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Boiga andamanensis (WALL, 1909)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Andaman Cat Snake 
SynonymDipsadomorphus andamanensis WALL 1909: 153
Boiga andamanensis — DAS 1996: 54
Boiga andamanensis — WHITAKER & CAPTAIN 2004
Boiga andamanensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 101
Boiga andamanensis — GANESH et al. 2020 
DistributionIndia (Andaman Islands)

Type locality: Andaman Islands.  
TypesSyntype: ZSI 8641; ZSI 15189, 15192; ZSI 7928–30 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of Boiga endemic to the Andaman Islands of the Bay of Bengal, India, characterized by: 21 scale rows at midbody (vs. 19 in B. ceylonensis, B. thackerayi, B. barnesii, B. beddomei and B. flaviviridis; up to 23 in B. nuchalis, B. dightoni); reddish/brownish to pale greenish dorsum (vs. yellowish-brown in B. thackerayi; always brownish in B. beddomei, B. ceylonensis, B. dightoni, B. nuchalis and B. barnesii; always greenish in B. flaviviridis); preocular 1 (vs. 3 in B. barnesii); ventral and ventro-lateral region completely lacking pattern (vs. with white and black adjacent blotches in B. barnesii, B. thackerayi; spotted in B. beddomei, B. ceylonensis, B. nuchalis, B. dightoni) (from Ganesh et al. 2020)

Variation: This is a highly colour polymorphic species that comes in brownish, reddish, yellowish and even greenish colour morphs. 
CommentSynonymy: SMITH 1943 synonymized Dipsadomorphus andamanensis WALL 1909 with Boiga ceylonensis. Recent authors consider this species as valid though

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution on the Andaman Islands. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • GANESH, S.R.; N.S. ACHYUTHAN, S.R. CHANDRAMOULI & GERNOT VOGEL, 2020. Taxonomic revision of the Boiga ceylonensis group (Serpentes: Colubridae): re-examination of type specimens, redefinition of nominate taxa and an updated key. Zootaxa 4779 (3): 301–332 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Orlov, Nikolai L. and Sergei A. Ryabov 2002. A new species of the genus Boiga (Serpentes, Colubridae, Colubrinae) from Tanahjampea Island and description of "black form" of Boiga cynodon Complex from Sumatra (Indonesia). Russ. J. Herpetol. 9 (1): 33-56 - get paper here
  • Orlov, Nikolai L.; Sergei V. Kudryavtzev; Sergei A. Ryabov, and Oleg V. Shumakov 2003. A NEW SPECIES OF GENUS Boiga (SERPENTES: COLUBRIDAE: COLUBRINAE) AND COLOR ATLAS OF BOIGAS FROM BENGKULU PROVINCE (SUMATRA, INDONESIA). Russ. J. Herpetol. 10 (1): 31-52 - get paper here
  • VOGEL, GERNOT & S.R. GANESH 2013. A new species of cat snake (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae: Boiga) from dry forests of eastern Peninsular India. Zootaxa 3637 (2): 158–168 - get paper here
  • Wall,F. 1909. Remarks on some forms of Dipsadomorphus. Records of the Indian Museum 3: 151-155 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
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