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Achalinus spinalis PETERS, 1869

IUCN Red List - Achalinus spinalis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaXenodermidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Peters' Odd-scaled Snake, Japanese odd-scaled snake
Chinese: 黑脊蛇 
SynonymAchalinus spinalis PETERS 1869: 436
Ophielaps Braconnieri SAUVAGE 1877
Achalinus spinalis — BOULENGER 1893: 309
Achalinus braconnieri — BOULENGER 1893: 309
Achalinus spinalis — STEJNEGER 1907: 297
Achalinus spinalis weigoldi MELL 1931
Achalinus braconnieri — DEUVE 1970
Achalinus spinalis — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Achalinus spinalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 6 
DistributionN Vietnam,
Japan (Kyushu, Honshu, Ryukyu Islands, Koshiki, Tokuno-shima: Kametoku & Inokawa),
C China (east to Fujian, west to Yunnan and Sichuan; northward to Gansu and Shaanxi; Chekiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Kiangsu, Hupeh), elevation 1230 m.

Type locality: “angeblich aus Japan”  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 6449 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): (1) maxillary teeth 20–22, small, equal; (2) mandibular teeth equal; (3) head not or only scarcely distinct from neck; (4) eye small or moderate, with round or vertically subelliptical pupil; (5) nostril in the anterior part of a large concave nasal, divided by a vertical suture; (6) the loreal extending from the nasal to the eye; (7) body slender, cylindrical; (8) dorsal scales in 23 rows, keeled; (9) subcaudals single. 
CommentType species: Achalinus spinalis PETERS 1869 is the type species of the genus Achalinus PETERS 1869.

Distribution: see Luu et al. 2020: 181 (Fig. 5) for a map of Vietnamese localities of Achalinus, including A. spinalis.

Comparisons: for morphological comparisons among species of Achalinus see Li et al. 2020, Hou et al. 2021: 543 (Table 4 and key to species on page 544), Li et al. 2021 (Table 5).

Key: Hou et al. 2021: 544 provide a key to the species of Achalinus. 
  • Barbour, T. 1917. A most regretable tangle of names. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (44): 1-9 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Deuve, J. 1970. Serpents du Laos. Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique Outre-Mer, Paris, Mem. no. 39 251 pp. - get paper here
  • Goris, R.C. & Maeda, N. 2004. Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Japan. Krieger, Malabar, 285 pp.
  • HOU, S. B., WANG, K., GUO, P., CHEN, J. M., YUAN, Z. Y., & CHE, J. 2021. Two new species and a new country record of the genus Achalinus (Reptilia: Squamata: Xenodermidae) from China. Zootaxa 4950 (3): 528-546 - get paper here
  • Inger R F; Zhao E; Bradley Shaffer H; Guanfu Wu 1990. Report on a collection of amphibians and reptiles from Sichuan, China. Fieldiana: Zoology (No. 58) : i-iii, 1-24 - get paper here
  • Kawana M; Shibata Y 1988. Two snake records for the Koshiki Islands, Japan (Reptilia: Serpentes) [in Japanese]. BULLETIN OF THE OSAKA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (No. 43): 39-41.
  • LI, K., WU, Y. Y., XU, R. Y., ZHU, F., REN, J. L., GUO, P., & DONG, B. J. 2021. A new species of the Achalinus rufescens complex (Xenodermidae: Achalinus) from Fujian Province, China. Zootaxa, 5026(2): 239-254 - get paper here
  • LI, KE; MIN YU, YA-YONG WU, LIN-HONG LIAO, KUI TANG, QIN LIU, PENG GUO 2020. A new species of the genus Achalinus (Squamata: Xenodermatidae) from southeastern Yunnan Province, China. Zootaxa 4860 (1): 116–128 - get paper here
  • LUU, VINH QUANG; THOMAS ZIEGLER, NGHIA VAN HA, OANH VAN LO, TUOI THI HOANG, HANH THI NGO, MINH DUC LE, DUNG HOANG TRAN, TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN 2020. A new species of Achalinus (Squamata: Xenodermidae) from Trang An Landscape Complex, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam. Zootaxa 4877 (1): 174–184 - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • Mori,M. 1982. Japans Schlangen, Vols. 1-3 (80, 102, 123 pp.). Tokyo (Igaku-Shoin Ltd.) [bilingual edition in German and Japanese]
  • Moriguchi H; Naito S 1979. A new locality record of Achalinus spinalis werneri from Tokuno-shima. Japanese Journal of Herpetology 8 (1): 36. - get paper here
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Ota, H.;Kamezaki, N.;Hikida, T.;Matsui, M.;Mori, A.;Hayashi, T.;Tanabe, S. 1991. Karyotype of Achalinus spinalis from Japan: The first karyological description of a xenodermine snake (Colubridae). Japanese Journal of Herpetology 14: 12-14 - get paper here
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1869. Über neue Gattungen und neue oder weniger bekannte Arten von Amphibien (Eremias, Dicrodon, Euprepes, Lygosoma, Typhlops, Eryx, Rhynchonyx, Elapomorphus, Achalinus, Coronella, Dromicus, Xenopholis, Anoplodipsas, Spilotes, Tropidonotus). Monatsber. k. preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1869: 432-447 - get paper here
  • Stejneger, LEONHARD H. 1907. Herpetology of Japan and adjacent territory. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 58: xx, 1-577 - 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.
  • WANG, JIAN; YAO LI, ZHAO-CHI ZENG, ZHI-TONG LYU, YIK-HEI SUNG, YOU-YU LI, CHAO-YU LIN, YING-YONG WANG 2019. A new species of the genus Achalinus from southwestern Guangdong Province, China (Squamata: Xenodermatidae). Zootaxa 4674 (4): 471-481 - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Yamasaki, Yohei and Yoshihisa Mori 2017. Seasonal Activity Pattern of a Nocturnal Fossorial Snake, Achalinus spinalis (Serpentes: Xenodermidae). Current Herpetology Feb 2017, Vol. 36, No. 1: 28-36. - get paper here
  • Zhao, E.M. 2006. The snakes of China [in Chinese]. Hefei, China, Anhui Sience & Technology Publ. House, Vol. I, 372 pp., Vol. II (color plates), 280 pp.
  • ZIEGLER, THOMAS; TRUONG QUANG NGUYEN, CUONG THE PHAM, TAO THIEN NGUYEN, ANH VAN PHAM, MONA VAN SCHINGEN, THAM THI NGUYEN, MINH DUC LE 2019. Three new species of the snake genus Achalinus from Vietnam (Squamata: Xenodermatidae). Zootaxa 4590 (2): 249-269 - get paper here
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