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Boaedon angolensis (BOCAGE, 1895)

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Angolan House Snake
G: Angola-Hausschlange 
SynonymBoodon lineatus var. angolensis BOCAGE 1895: 80 (fide HALLERMANN, p.c.)
Boodon lineatus — FERREIRA 1897: 244; 1906: 167
Boodon lineatus — MONARD 1937: 113
Boaedon lineatus lineatus — HELLMICH 1957: 71
Boaedon lineatus lineatus — HELLMICH 1957: 60 [part]
Boaedon lineatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 96
Boaedon cf. angolensis — CONRADIE et al. 2016
Boaedon angolensis — MARQUES et al. 2018: 327
Boaedon angolensis — BRANCH et al. 2019
Boaedon angolensis — BUTLER et al. 2019
Boaedon angolensis — BAPTISTA et al. 2019
Boaedon angolensis — HALLERMANN et al. 2020: 24 
DistributionAngola (Cuando Cubango, Uíge, Malanje, Huambo, Kwanza Norte, Huíla, and potentially extends into Benguela and Cunene Provinces)

Type locality: Uíge (town), Campus-Fazenda of Universidade Kimpa Vita (−7.59747°, 14.98092°, 817 m elevation), Uíge Province, Angola.  
TypesNeotype: MTD 48606 (field no. MHA 62), adult male; designated by Hallermann et al. 2020. Original syntypes: destroyed (formerly MB = Museu Bocage) specimen numbers unknown (collectors F.A.P. Bayão (Duque de Bragança), Padre A. Barroso (St. Salvador du Congo), J.A. d’Anchieta (Ambaca, Quissange, Cahata, Galanga, Caconda, Biballa, Huilla, Gambos, Humbe), destroyed by fire 18 March 1978 (some specimens may have been exchanged and survived in other collections). Additional specimens: CAS, MTD, ZMH, ZSM, PEM. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Boaedon angolensis (Figures 7A, 7B) can be distinguished from most congeners by the following combination of characters: presence of a dark grey (dark brown in life) or pale brown (pale olive in life) ground colour; thin lower white stripe (in life and preserva- tive) on the upper labial scales, in most specimens continuing, interrupted for 4 to 5 body scales as a thin broken white stripe laterally for the first 20% of the body, occasionally ter- minating at the angle of the jaw; an upper thin white (red or pale orange in life) stripe present only on the upper temporals behind eye.
Boaedon angolensis can be distinguished from other Angolan Boaedon species as follows: from B. variegatus by having a lower number of MSR (25–28 versus 27–30), a lower number of ventral scales in males (198–204 versus 218–220), the upper preocular not touching the frontal, two supralabials touching eye (versus three) and a different body colouration (uniform dark brown to pale olive versus white reticulate markings on the body in B. variegatus); from B. olivaceus by having a double row of subcaudals (versus a single row); from B. fuliginosus by having a shorter snout (length of the parietals is longer than the distance between frontal and end of snout versus parietal length is equal to the length between the frontal and end of snout); from B. virgatus by having 25–28 MSR (versus 25 or less), 198–204 ventral scales in males (versus fewer than 200) and a whitish venter (grey laterally pigmented in B. virgatus); from B. mentalis sensu stricto by having 215–224 ventral scales in females (versus 204–214) and second chin shields not separated (versus frequently entirely separated from each other by the anterior chin shields), and a dark grey (dark brown in life) or pale brown (pale olive in life) dorsal colouration (versus light brown).
Boaedon angolensis can be distinguished from other species occurring in the region by the following combination of characters: from the nominotypical B. lineatus by a higher number of subcaudal scales (50–72 versus <50), thinner white stripes on side of head, and a lower number of MSR (25–28 versus 29–31); from B. capensis by having a shorter snout (the parietal length is equal to the distance between frontal and rostral), the loreal length to height ratio is greater than 2 (versus less than 2 in B. capensis), and the presence of two thin white stripes on the head (versus broad white stripes); from B. upembae by having more ventral scales (>198 versus 175–197 in B. upembae) and by having 25–28 MSR (versus 21–23); and it can be distinguished from B. radfordi by having a double row of subcaudals (versus a single row).
Boaedon angolensis can be distinguished from B. littoralis by having 1–2 preoculars (versus only one), a lower number of ventral scales in females (215–224 versus 223– 234); it can be distinguished from B. subflavus by having fewer ventral scales in both males and females (males: 198–204 versus 213–229 and females: 215–224 versus 234– 247), 25–28 MSR (versus more than 29), and a dark grey (dark brown in life) or pale brown (pale olive in life) dorsal colouration (versus yellowish dorsal colouration); it can be differentiated from B. perisilvestris by having fewer MSR (25–28 versus >29), and by having a thin white stripe on flanks (versus no light stripe on flanks); it can be distin- guished from B. paralineatus by having fewer ventral scales in both males and females (<224 versus 225–250 in B. paralineatus), 25–28 MSR (versus >31), no preocular contact with frontal (versus upper preocular in contact with frontal), a thin longitudinal stripe reaching only the first quarter of the body (versus longitudinal light stripes along complete body); it can be differentiated from B. longilineatus by having fewer ventral scales in females (215–224 versus 226–233), more subcaudals in females (50–62 versus 42–49), and thin stripes on head and first quarter of flanks (versus broad temporal head and body stripes). 
CommentSimilar species: B. lineatus, B. variegatus

Distribution: for localities in Angola see map in Hallermann et al. 2020: 10 (Fig. 2). 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “linea”, meaning stripe or line. 
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