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Boiga dightoni (BOULENGER, 1894)

IUCN Red List - Boiga dightoni - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Pirmad Cat Snake 
SynonymDipsas dightoni BOULENGER 1894
Dipsadomorphus dightoni — BOULENGER 1896
Boiga dightoni — SMITH 1943: 359
Boiga dightoni — INGER et al. 1984: 567
Boiga dightoni — DAS 1996: 54
Boiga dightoni — GROEN 2008
Boiga dightoni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 103
Boiga dightoni — GANESH et al. 2020 
DistributionIndia (Kerala)

Type locality: "Pirmaad, at an altitude of 3,300 feet."  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.1.32, an 1100 mm female (S. Dighton, Jan. 1893). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of Boiga endemic to the Southern Western Ghats of India, characterised by the following combination of characters: 21–23 midbody scale rows (vs. 19 in B. ceylonensis, B. thackerayi, B. beddomei, B. flaviviridis); vertebral scales strongly enlarged (vs. mildly enlarged in B. barnesii); venter with salmon pink spots in life (vs. yellowish in B. thackerayi, B. flaviviridis; variable in B. andamanensis; dorsum predominantly uniform brown (vs. green in B. flaviviridis; variable in B. andamanensis); ventrolateral pattern with salmon pinkish markings (vs. with alternate white and black blotches in B. barnesii, B. thackerayi; without any pattern in B. andamanensis, B. flaviviridis); temporal subequal to coastal body scale (vs. larger than coastal body scale in B. nuchalis) (from Ganesh et al. 2020). 
CommentHabitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after the collector of the holotype, “Mr. S. Dighton at Pirmaad”, most likely identical with S. M. Dighton, a tea planter at Travancore, Kerala (1888). 
  • 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
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1894. Description of a new snake found in Travancore, by Mr. S. Dighton. Pirmaad. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. viii: 528 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - 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
  • 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
  • Inger, Robert F.;Shaffer, H. Bradley;Koshy, Mammen;Bakde, Ramesh 1984. A report on a collection of amphibians and reptiles from the Ponmudi, Kerala, South India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 81 (3): 551-570 - get paper here
  • Kanagavel, Arun; S.R. Ganesh 2021. Recent record of the rare Travancore Catsnake, Boiga dightoni (Boulenger 1894) (Reptilia: Colubridae), from the Ponmudi Hills in the southern Western Ghats, India. Reptiles & Amphibians 28 (1): 67-70 - 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
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • 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.
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