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Boaedon variegatus BOCAGE, 1867

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymAlopecion variegatum BOCAGE 1867 (fide BOULENGER 1893: 332)
Boaedon variegatus — MARQUES et al. 2018: 328
Boaedon variegatus — HALLERMANN et al. 2020: 19 
DistributionAngola (Benguela)

Type locality: Benguella [Angola]  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesLectotype: ZMB 6469, subadult (juvenile);PEM, Paralectotype: BMNH 1867.7.23.23
Additional specimens: CAS, MHNC-UP/REP, MCZ, ZMH 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Boaedon variegatus (Figures 5B–6A, 6B) can be distinguished from most southern African congeners by having three supralabials in contact with the eye, a single preocular contacting the frontal and body colouration with a reticulate network of white lines like loops on a brown background, at least in adults. The loreal is frequently in contact with the eye at a single point.
Within Angolan Boaedon species, B. variegatus differs from B. fuliginosus by having a shorter snout (i.e. the length of the parietals is longer than the distance between frontal and rostral versus parietal length equal to the distance between frontal and rostral) and the loreal length to height ratio is less than 2 (versus greater than 2). Boaedon variegatus differs from B. bocagei sp. nov., which also has three supralabials touching the eye, by having more ventral scales when compared within sexes (218–220/224–240 versus 208– 211/216–229 in B. bocagei sp. nov.). Boaedon variegatus differs from B. angolensis and B. fradei sp. nov., by having three supralabials in contact with the eye (versus two) and more ventral scales in females (224–240 versus 215–224 in B. angolensis, 211–221 in B. fradei sp. nov.). It can be distinguished from B. mentalis sensu stricto by having 218– 240 ventral scales (versus 202–214), by its darker brown colouration with white loops on the body (versus light brown colouration), and by having the second chin shields in contact with one another (versus often completely separated from each other by the anterior chin shields). Boaedon variegatus can be distinguished from B. virgatus by having 27–30 MSR (versus 25 or less), 218–240 ventral scales (versus fewer than 200) and a uniform whitish venter (versus laterally pigmented venter). It can be distinguished from B. olivaceus by having a double row of subcaudals (versus a single row).
Boaedon variegatus can be distinguished from other species occurring in the region by the following combination of characters: from B. littoralis by having three supralabials touching the eye (versus two), preocular touching frontal (versus separate from frontal), and by having the lowest dorsal scale row pigmented (versus white); from B. subflavus by having 27–30 MSR (versus more than 29) and a brown body colouration (versus yellowish); from B. perisilvestris by its yellowish or white loops on the side of body (versus uniform brown body colouration); from B. paralineatus by having fewer ventral scales in females (224–240 versus 239–250), 27–30 MSR (versus more than 31), longitudinal light stripes on head only (versus longitudinal light stripes on head and body); from B. longilineatus by lacking stripes on the body (versus having broad upper head and body stripes reaching at least the first quarter of the body in B. longilineatus); from B. upembae by having more ventral scales (males: 218–220 versus 175–180; females: 224–240 versus 189–197), and 27– 30 MSR (versus 21–23 MSR); and finally, it can be distinguished from B. radfordi by having a double row of subcaudals (versus a single row). 
CommentSimilar species: B. lineatus, angolensis 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “linea”, meaning stripe or line. 
References
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