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Boaedon bocagei HALLERMANN, CERÍACO, SCHMITZ, ERNST, CONRADIE, VERBURGT, MARQUES & BAUER, 2020

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Bocage’s Brown House Snake
P: Serpente Castanha de Bocage 
SynonymBoaedon bocagei HALLERMANN, CERÍACO, SCHMITZ, ERNST, CONRADIE, VERBURGT, MARQUES & BAUER 2020: 29
Boaedon lineatus lineatus — BOCAGE 1895: 78 [part]
Boodon lineatus — FERREIRA 1903: 114) [part]
Boaedon fuliginosus complex — MARQUES et al. 2018: 329) [part]
Boaedon capensis-fuliginosus-lineatus complex — BRANCH 2018: 57) [part]
 
DistributionAngola (Luanda, Bengo, Zaire, and Cuanza Sul Provinces)

Type locality: Kissama National Park at Kawa Camp, (−9.183383°, 13.371144°, 136 m), Bengo Province, Angola  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: CAS 262799 (field no. AMB 10121), adult female, collected by Luis MP Ceríaco, Aaron M Bauer and David C Blackburn on 15 December 2015.
Paratypes: PEM R22042 (field no. PVP 19), a subadult and PEM R22043 (field no. PVP 20), a juvenile female from Samba (−8.88222°, 13.184167°, 67 m), Luanda Province, collected by Pedro Vaz Pinto in March 2015; MB03-0001118, a subadult from Caop Velha, Cacuaco (−8.784722°, 13.46805°, 5 m) Bengo Province, collected by Luis MP Ceríaco on 2 April 2012; PEM R20914 (field no. ID# 13-23), an adult female from Soyo (−6.23167°, 12.33389°, 5 m) Zaire Province, collected by Warren Klein in March 2015; MHNCUP/REP 166-168 (3 speci- mens from Novo Redondo [ = Sumbe] (−11.20605°, 13.84371°, 10 m), Kwanza Sul Province, Angola, collected by Francisco Newton in 1903. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Boaedon bocagei sp. nov. (Figures 8A, 8B) can be distinguished from most congeners by the presence of olive to brown ground colour, with two white, dark brown bordered stripes on the sides of the head. The upper stripe starts from just behind nasals, continuing above eye and extending along first quarter of the body on both sides; the lower stripe from loreal through supralabials to the posterior temporals; three supralabials contacting the eye; and usually one preocular, when two are present, the upper one touches the frontal.
Among Angolan congeners, B. bocagei sp. nov. differs from B. fuliginosus by having a shorter snout (length of the parietals longer than the distance between frontal and end of snout versus the parietal length is equal to the length between the frontal and end of snout) and the loreal length to height ratio is less than 2 (versus greater than 2); it differs from B. angolensis by having a higher number of ventral scales in females (221– 229 versus 215–224) and males (208–211 versus 198–204); it may be distinguished from B. variegatus by having a lower number of MSR (25–27 versus 27–30); it can be differentiated from B. virgatus by having 25–27 MSR (versus 23–25), more than 208 ventral scales (versus fewer than 200) and a whitish venter (versus grey pigmented venter); from B. mentalis sensu stricto by its olive brown or brown ground colour (versus light brown) and by having the second chin shields in contact with each other (versus frequently completely separated from each other by the anterior chin shields); and it can be distinguished from B. olivaceus by having a double row of subcaudals (versus a single row).
It can be distinguished from other congeners occurring in the region as follows: from the nominotypical B. lineatus by its lower number of MSR (25–27 versus 29–31), and by its olive brown or brown ground colour (versus dark brown); from B. capensis by having the length of the parietals longer than the distance between frontal and end of snout (versus not longer than the distance between frontal and end of snout); from B. littoralis by having 1–2 preocular (versus only one) and 25–27 MSR (versus 27–31); from B. subflavus by having a lower number of ventral scales in males (208–211 versus 213– 229) and females (221–229 versus 234–247), 25–27 MSR (versus more than 29), and olive brown or brown ground colour (versus overall yellowish colouration); from B. perisilvestris by having 25–27 MSR (versus >29), and by having lateral head stripes (versus no light lateral stripes); from B. paralineatus by having fewer ventral scales in males (208–211 versus 225–243) and females (221–229 versus 239–250), 25–27 MSR (versus more than 31); from B. longilineatus by lower ventral scale counts in females (221–229 versus 226–233), higher subcaudal scale counts (48–66 versus 42–49), and by having thin stripes on head and first quarter of flanks (versus broad head and body stripes); from B. upembae by having more ventral scales in males (208–211 versus 175– 180) and females (221–229 versus 189–197), and 25–27 MSR (versus 21–23); and from B. radfordi by having a double row of subcaudals (versus a single row). 
Comment 
EtymologyNamed after Portuguese zoologist José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage (1823–1907), ancestor of Angolan herpetology, in honour of his significant taxonomic contributions on the Angolan and African herpetofauna. The specific epithet is a patronym in the masculine genitive singular. 
References
  • Hallermann, Jakob; Luis MP Ceríaco, Andreas Schmitz, Raffael Ernst , Werner Conradie, Luke Verburgt, Mariana P Marques & Aaron M Bauer 2020. A review of the Angolan House snakes, genus Boaedon Duméril, Bibron and Duméril (1854) (Serpentes: Lamprophiidae), with description of three new species in the Boaedon fuliginosus (Boie, 1827) species complex, African Journal of Herpetology To link to this article: - get paper here
 
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