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Boiga beddomei (WALL, 1909)

IUCN Red List - Boiga beddomei - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Beddome's Cat Snake
G: Beddomes Nachtbaumnatter 
SynonymDipsadomorphus beddomei WALL 1909: 152
Dipsadomorphus beddomei — WALL 1921: 282
Boiga beddomei — TAYLOR 1950: 576
Boiga beddomei — DAS 1996: 54 (part.)
Boiga beddomei — WHITAKER & CAPTAIN 2004
Boiga ranawanei SAMARAWICKRAMA, SAMARAWICKRAMA, WIJESENA & ORLOV 2005
Boiga beddomei — VYAS & DESAI 2010
Boiga beddomei — WALLACH et al. 2014: 101 (part.)
Boiga beddomei — PATEL et al. 2018
Boiga beddomei — GANESH et al. 2020 
DistributionIndia (Western Ghats: Maharashtra [Bhimashankar, Mulshi, Koyna, Vasota], Gujarat) (see Vyas & Desai 2010).

Type locality: Restricted to Matheran, Bombay Presidency (fide GANESH et al. 2020).

ranawanei: Sri Lanka; Type locality: Bulawaththa, Gannoruwa Forest, Kandy District, Central Province, Sri Lanka (07°17 16 N 80°35 36 E, elevation: 640 m elevation  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesLectotype: BMNH 69.8.28.123, an adult female from “Matheran”; collected by Dr. Leith, probably Andrew Henderson Leith (1848-1919) (fide GANESH et al. 2020).
Holotype: Male, SVL 649 mm, LCD (tail length from vent to tip) 250 mm; collected by V. A. M. P. K. Samarawickrama; 10/20/2004 [ranawanei] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of Boiga inhabiting the Western Ghats, defined by the following combination of characters: 19 midbody scale rows (vs. 21–23 in B. nuchalis, B. dightoni, B. andamanensis); predominantly yellowish-brown dorsum (vs. greenish in B. flaviviridis; variable in B. andamanensis); vertebrals strongly enlarged (vs. mildly enlarged in B. barnesii); crown unpatterned (vs. with blackish-brown blotches in B. thackerayi, brownish blotches in B. ceylonensis); subcaudals > 110 (vs. < 110 in B. ceylonensis, B. thackerayi); venter densely speckled with dark brown (vs. uniform in B. flaviviridis); ventrolateral region devoid of large white and black blotches (vs. present in B. thackerayi, B. barnesii), but has a series of spots on both tips of each ventral scale (vs. venter unpatterned in B. andamanensis, B. flaviviridis) (from Ganesh et al. 2020: 308).

Diagnosis (ranawanei): Medium sized, slender Boiga (SVL + LCD up to 899 and 1105 mm in males and females, respectively) with laterally compressed body. Scale rows oblique (number of dorsal scale rows at body: Sq1, 19, Sq2, 19, Sq3, 15 rows); number of ventrals, of male 259, females 249 – 255; number of subcaudals of male 129 pairs, females 114 –128 pairs; eight-eight supralabials, the third fourth and fifth supralabials entering the orbit; 12 – 12 infralabials; the rostral shield is not very large, slightly visible from above; two anterior temporals and three posterior temporals; two preoculars, reaching the upper surface of head; two postoculars; two nasals. Scales are smooth. Ventral shields have no conspicuous markings.

Coloration (ranawanei): The coloration of the back and head is yellowish-brown, consists of wide transverse dark brown bands which do not connect on the underside. Belly is pale yellow, noticeably lighter than dorsal surface with no markings. The color of the tail corresponds to the color of the body with the ventral surface being darker than the belly. On the lateral sides of the head pass two horizontal black stripes across the eyes. 
CommentSynonymy: The objective synonymy by Manamendra-Arachchi & Pethiyagoda (2007) with Boiga ranawanei has been nullified by the discovery of original type series of B. beddomei.

Distribution: Previously believed to occur in Sri Lanka too. A recent taxonomic revision restricted the type locality of Boiga beddomei to the Western Ghats of India via, a lectotype designation (see GANESH et al. 2020).

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after Richard Henry Beddome, 1830–1911, British army officer and botanist.

Etymology (ranawanei): The species has been named in honor of Dr. K. B. Ranawana, who is currently working extensively on various aspects of wild life ecology in Sri Lanka. 
References
  • 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
  • De Silva, Anslem 1990. Color Guide to the Snakes of Sri Lanka. WBC Ltd, Bristol & Maeteg, 130 pp.
  • 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
  • Giri, Varad B.; V. Deepak, Ashok Captain, Swapnil Pawar, Frank Tillack 2019. A New Species of Boiga Fitzinger, 1826 (Serpentes: Colubridae) from The Northern Western Ghats of India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 116 - get paper here
  • Groen,J. 2008. Het Boiga-genus. Lacerta 66 (1-3): 64-79 - 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
  • Jayakumar, A.M. & P.O. Nameer 2018. Species composition and abundance estimates of reptiles in selected agroecosystems in southern Western Ghats, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(10): 12328–12336; - get paper here
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan D. M. S. and A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe 2011. A PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF THE REPTILE FAUNA IN NILGALA FOREST AND ITS VICINITY, MONARAGALA DISTRICT, SRI LANKA. Taprobanica 3 (2): 69-76 - get paper here
  • Kwet, A. 2007. Eine neue Nachtbaumnatter aus Sri Lanka [B. ranawanei]. Draco 7 (30): 92-93 - get paper here
  • Madawala, Majintha; Thilina D Surasinghe, Anslem De Silva, Dinesh Gabadage, Madhava Botejue, Indika Peabotuwage, Dushantha Kandambi, Suranjan Karunarathna 2019. Reappraisal of Herpetofauna Recorded from Jaffna Peninsula in Northern Sri Lanka with Remarks on Conservation, Diversity, and Distribution. Russ. J. Herpetol. 26 (5): 247-260 - get paper here
  • MANAMENDRA-ARACHCHI, K. & PETHIYAGODA, R. 2007. Boiga rawanawei, a junior synonym of Boiga beddomei. Zeylanica 7 (1): 123-124
  • 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
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Patel, Harshil; and Raju Vyas 2019. Reptiles of Gujarat, India: Updated Checklist, Distribution, and Conservation Status. Herpetology Notes 12: 765-777 - get paper here
  • Patel, Harshil; Raju Vyas, Vaibhav Naik, Bhautik Dudhatra & Shantilal K. Tank 2018. Herpetofauna of the Northern Western Ghats of Gujarat, India. Zoology and Ecology, DOI: 10.1080/21658005.2018.1499237 - get paper here
  • Samarawickrama, V.A.M.P.K.; Samarawickrama, V.A.P.; Wijesena, N.M. & Orlov, N.L. 2005. A new species of genus Boiga (Serpentes: Colubridae: Colubrinae) from Sri Lanka. Russ. J. Herpetol. 12 (3): 213-222 - get paper here
  • Taylor, Edward H. 1950. The snakes of Ceylon. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 33 (14): 519-603 - 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
  • VYAS, R. & V. PRAJAPATI 2010. Über das Vorkommen von Beddomes Nachtbaumnatter, Boiga beddomei (WALL, 1909) im Bundesstaat Gujarat, Indien. Sauria 32 (4): 67-69 - get paper here
  • Vyas, Raju & Saurabh R. Desai 2010. The records of Beddome’s Cat Snakes (Boiga beddomei) from Purna Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat State, India. Reptile Rap (10): 10-13 - get paper here
  • Wall, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages - 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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