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Boa orophias LINNAEUS, 1758

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Higher TaxaBoidae (Boinae), Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Tet’chien or St. Lucian Boa
G: San Lucia Boa 
SynonymBoa Orophias LINNAEUS 1758: 215
? Boa diviniloqua — TYLER 1850: 133
Boa diviniloqua — COPE 1893: 429
Boa diviniloqua — BOULENGER 1893: 118 (non LAURENTI 1768)
Constrictor constrictor orophias — AMARAL 1929: 142
Constrictor constrictor orophias — LAZELL 1964: 261
Boa constrictor orophias — STIMSON 1969
Boa constrictor orophias — REICHLING 1991
Boa constrictor orophias — BINDER & LAMP 2007
Boa orophias — BONNY 2007
Boa orophias — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 8
Boa orophias — MURPHY & CRUTCHFIELD 2019
Boa orophias — HEDGES et al. 2019 
DistributionSt. Lucia

Type locality: Praslin, St. Lucia.  
TypesHolotype: NRM, given as Museum de Geer (Andersson 1899, Reynolds & Henderson 2018) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A Constrictor with a prominent snout and a convex canthus; 65 to 75 dorsal scale rows at midbody, 270 to 288 ventrals, and 27 to 31 distinct, subrectangular, dark dorsal saddles to the level of the anus; dorsal ground color rich brown; venter white with black or grey spotting pronounced; subocular stripe distinct and complete; loreal stripe largely obsolete; dark pigment on chin and infralabials not closely corresponding to the facial stripes [Lazell 1964: 261]. 
CommentSee also B. constrictor. 
EtymologyThe generic name is derived from the Latin word boa, meaning "large water snake." Linnaeus obviously did not know whether this species lived in water or not.
However, Fretey 2019 stated that it stems from Latin bos, ‘cow’; ‘kind of snake’ because it feeds first by sucking cows according to Pliny the elder (Liber 8.14).

The specific epithet comes from the Latin word constrictus, meaning "to constrict or contract." 
  • Amaral,A. do 1930. Estudos sobre ophidios neotropicos XVIII. Lista remissiva dos ophidios da região neotropica. Mem. Inst. Butantan 4: 126-271 [1929] - get paper here
  • Binder, S. 2002. Boa constrictor. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 96 pp. - get paper here
  • Binder, S. & Lamp, A. 2007. Boa constrictor. Die Abgottschlange. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 207 pp. - get paper here
  • Bonny, Klaus 2007. Die Gattung Boa. KUS-Verlag, 262 pp. [review in Elaphe 17 (1): 30]
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1893. Notes on some snakes from tropical America lately living in the collection of the Zoologicla Society of Philadelphia. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1893: 429-435 - get paper here
  • Hedges SB, Powell R, Henderson RW, Hanson S, and Murphy JC 2019. Definition of the Caribbean Islands biogeographic region, with checklist and recommendations for standardized common names of amphibians and reptiles. Caribbean Herpetology 67: 1–53
  • Lazell, James D., Jr. 1964. The Lesser Antillean representatives of Bothrops and Constrictor. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 132 (3): 245-273 - get paper here
  • Linnaeus, C. [= Linné, C. von] 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
  • Murphy, John C. & Tom Crutchfield 2019. Giant Snakes - A Natural History. Book Services, 345 pp. - get paper here
  • Reichling, Steven B. 1991. The serpents of St. Lucia, Bothrops caribbae and Boa constrictor orophias. Vivarium 3 (3): 7-9;22
  • Reynolds, R. Graham and Robert W. Henderson 2018. Boas of the World (Superfamily Booidae): A Checklist With Systematic, Taxonomic, and Conservation Assessments. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology Sep 2018, Vol. 162, No. 1: 1-58. - get paper here
  • Stimson, Andrew F. 1969. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien: Boidae (Boinae + Bolyeriinae + Loxoceminae + Pythoninae). Das Tierreich 89 xi + 1-49
  • Tyler, R.E. 1850. Notes on the serpents of St. Lucia. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (2) 6: 130-134 - get paper here
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