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Xenopeltis unicolor REINWARDT, 1827

IUCN Red List - Xenopeltis unicolor - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaXenopeltidae, Henophidia, Pythonoidea, Serpentes (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Sunbeam Snake
G: Regenbogen-Erdschlange 
SynonymXenopeltis unicolor REINWARDT in BOIE 1827: 564
Xenopeltis concolor REINWARDT in BOIE 1827: 564
Xenopeltis leucocephala REINWARDT in BOIE 1827: 564
Tortrix xenopeltis SCHLEGEL 1837
Xenopeltis unicolor — BOULENGER 1893: 168
Xenopeltis unicolor — SMITH 1943
Xenopeltis unicolor — ZHAO & ADLER 1993: 220
Cryptophidion annamense WALLACH & JONES 1992 (fide PAUWELS & MEIRTE 1996)
Xenopeltis unicolor — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 436
Xenopeltis unicolor — COX et al. 1998: 16
Xenopeltis unicolor — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 159
Xenopeltis unicolor — SANG et al. 2009 
DistributionThailand (incl. Phuket),
China (Guangdong, Yunnan),
W Malaysia,
Indonesia (Bangka, Belitung, Java, Kalimantan, Mentawai Archipelago, Nias, Riau Archipelago, Simeulue, Sulawesi, Sumatra, We, Borneo: Sarawak)
Cambodia;
India (Andaman & Nicobar Islands [Tiwari, 1992]);
Laos; Malaysia (Malaya and East Malaysia); Myanmar (Burma);
Philippine Islands (including Palawan and Sulu Archipelago);
Singapore; Thailand; Vietnam.

Type locality: Java 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: RMNH, unlocated (fide SANG et al. 2009). 
CommentColor image in Bulian (1999). PAUWELS et al. (2003) state that “REINWARDT most probably was the author of the specific nomen, but obviously did not write anything.” Therefore, in agreement with the ICZN, BOIE “must be regarded as the sole author of this taxon”.

Type species: Xenopeltis unicolor is the type species of the genus Xenopeltis Reinwardt, 1827 and the type species of the the family Xenopeltidae. The family is characterized by a peculiar skull in which the bones are rigidly connected.

Original description of the genus in BOIE 1827: “Xenopeltis Reinw. deren Körper wie der der vorigen mit dachziegelartigen übereinander liegenden Schuppen bedeckt ist, welche von oben bis zur Schwanzspitze deutliche Längsreihen bilden. Der Bauch dieser Schlangen ist, wie bey Coluber, mit ganzen und der Schwanz unten mit getheilten Schildern bekleidet, der Kopf mit mehr ausgebildeten Schildern als bey Typhlops, die indeß sehr von denen der Nattern abweichen. Letztern nähern sie sich auch durch ihre größere Mundöffnung. Die Zähne und der ganze Körperbau der Xenopeltis bedürfen einer genauern Untersuchung. Die genauere Charakteristik der Gattung haben wir von Professor Reinwardt, welchem das Leydener Museum die nachbenannten Arten verdankt, zu erwarten. Sie sind alle vom indischen Archipelagus und zum Theil sehr schön gefärbt.”

Original description of the species in BOIE 1827: [under the heading Xenopeltis Reinw.] “ 1 unicolor Reinw. Col. alvearius Oppel des Pariser Museums, durch Leschenault von Java übersandt. Der Name deses Reptils Ladguine Pagaer soll Auge des Tages bedeuten. 184 + 29.
2 concolor Reinw. 183 + 23 mit von denen der vorigen etwas verschiedenen Kopfschildern.
3 leucocephala Reinw. 172 + 28. Diese Art hat auf jeder Seite 2 Superciliarschilder, von denen der vordere sehr groß ist, einen Wirbelschild und 2 sehr kleinere vordere und 2 größere hintere Stirnschilder.Augen und Nasenlöcher liegen horizontal.” 
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