria 23 (1): 25-40 - get paper here
  • Hallowell, E. 1861. Report upon the Reptilia of the North Pacific Exploring Expedition, under command of Capt. John Rogers, U. S. N. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12 [1860]: 480 - 510 - get paper here
  • Kusuma, K.I; R. Eprilurahman & G. Vogel 2010. First record of Xenochrophis melanzostus (Gravenhorst, 1807) on Bali Island, Indonesia. Hamadryad 35 (1): 113-115
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; David, P.; Chimsunchart, C. & Thirakhupt, K. 2003. Reptiles of Phetchaburi Province, Western Thailand: a list of species, with natural history notes, and a discussion on the biogeography at the Isthmus of Kra. Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 3 (1): 23-53 - get paper here
  • Pauwels,O.S.G. et al. 2000. Herpetological investigations in Phang-Nga Province, southern Peninsular Thailand, with a list of reptile species and notes on their biology. Dumerilia 4 (2): 123-154 - get paper here
  • Reuss, A. 1834. Zoologische Miscellen. Reptilien, Ophidier. [Coluber albiventris, Echis pavo]. Mus. Senckenbergiana, Frankfurt/M., 1: 129-162. - get paper here
  • Vogel, G. & Patrick David 2006. On the taxonomy of the Xenochrophis piscator complex (Serpentes, Natricidae). Herpetologica Bonnensis II: 241-246 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Whitaker, Romulus<br />and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
  • Zhao,E. & Adler,K. 1993. Herpetology of China. SSAR, Oxford/Ohio, 1-522
  • Ziegler, T. 2002. Die Amphibien und Reptilien eines Tieflandfeuchtwald-Schutzgebietes in Vietnam. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 342 pp. - get paper here
 
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