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Xenochrophis sanctijohannis (BOULENGER, 1890)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesE: St. John's Keelback
G: Sankt-Johannis-Fischnatter 
SynonymTropidonotus sancti-johannis BOULENGER 1890: 350
Tropidonotus sancti-johannis — BOULENGER 1893: 230
Nerodia piscator sancti-johannis — BOURRET 1935
Natrix piscator sancti-johannis — BOURRET 1936
Xenochrophis piscator sanctijohannis — KRAMER 1977
Xenochrophis sanctijohannis — DAS 1996: 60
Xenochrophis sanctijohannis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 799 
DistributionPakistan, India (Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir), Nepal (above 1000 m elevation), N Myanmar, Bhutan

Type locality: Kashmir Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.13.61 
CommentSynonymy: has been considered as synonym of subspecies of X. piscator.

Although typical X. sanctijohannis differ from typical X. piscator, there are several intermediate morphs. It differs from X. piscator especially by a patternless body and a slightly higher number of ventral scales. However, the dark patternless body may be an adaptation to the ecological conditions of high mountains rather a taxonomical difference [VOGEL & DAVID 2006]. 
EtymologyNamed after Colonel Sir Oliver Beauchamp Coventry St. John (1837- 1891) who worked for the Bengal Army ofthe Honourable East India Company (1856) and who provided the types to Boulenger. Note his latinized name, “sanctijohannis”. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Bourret, R. 1936. Les Serpents de l'Indochine, vol. 2. Imprimerie Henri Basuyau & Cie, Toulouse.
  • Chettri, Krishna and Damodar Thapa Chhetry 2013. Diversity of Snakes in Sarlahi District, Nepal Our Nature 11(2): 201-207
  • Kästle , W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.H. 2013. FIELD GUIDE to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. ARCO-Nepal e.V., 625 pp. - get paper here
  • Kramer, E. 1977. Zur Schlangenfauna Nepals. Rev. suisse Zool., 84 (3): 721-761. - get paper here
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • Saikia, U.; Sharma, D.K. & Sharma, R.M. 2007. Checklist of the Reptilian fauna of Himachal Pradesh, India. Reptile Rap (8): 6-9 - 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
  • 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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