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Higher TaxaPythonidae, Henophidia, Pythonoidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Papuan Spotted Python 
Antaresia maculosa — O’SHEA et al. 2004
Antaresia maculosa — NATUSCH & LYONS 2011 
DistributionAustralia (Queensland: Badu Island, Torres Strait), Papua New Guinea, Indonesia (West Papua)

Type locality: Badu Island, Torres Strait, Queensland (10.12° S; 142.12° E)  
TypesHolotype. AMS (Australian Museum, Sydney) 58,998 (male) collected by H. Heatwole in December 1976. Paratypes: PNGM (Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery) 25,085 collected at Weam, Western Province, Papua New Guinea (8.61° S; 141.12° E) by M. O’Shea in August 2000. AMS R47895 (female) collected at Hammond Island, Torres Strait, Queensland (10.53° S; 142.22° E) by P. Webber in March 1975. AMS R46906 and AMS R47383 collected at Moa Island, Torres Strait, Queensland (10.18° S; 142.27° E) by P. Webber, Cameron and Young in February 1975. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The clade found in our analyses that we call maculosa c. It differs from Antaresia perthensis by a larger body size (max. SVL 1080 mm vs 670 mm) and a higher number of ventrals (253–284 vs 213–247). It differs from A. childreni by lacking a space between the blotches in the anterior third of the body creating a pale stripe and by normally having more ragged edges on its blotches. It differs from A. m. maculosa and A. m. peninsularis by having a far less contrasted pattern (vs a pattern of large contrasted blotches), with small scattered spots rather than large and dark irregular blotches. It also sometimes displays two or three prefontal scales (vs always four or more). It additionally differs from A. m. peninsularis by sometimes having two postocular scales (vs always three or four). 
EtymologyThe Latin name papuensis derives from Papua, one of the names given to the island of New Guinea, where this taxon is found. 
  • Esquerré, Damien, Stephen C Donnellan, Carlos J Pavón-Vázquez, Jéssica Fenker, and J Scott Keogh. 2021. Phylogeography, Historical Demography and Systematics of the World’s Smallest Pythons (Pythonidae, Antaresia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 161: 107181 - get paper here
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