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Atractaspis fallax PETERS, 1867

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Higher TaxaAtractaspididae (Atractaspidinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Eastern Small-scaled Burrowing Asp, Peters’ Burrowing Asp, Mole Viper 
SynonymAtractaspis fallax PETERS 1867: 890
Atractaspis microlepidota fallax — LAURENT 1950: 10
Atractaspis fallax — BAUER et al. 1995: 68
Atractaspis fallax — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 578
Atractaspis fallax — WALLACH et al. 2014: 66
Atractaspis fallax — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 475 
DistributionEthiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Republic of South Sudan (RSS), NE Tanzania

Type locality: “drei Tagesreisen entfernt von Kiriame [Giriama]” [Kenya], 3°49’S, 39°35’E, elevation 185 m  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 5564 (C. von der Decken). 

Has been considered a subspecies of Atractaspis microlepidota by various authors. Status still unclear (see discussion in Largen & Rasmussen 1993). Not listed by WELCH 1994. Considered as a valid species by B. Hughes (pers. comm. to Van Wallach). 
EtymologyA Latin adjective meaning ‘deceptive’ or ‘fallacious’ in the neutral nominative, with unclear justification. 
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa - Giftschlangen Afrikas. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 15, 150 pp. - get paper here
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988] - get paper here
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Largen,M.J. & Rasmussen,J.B. 1993. Catalogue of the snakes of Ethiopia (Reptilia Serpentes), including identification keys. Tropical Zoology 6: 313-434 - get paper here
  • Laurent, R.F. 1950. Revision du genre Atractaspis A. SMITH. Mem. Inst. Roy. nat. Belg. (2) 38: 1-49
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1867. Eine vorläufige Übersicht der aus dem Nachlass des Baron Carl von der Decken Stammenden und auf seiner Ostafrikanischen Reise gesammelten Säugethiere und Amphibien. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1866 (December): 884-892 - get paper here
  • Scortecci, G. 1929. Rettili dell'Eritrea esistenti nelle Collezioni del Museo Civico de Milano. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano 67 (3-4): 290-339 [1928] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Stephen; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - 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.
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