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Ahaetulla mycterizans (LINNAEUS, 1758)

IUCN Red List - Ahaetulla mycterizans - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Ahaetuliinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Malayan (Green) Whipsnake
G: Malaiische Peitschennatter 
SynonymColuber mycterizans LINNAEUS 1758: 226
Coluber nasutus LACÉPÈDE 1789
Dryophis xanthozonia BOIE 1827 (fide SMITH 1943)
Tragops xanthozonius — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 826
Passerita mycterizans — GÜNTHER 1859: 231
Dryophis xanthozonia — BOULENGER 1896: 180 (fide SMITH 1943)
Ahaetulla mycterizans — LINK 1807
Dryophis xnathozona — BOULENGER 1896: 180 (emendation)
Dryophis mycterizans — EVANS 1905: 169
Dryophis mycterizans — WALL 1908: 783
Dryophis mycterizans — WALL 1921: 291
Passerita xanthozonia— SMITH 1930
Dryophis mycterizans — SMITH 1943: 376
Dryophis mycterizans — TWEEDIE 1950
Ahaetulla mycterizans — COX et al. 1998: 68
Ahaetulla mycterizans — COX et al. 2012: 89
Ahaetulla mycterizans — WALLACH et al. 2014: 20 
DistributionIndonesia (Java, Sumatra, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara), Thailand, Laos ?, W Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar

Type locality: “America” (fide LINNAEUS 1758; in error)  
TypesHolotype: NRM 81 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and definition (Ahaetuliinae): Snakes of this subfamily are arboreal and are diagnosed by keeled ventral and subcaudal scales (laterally notched in some species), and enlarged posterior grooved fangs lacking in some Dendrelaphis.

Diagnostic characteristics of the first group include, elongate and laterally-compressed bodies, elongate heads, 15 smooth mid-body dorsal scale rows, and large eyes with horizontal pupils and well-developed canthus rostralis outfitting these snakes with binocular vision [120]. Features diagnostic of the second group include, slender body, rectangular slightly compressed heads, large eyes with round pupils, 13–17 smooth to weakly-keeled mid-body dorsal scale rows. Chrysopelea are celebrated for their unique gliding behavior, whereas Dendrelaphis are capable of jumping [FIGUEROA et al. 2016, SOCHA 2011].

For a table of diagnostic characters comparing the 4 genera of Ahaetuliinae see Mallik et al. 2019: 10 (Table 3). 
CommentSynonymy: Ahaetulla GRAY 1825 was proposed to be listed as a rejected and invalid name by Savage & Oliver 1957 as it is a junior homonym of Ahaetulla LINK 1807.

Mildly venomous but usually harmless for humans.

Distribution: Removed from the list of Pulau Tioman by ROOIJEN & ROOIJEN 2002

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after Greek “mucterizo” = I turn up the nose.

