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Amblyodipsas concolor (SMITH, 1849)

IUCN Red List - Amblyodipsas concolor - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAtractaspididae (Aparallactinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Kwazulu-Natal Purple-glossed Snake 
SynonymChoristodon (Choristocalamus) concolor SMITH 1849: 18
Calamelaps ? concolor — BOULENGER 1896: 246
Calamelaps mironi MOCQUARD 1905
Choristocalamus concolor — DE WITTE & LAURENT 1947
Amblyodipsas (Choristocalamus) concolor — BROADLEY 1971
Amblyodipsas concolor — WELCH 1994: 15
Amblyodipsas concolor — BOYCOTT 1992
Amblyodipsas concolor — WALLACH et al. 2014: 26 
DistributionRepublic of South Africa (E Transvaal south to Durban)

Type locality: "Kaffirland to the eastward of the Cape Colony." [=Natal fide Loveridge, 1944: 161].  
TypesHolotype: NMSZ (formerly RSM, Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh) 
DiagnosisDescription. Snout rounded; nasal divided; upper labials 7, the third and fourth entering the orbit (second and third labials fused on one side of the head in TM 6265 and 25075); lower labials 7, the first four in contact with the anterior sublinguals (formula 6 (3) on one side of TM 6265 and HGR 76A; second lower labials fused with anterior sublinguals in HGR 76C); a single postocular; temporal formula 0+ 1+ 1. Dorsal scales in 17-17-17 rows; ventrals 133-147 in males, 148-157 in females; anal divided; subcaudals 33-39 in males, 28-36 in females; tail tapering to a point (Broadley 1971).

Coloration. Uniform purple-brown to black (third lower labials white in UM 20898). 

Habitat. Apparently restricted to moist, usually forested, regions. 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Boycott R C. 1995. Notes on the distribution and ecology of Amblyodipsas concolor (A. Smith, 1849) in Swaziland (Serpentes: Colubridae). AFRICAN JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY 33 (4): 417-419. - get paper here
  • BOYCOTT, R. C. 2018. Further observations on the Natal Purple-glossed Snake Amblyodipsas concolor (Serpentes: Lamprophiidae) in eSwatini with an assessment of its regional status. African Herp News (68): 31-36 - get paper here
  • Boycott, R.C. 1992. An Annotated Checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of Swaziland. The Conservation Trust of Swaziland - get paper here
  • BOYCOTT, R.C. 2009. Amblyodipsas concolor. Size, defensive behaviour, and lepidosis. African Herp News (48): 20-21 - get paper here
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Broadley, D. G. 1971. A revision of the African snake genera Amblyodipsas and Xenocalamus. Occ. Pap. natl. Mus. Rhod. B4 (33): 629-697
  • Haacke, W.D. 1982. Further Notes on Reproduction and Distribution of the Natal Purple Gloss Snake, Amblyodipsas concolor. J. Herp. Assoc. Africa (28): 24-25 - get paper here
  • Reissig, J 2020. Amblyodipsas concolor (Kwazulu-Natal; Purple-Glossed Snake). Defensive Behavior/Death-Feigning. Herpetological Review 51: 608.
  • Smith, A. 1849. Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa. 3 (Reptiles). Smith, Elder, and Co., London [facsimile published by Winchester Press, Johannesburg, 1977] - get paper here
  • Venter, Jan A.; Werner Conradie 2015. A checklist of the reptiles and amphibians found in protected areas along the South African Wild Coast, with notes on conservation implications. Koedoe 57 (1): 1-25. doi: 10.4102/koedoe.v57i1.1247 - 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.
  • Witte, G. F. de & LAURENT,R.F. 1947. Revision d'un groupe de Colubridae africains: genres Calamelaps, Miodon, Aparallactus, et formes affines. Mém. Mus. Roy. Hist. Nat. Belgique (sér. 2) 29: 1-134
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