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Boaedon mendesi CERÍACO, ARELLANO, JADIN, MARQUES, PARRINHA & HALLERMANN, 2021

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymBoaedon mendesi CERÍACO, ARELLANO, JADIN, MARQUES, PARRINHA & HALLERMANN 2021
Boodon geometricum ? - BOCAGE 1887
Boodon lineatus [part] - BOCAGE 1903
Boodon lineatus [part] - HENRIQUES 1917
Boodon bedriagae [part] - BOULENGER 1906
Boaedon lineatus bedriagai - CAPOCACCIA 1961
Boaedon lineatus bedriagai - 1961
Boaedon lineatus bedriagai - MANAÇAS 1958
Boaedon fuliginosus bedriagae [part] - ROUX-ESTÉVE & GUIBÉ 1964
Boaedon fuliginosus bedriagae [part] - CHIPPAUX & JACKSON 2019
Boaedon bedriagae [part] - ROUX-ESTÉVE & GUIBÉ 1965
Boaedon bedriagae [part] - CERÍACO et al. 2018: 103
Boaedon fuliginosus bedriagai - MANAÇAS 1973
Lamprophis fuliginosus - CHIPPAUX 2006 
DistributionPríncipe Island, Gulf of Guine (endemic)

Type locality: vicinities of Santo Cristo, Príncipe Island, Republic of São Tomé e Príncipe, Gulf of Guinea (1.63633°N, 7.42690°E), 80 m elevation.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MUHNAC/MB03–977, adult male, collected by collected Luis M.P. Ceríaco, Mariana P. Marques, and Pedro N.P. Ceríaco, on 10 February 2015.
Paratypes: CAS 233410, Príncipe Island [1.659306°, 7.395389°, 178 m]; IICT/R 52-56/1957, Principe Island; MB 03-001027, road to Porto Real [1.62617°, 7.41344°, 38 m] - Príncipe Island, Republic of São Tomé e Príncipe, Gulf of Guinea. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Distinguished from all of its Central and West African congeners by the following combination of characters: brown to dark brown colouration with a series of parallel dark brown blotches extending from neck to about midbody; two broad, cream-coloured, dark brown-bordered bands running on the side of the head; the upper band starting on the nasals and extending above the eye to the posterior part of the head, the lower band usually starting on the posterior lower part of the eye and extending to the corner of the mouth; whitish to cream venter colouration without markings; the 3rd, 4th and 5th (but sometimes the 4th, 5th and 6th) supralabials contacting the eye, one preocular; 24 to 29 midbody scales rows, 206 to 242 ventral scales and 61 to 81 subcaudals, and a maximum snout–vent length of 122 cm (Ceríaco et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Boaedon mendesi can be distinguished from B. bedriagae by its brown to dark brown colouration with a series of parallel dark blotches extending from the neck to about midbody (versus dark brown colouration with parallel mediodorsal and lateral bands running from the neck to the tail in B. bedriagae) and a whitish venter (versus cream, heavily speckled with dark markings in B. bedriagae). It can be distinguished from B. fuliginosus by its higher number of ventral and subcaudal scales (206 to 242 and 61 to 81, respectively, in B. mendesi sp. nov. versus 194 to 229 and 46 to 71 in West African B. fuliginosus fide Hallermann et al. (2020), by having three supralabials touching the eye (versus only two in B. fuliginosus), by having two broad cream-coloured, dark-bordered bands running on the side of the head (versus two thin white lines in B. fuliginosus), and by having brown to dark brown colouration with a series of parallel dark blotches extending from the neck to about midbody (versus homogeneous dark brown colouration in B. fuliginosus). B. mendesi sp. nov. can be distinguished from B. lineatus by its brown to dark brown colouration with a series of parallel dark blotches extending from the neck to about midbody (versus a uniformly grey to reddish brown colouration in B. lineatus) and by having only one preocular (versus usually two in B. lineatus). B. mendesi sp. nov. can be distinguished from B. olivaceus, B. poensis and B. radfordi by having the subcaudals divided (versus single in B. olivaceus, B. poensis and B. radfordi). B. mendesi sp. nov. can be distinguished from B. virgatus by having two broad cream-coloured, dark-bordered bands running on the side of the head (versus two thin white lines in B. virgatus), and a higher number of ventral and subcaudal scales (206 to 242 and 61 to 81, respectively, in B. mendesi sp. nov. versus 186 to 223 and 42 to 64 in B. virgatus). It can be distinguished from B. upembae by having more ventral scales (206 to 242 in B. mendesi sp. nov. versus 175 to 197 in B. upembae), and a higher number of midbody scale rows (24 to 29 in B. mendesi sp. nov. versus 21 to 23 in B. upembae). It can be distinguished from B. perisilvestris by the 3rd, 4th and 5th supralabial in contact with the eye (versus usually the 4th and 5th in B. perisilvestris), by having two broad cream-coloured, dark-bordered bands running on the side of the head (versus no lines in B. perisilvestris), and by having brown to dark-brown colouration with a series of parallel dark blotches extending from the neck to about midbody (versus homogeneous dark brown colouration in B. perisilvestris). It can be distinguished from B. paralineatus by the 3rd, 4th and 5th supralabial in contact with the eye (versus only the 4th and 5th in B. paralineatus) and by its lower number of midbody scale rows (24 to 29 in B. mendesi sp. nov. versus 31 to 35 in B. paralineatus). It can be distinguished from B. subflavus by the 3rd, 4th and 5th supralabial in contact with the eye (versus only the 4th and 5th in B. subflavus), having two broad cream-coloured, dark-bordered bands running on the side of the head (versus only one line in B. subflavus), and by having brown to dark brown colouration with a series of parallel dark blotches extending from the neck to about midbody (versus homogeneous yellow to light brown colouration in B. subflavus). It can be distinguished from B. longilineatus by having a higher number of subcaudals (61 to 81 in B. mendesi sp. nov. versus 42 to 63 in B. longilineatus) and by having two broad cream-coloured, dark-bordered bands running on the side of the head (versus a single, continuous line from the snout to the tail, in B. longilineatus). It can be distinguished from B. littoralis by having brown to dark brown colouration with a series of parallel dark blotches extending from the neck to about midbody (versus homogeneous light brown colouration in B. littoralis) (Ceríaco et al. 2021).