The genus names is derived from the Sri Lankan language Sinhala, ahaetulla/ahata gulla/as gulla, meaning “eye plucker” or “eye picker” for belief that they pluck out the eyes of humans as accounted by the Portuguese traveler João Ribeiro in 1685. The gender is feminine. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
  • Cox, Merel J.; Hoover, M.F.; Chanhome, Lawan & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 2012. The Snakes of Thailand. Chulalongkorn University Museum of Natural History, 845 pp.
  • Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • Deuve, J. 1961. Liste annotee des Serpents du Laos. Bull. Soc. Sci. Nat. Laos 1:5-32.
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Figueroa A, McKelvy AD, Grismer LL, Bell CD, Lailvaux SP 2016. A Species-Level Phylogeny of Extant Snakes with Description of a New Colubrid Subfamily and Genus. PLoS One 11 (9): e0161070.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161070 - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1859. On the geographical distribution of reptiles. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 3: 221-237 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Hien,P. Grossmann,W. & Schäfer, C. 2001. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der landbewohnenden Reptilienfauna von Pulau Tioman, West-Malaysia. Sauria 23 (4): 11-28 - get paper here
  • Hnizdo, J. & P. Krug 1997. Drei Baumschnüfflerarten (Ahaetulla) - Haltung und Probleme. Sauria 19 (4): 3-12 - get paper here
  • Indahsari L I N et al 2019. DNA barcoding as a method for species identification: case study in Ahaetulla snake. J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 1374 012011 - 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
  • LAM, N. Q., THU, T. T. A., NGUYEN, L. T., MURPHY, R. W., & NGUYEN, S. N. 2021. A new species of Ahaetulla Link, 1807 (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Zootaxa 4966(3): 290-304 - get paper here
  • Lang, Ruud de 2017. The Snakes of Java, Bali and Surrounding Islands. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 435 pp. - get paper here
  • Lee, J.L. [...] Zug, George R 2015. Three Colubrid Snakes New to Myanmar. Herpetology Notes 8: 217-220 - get paper here
  • Link, H.F. 1807. Beschreibung der Naturalien-Sammlung der Universität zu Rostock, zweite Abtheilung. Adlers Erben, Rostock, pp. 51-100 - get paper here
  • Linnaeus, C. 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
  • Mallik AK, Achyuthan NS, Ganesh SR, Pal SP, Vijayakumar SP, Shanker K 2019. Discovery of a deeply divergent new lineage of vine snake (Colubridae: Ahaetuliinae: Proahaetulla gen. nov. ) from the southern Western Ghats of Peninsular India with a revised key for Ahaetuliinae. PLoS ONE 14 (7): e0218851 - get paper here
  • MEGANTARA, E. N., JAUHAN, J., SHANIDA, S. S., HUSODO, T., FAUZI, D. A., HENDRAWAN, R., WULANDARI, I. & YUANSAH, Y. 2022. Herpetofauna distribution in different land cover types of West Java, Indonesia. Biodiversitas Journal of Biological Diversity, 23(6) - get paper here
  • MIDTGAARD, R.: 2011. Erster fotografischer Nachweis mit Fundortdaten der seltenen Schlange Ahaetulla mycterizans (LINNAEUS, 1758) aus Singapur. Sauria 33 (3): 59-60 - get paper here
  • Miralles A, David P 2010. First record of Ahaetulla mycterizans (Linnaeus, 1758) from Sumatra, Indonesia (Squamata, Colubridae), with an expanded definition of this poorly known species. Zoosystema, 32(3): 449-456 - get paper here
  • Nabhitabhata, J., T. Chan-ard and Y. Chuaynkern 2000. Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles in Thailand. Office of Environmental Policy and Planning, Bankok. 152pp.
  • Rooijen, J. van & van Rooijen, M. 2002. Einige Ergänzungen, Berichtigungen und neue Beobachtungen zur Herpetofauna von Pulau Tioman, West-Malaysia. Sauria 24 (3): 3-12 [erratum in 24 (4): 34] - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1930. The Reptilia and Amphibia of the Malay Peninsula fromt he Isthmus of Kra to Singapore, including the adjacent Islands. A Supplement to G.A. Boulenger’s Reptilia and Batrachia 1912. Bull. Raffles Mus. No. 3: 1-149
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Stejneger, Leonhard 1933. The ophidian generic names Ahaetulla and Dendrophis. Copeia 1933 (4): 199-203 - get paper here
  • Taylor,E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096 - get paper here
  • Teo, R.C.H. & N.J. Thomas 2019. Updated Inventory of Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 71(Suppl. 1):145-183; doi: 10.26492/gbs71(suppl.1).2019-06 - get paper here
  • Tweedie, M.W.F. 1950. Notes on Malayan reptiles, No.2. Bull. Raffles Mus. No 23: 191-199
  • Wall, F. 1905. A Popular Treatise on the Common Indian Snakes. Part I. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 16: 533-554 - get paper here
  • Wall, F. 1905. Notes on some Bangalore Snakes. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 16: 389-394 - get paper here
  • Wall, F. 1905. Notes on Snakes collected in Cannanore from 5th November 1903 to 5th August 1904. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 16: 292 - get paper here
  • Wall, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages - get paper here
  • Wall,F. 1908. Remarks on some recently acquired snakes. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 18: 778-784 - 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.
  • Zug, G.R. & Mulcahy, D.G. 2019. Identification guide Amphibians and reptiles of South Tanintharyi. Fauna & Flora International, 101 pp.
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