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Ahaetulla oxyrhyncha BELL, 1825

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Ahaetuliinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymDryinus oxyrhynchus BELL 1825
Dryinus russellianus BELL 1825
Dryophis passericki SCHINZ 1833
Dryinus rostratus SCHINZ 1833
Ahaetulla oxyrhyncha — MALLIK et al. 2020 
DistributionIndia (Karnataka)

Type locality: ‘Indes Orientalis’.  
Reproductionovoviviparous (5-15 live offspring) 
TypesSyntype: Plate XII in Russell 1796, vol. I 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This is a species of Ahaetulla with a long rostral appendage (vs. with short rostral appendage in A. isabellina comb. nov., A. malabarica sp. nov., A. farnsworthi sp. nov., A. borealis sp. nov.; vs. no rostral appendage in A. dispar, A. travancorica sp. nov. and A. perroteti), lacking loreal scale (present in A. dispar), having usually green body colouration (vs. usually grey-brown in A. pulverulenta, A. sahyadrensis nom. nov., adult females often brown in A. anomala), possessing a white or yellow ventrolateral stripe (vs. absent in A. pulverulenta, A. sahyadrensis nom. nov.); lacking any crown markings (vs. a distinct rhomboid crown marking present on top of the head in A. sahyadrensis nom. nov. and A. anomala); with a rostral appendage composed of a grooved elongate scale (vs. rostral appendage composed of multiple small scales in A. pulverulenta, A. sahyadrensis nom. nov. and A. anomala) (Table 2, Mallik et al. 2020: 19). 
CommentDiet: lizards and other vertebrates (by implication).

Synonymy: A. oxyrhyncha (including Dryinus russellianus and Dryophis passericki) was mostly considered a synonym of A. nasuta (fide SMITH 1943, BAUER 2015: 22) but was revalidated by Mallik et al. 2020. See also Ahaetulla nasuta.

Distribution: See map in Mallik et al. 2020: 14 (Fig. 4).

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018, by implication). 
EtymologyFrom Latin, alluding to the pointed rostral scale; oxyus = sharp, rhynchus = of the nose / snout, literally meaning sharp-snouted. 
  • Bauer, Aaron M. 2015. Patrick Russell's snakes and their role as type specimens. Hamadryad 37 (1-2): 18-65
  • Bell, T. 1825. On Leptophina, a group of serpents comprising the Genus Drynus of Merrem, and a newly formed Genus pro- posed to be named Leptophis. The Zoological Journal, 2: 328
  • 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
  • MALLIK, A. K., SRIKANTHAN, A. N., PAL, S. P., D’SOUZA, P. M., SHANKER, K., & GANESH, S. R. 2020. Disentangling vines: a study of morphological crypsis and genetic divergence in vine snakes (Squamata: Colubridae: Ahaetulla) with the description of five new species from Peninsular India. Zootaxa 4874 (1): 1-62 - get paper here
  • Schinz,K.R. 1833. Naturgeschichte und Abbildungen der Reptilien. Wiedmann, Leipzig, 240 pp. - get paper here
  • 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.
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