Color in life: Dorsum brown with a series of parallel dark blotches extending from the neck to about midbody. Two broad cream-coloured, dark-bordered bands running on the side of the head; the upper band starting on the nasals and extending above the eye to the posterior part of the head, the lower band starting on the posterior lower part of the eye and extending to the corner of the mouth. Venter whitish (Ceríaco et al. 2021).

Colouration in preservative present as described above, but blotches are less evident (Ceríaco et al. 2021).

 
CommentDiet: Probably similar to other Boaedon the species that feed on small mammals (e. g. rodents, bats), as well as other reptiles (p.e. geckos and skinks).

Similar species: Boaedon bedriagae. 
EtymologySpecific epithet is a patronym in the masculine genitive singular named after the Portuguese entomologist Luís Fernando Marques Mendes (Lisbon, 1946 –), former director of the Centro de Zoologia of the former Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical (Lisbon), from 1998 to 2014, and who has dedicated part of his career to the study of the biodiversity of São Tomé and Príncipe (Ceríaco et al. 2021). 
References
  • Bocage, Barboza du 1903. Contribution a la Faune des quatre iles du Golfe de Guinée. J. Sci. math. phys. nat. Lisboa 7 (2): 25-59
  • Bocage, J.V.B. du 1887. Melanges erpetologiques. I. Reptiles et Batraciens du Congo. II. Reptiles de Dahomey. III. Reptiles de l’Ile du Prince. IV. Reptiles et Batraciens de Quissange (Benguella) envoyés par M. J. d’Anchieta. Jorn. Sci. math. phys. nat., Lisboa, 11: 177-211 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1906. Report on the reptiles collected by the late L. Fea in West Africa. Ann. Mus. civ. Stor. Nat. Genova (3) 2: 196-216 - get paper here
  • Capocaccia, L. 1961. Catalogo dei tipi di Rettili del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova [MSNG]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Giacomo Doria 72: 86-111
  • Capocaccia, L. 1961. Contributo allo studio dei serpenti delle isole del Golfo di Guinea. Ann. Mus. civ. Stor. nat. Genova, 72: 285-309. - get paper here
  • Ceríaco LMP, Marques MP, Bauer AM. 2018. Miscellanea Herpetologica Sanctithomae, with a provisional checklist of the terrestrial herpetofauna of São Tomé, Príncipe and Annobon islands. Zootaxa. 4387(1):91–108
  • Ceríaco, Luis MP; Ana Lisette Arellano , Robert C Jadin , Mariana P Marques , Diogo Parrinha & Jakob Hallermann 2021. Taxonomic revision of the Jita snakes (Lamprophiidae: Boaedon) from São Tomé and Príncipe (Gulf of Guinea), with the description of a new species. African Journal of Herpetology, - get paper here
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Chippaux,J.P. 2006. Les serpents d’Afrique occidentale et centrale. Paris (IRD editions), 311 pp.
  • Henriques, J. 1917. A ilha de S. Tomé sob o ponto de vista histórico-natural e agrícola. Boletim da Sociedade Broteriana 27: 1–197
  • Manacas, S. 1958. Anfíbios e Répteis das ilhas de São Tomé e do Príncipe e do Ilhéo das Rolas. Conferencia Intern. dos Africanistas Ocidentais, Comunicacoes Zool. e Biol. Animal, 6. Sess., 4: 179-192.
  • Manaças, S. 1973. Alguns dos anfíbios e répteis da província de S. Tomé e Príncipe. In: Livro de Homenagem ao Prof. Fernando Frade. Junta Investigação do Ultramar, Lisboa, pp. 219–230
  • Roux-Estève, R. & J. GUIBE 1965. Contribution a l’étude du genre Boaedon (Serpentes, Colubridae). Bull. Mus. nation. Hist. nat., Paris (2e ser.) 36 (6): 761-774 [1964] - get paper here
  • Roux-Estève, R. & J. GUIBE 1965. Étude comparée de Boaedon fuliginosus (Boié) et Boaedon lineatus D. et B. (Ophidiens). Bull. Inst. Fond. Afr. Noire 27 (A-1): 397-409.
 
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