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Xenochrophis vittatus (LINNAEUS, 1758)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Banded Keelback, Striped Keelback
G: Gestreifte Fischnatter 
SynonymColuber vittatus LINNAEUS 1758: 219
Coluber vittatus — DAUDIN 1803
Natrix vittata — LAURENTI 1768
Natrix vittatus — MERREM 1820
Tropidonotus vittatus — BOIE 1827
Tropidonotus vittatus — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 600
Tropidonotus vittatus — BOULENGER 1893: 255
Ceratophallus [vittatus] — COPE 1893: 483
Natrix vittata — KOPSTEIN 1938
Fowlea vittata — MALNATE 1960
Xenochrophis vittata — MALNATE & MINTON 1965
Xenochrophis vittatus — WELCH 1988
Xenochrophis vittatus — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 398
Xenochrophis vittatus — DUBEY et al. 2012
Ceratophallus vittatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 152
Ceratophallus vittatus — BOUNDY et al. 2020 
DistributionIndonesia (Bangka, Java, Sumatra, We, Sulawesi ?); West Malaysia; introduced to Puerto Rico.

Singapore (introduced)

Type locality: “America” (in error)  
Reproductionoviparous (9-12 eggs per clutch). 
TypesType: NRM = NHRM (Stockholm), possibly lost. 
CommentDiet: Feeds on fish and frogs.

Distribution: The latest record of this species from Sulawesi is from BOULENGER 1897. DE LANG & VOGEL (2005) thus consider this species as doubtful for this island.

Phylogenetics: Dubey et al. 2012 found that this species tended to cluster with Rhabdophis rather than Xenochrophis (using both cyt-b/12S rRNA as well as c-mos) and that it is clearly separated from Rhabdophis (Guo et al. 2012, Zaher et al. 2012). However, despite Wallach et al.’s (2014) none of these authors suggested to revalidate the name Ceratophallus.

Type species. Tropidonotus vittatus is the type species of the genus Ceratophallus COPE 1893: 483. Cope diagnosed the genus “ on account of the presence of a rigid papilla on the apex of each branch of the hemipenis.”. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “vittatus” for ribbon, or decorated by a ribbon, referring to the dorsal stripes in the species. 
  • Blake, P. A. 1995. Notes on the garden snake (Natrix vittata). Herptile: Journal of the International Herpetological Society 20 (4): 182-183
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1893. Prodromus of a new system of the non-venomous snakes. American Naturalist 27 (317): 477-483 - get paper here
  • Das, I. & Yaakob, N. 2007. Status of knowledge of the Malaysian herpetofauna. In Status of biological diversity in Malaysia & threat assessment of plant species in Malaysia. in: L. S. L. Chua, L. G. Kirton & L. G. Saw (eds.), Status of biological diversity in Malaysia & threat assessment of plant species in Malaysia. Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kepong, pp. 31-81
  • David,P. & Vogel, G. 1996. The snakes of Sumatra. An annotated checklist and key with natural history notes. Bücher Kreth, Frankfurt/M.
  • De Haas, C.P.J. 1949. The genus Natrix in the collection of the Raffles Museum and its distribution in the Malay Peninsula. Bull. Raffles Mus. No. 19: 78-97 - get paper here
  • Dubey, Bhawna; P. R. Meganathan, Nicolas Vidal, and Ikramul Haque 2012. Molecular Evidence for the Nonmonophyly of the Asian Natricid Genus Xenochrophis (Serpentes, Colubroidea) as Inferred from Mitochondrial and Nuclear Genes. Journal of Herpetology 46 (2): 263-268. - get paper here
  • FIGUEROA, ALEX; MARTYN E.Y. LOW, KELVIN K.P. LIM 2023. Singapore’s herpetofauna: updated and annotated checklist, history, conservation, and distribution. Zootaxa 5287 (1): 001–378 - get paper here
  • GLÄSSER-TROBISCH & D. TROBISCH 2011. Titelbild / Das Porträt: Xenochrophis vittatus (LINNAEUS, 1758). Sauria 33 (3): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Glässer-Trobisch, Andrea & Dietmar Trobisch 2023. Bei Reisbauern in Ostjava – auf der Suche nach der Gestreiften Fischnatter (Xenochrophis vittatus). Elaphe 2023 (6): 54
  • Guo, Peng; Qin Liu, Yan Xu, Ke Jiang, Mian Hou, Li Ding, R. Alexander Pyron, Frank T. Burbrink 2012. Out of Asia: Natricine snakes support the Cenozoic Beringian Dispersal Hypothesis. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63 (3): 825-833 - get paper here
  • Herrera-Montes, Adriana 2015. Notes on the Striped Keelback (Xenochrophis vittatus) in Puerto Rico: A Recently Reported Non-native Snake in the Western Hemisphere. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 22 (4): 178–181  - get paper here
  • Herrera-Montes, Adriana, Bryan Ríos-Dróz, Alberto R. Puente-Rolón, Daniel Dávila-Casanova and Neftalí Ríos-López. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Xenochrophis vittatus (striped keelback). Herpetological Review 46 (1): 64 - get paper here
  • KHOERUNISA, IRA; MIRZA D. KUSRINI, AND ANI MARDIASTUTI 2021. Diversity of snake rescued from residential areas in Greater Jakarta metropolitan area, Indonesia. Media Konservasi 26 (3): 231-238; DOI: 10.29244/medkon.26.3.231-238 - get paper here
  • Kopstein, F. 1938. Ein Beitrag zur Eierkunde und zur Fortpflanzung der Malaiischen Reptilien. Bull. Raffles Mus. No 14: 81-167
  • Lang, Ruud de 2017. The Snakes of Java, Bali and Surrounding Islands. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 435 pp. - get paper here
  • Lang, Ruud de & G. Vogel 2005. The snakes of Sulawesi. A field guide to the land snakes of Sulawesi with identification keys. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurter Beiträge zur Naturkunde, 25, Frankfurt am Main, 312 pp.
  • Linnaeus, C. [= Linné, C. von] 1758. Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiæ. 10th Edition: 824 pp. - get paper here
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • Santiago-Suliveras, G; Crespo-Zapato, J D; Río-López, N & Puente-Colon, A R; 2019. Xenochrophis vittatus (Striped Keelback) Diet and reproduction. Herpetological Review 50 (3): 604 - get paper here
  • TEYNIÉ, ALEXANDRE; PATRICK DAVID, & ANNEMARIE OHLER 2010. Note on a collection of Amphibians and Reptiles from Western Sumatra (Indonesia), with the description of a new species of the genus Bufo. Zootaxa 2416: 1–43 - 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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