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Xenophidion schaeferi GÜNTHER & MANTHEY, 1995

IUCN Red List - Xenophidion schaeferi - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaXenophidiidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Malayan Spinejaw Snake
G: Malayen-Stachelkiefer 
SynonymXenophidion schaeferi GÜNTHER & MANTHEY 1995
Xenophidion schaeferi — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 400
Xenophidion schaeferi — CHAN-ARD et al. 1999: 191
Xenophidion schaefferi — PAUWELS et al. 2003 (in error)
Xenophidion schaeferi — GOWER et al. 2012: 69
Xenophidion schaeferi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 803 
DistributionW Malaysia (Selangor)

Type locality: Primary rainforest ca. 20 km north of Kuala Lumpur on the border of Templer Park, Province Selangor, Malay Peninsula.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: ZMB 50534 
CommentConservation: potentially threatened - this species is known from only one specimen.

Wallach & Günther (1998) proposed to establish a new family, Xenophiidae, for this genus, based on visceral anatomy.

Diagnosis: This species also exhibits all of the features given in the generic diagnosis. In comparison with X. acanthognathus, distinguishing characteristics are the weaker keeling of the dorsal scales, the lower number of subcaudals (43 versus 51 in X. acanthognathus),the higher number of teeth, especially on the dentary ( 19versus 12), the presence of three teeth (versus one in X. acanthognathus)anterior to the canine tooth (fig. 5B), the more weakly developed saddle-shaped depression between the eyes, the rami of the lower jaw, which run parallel to one another (fig. 6C) until quite far anterior (versus clearly converging rami in X. acanthognathus),the fairly straight dark stripe running along the dorsal midline, the wavy upper boundary of the dark lateral stripes, and the absence of a whitish nape patch.

Phylogenetics: LAWSON et al. (2004) placed Xenophidion in the family Xenophiidae based primarily on cyt b sequences which suggest a possible sister taxon relationship between Xenophidion and the Bolyeridae. Moreover, strong statistical support also indicates that Xenophiidae is a member of a clade that contains Pythonidae, Loxocemidae, Uropeltidae, Xenopeltidae and Bolyeriidae. Otherwise, available data produced little phylogenetic information valuable to understanding the relationship of Xenophiidae among the Alethinophidia. 
EtymologyWe dedicate this species to the Berlin amateur herpetologist Christian Schäfer, who not only found the holotype, but has collected and donated to the Zoological Museum, Berlin, many other interesting amphibians and reptiles from southeast Asia. 
References
  • Chan-ard,T.; Grossmann,W.; Gumprecht,A. & Schulz,K. D. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand - an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp. [book review in Russ. J Herp. 7: 87] - get paper here
  • Gower, D.; Garrett, K. & Stafford, P. 2012. Snakes. Firefly Books, Buffalo, NY,<br />144 p..
  • Günther,R. & Manthey,U. 1995. Xenophidion, a new genus with two new species of snakes from Malaysia (Serpentes, Colubridae). Amphibia-Reptilia 16: 229-240 - get paper here
  • Lawson, Robin; Joseph B. Slowinski and Frank T. Burbrink 2004. A molecular approach to discerning the phylogenetic placement of the enigmatic snake Xenophidion schaeferi among the Alethinophidia. Journal of Zoology 263: 285-294
  • 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
  • Wallach, V. & R. Günther, 1998. Visceral anatomy of the Malaysian snake genus Xenophidion, including a cladistic analysis and allocation to a new family. Amphibia-Reptilia, 19 (4): 385-404 - 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.
 
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