Xenophidion schaeferi GÜNTHER & MANTHEY, 1995
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Xenophidion schaeferi?
|Higher Taxa||Xenophidiidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Malayan Spinejaw Snake|
|Synonym||Xenophidion 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
|Distribution||W Malaysia (Selangor)|
Type locality: Primary rainforest ca. 20 km north of Kuala Lumpur on the border of Templer Park, Province Selangor, Malay Peninsula.
|Types||Holotype: ZMB 50534|
|Comment||Conservation: 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.
|Etymology||We 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.|
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