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Boiga nuchalis (GÜNTHER, 1875)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Collared Catsnake 
SynonymDipsas nuchalis GÜNTHER 1875: 233
Dipsadomorphus nuchalis — WALL 1900
Dipsadomorphus nuchalis — WALL 1909: 153
Boiga ceylonensis dakhunensis DERANIYAGALA 1955 (fide GANESH et al. 2020)
Boiga nuchalis — DAS 1996: 54
Boiga nuchalis — GROEN 2008
Boiga nuchalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 106
Boiga nuchalis — GANESH et al. 2020 
DistributionSW India (Western Ghats: Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Eastern Ghats: Tamil Nadu), Nepal

Type locality: "forests on the western coast of Malabar, Southern India." [Kerala, SW India].  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1874.4.29.933-1874.4.29.937, four males, largest is 1118 mm, one subadult (R.H. Beddome). Types not listed in BMNH catalogue fide Lang, pers. comm. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of Boiga endemic to southwestern 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 brownish-grey and not yellowish in life (vs. yellowish-brown in B. thackerayi, B. flaviviridis; variable in B. andamanensis; dorsum predominantly brown (vs. green in B. flaviviridis; variable in B. andamanensis); bars brown or reddish-brown (vs. bars black in B. thackerayi, B. beddomei); ventrolateral pattern with a series of spots on both tips of each ventral scale (vs. with alternate white and black blotches in B. barnesii, B. thackerayi; without any pattern in B. andamanensis, B. flaviviridis); temporal larger than coastal body scale (vs. subequal to coastal body scale in B. dightoni) (from Ganesh et al. 2020). 
CommentDistribution: Reports from Nepal may represent B. ochracea (G. Vogel, pers. comm. 24. Sep. 2013). Possibly in Bhutan (fide Lenz 2012), but unlikely to occur there. See map in Ganesh et al. 2021: Fig. 2.

Synonymy: SMITH 1943 considered Dipsas nuchalis GÜNTHER 1875 as a synonym of C. ceylonensis.

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after its typical collar band on the nuchal region. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Bhupathy, Subramanian & N. Sathishkumar 2013. Status of reptiles in Meghamalai and its environs, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5 (15): 4953-4961 - 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.; M. Arumugam 2016. Species Richness of Montane Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India: A Historical Resume and a Descriptive Checklist. Russ. J. Herpetol. 23 (1): 7-24 - get paper here
  • GANESH, S., MALLIK, A. K., ACHYUTHAN, N., SHANKER, K., & VOGEL, G. 2021. A new species of Boiga (Serpentes: Colubridae) from the Southern Western Ghats of India with a molecular phylogeny and expanded characterisation of related species. Zootaxa 4981(3): 449-468 - get paper here
  • Ganesh, S.R.; A. Kalaimani, P. Karthik, N. Baskaran, R. Nagarajan & S.R.Chandramouli 2018. Herpetofauna of Southern Eastern Ghats, India – II From Western Ghats to Coromandel Coast. Asian Journal of Conservation Biology, July 2018. Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 28-45 - 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
  • Ganesh, S.R.; S. Bhupathy, P. Karthik, G. Babu Rao & S. Babu 2020. Catalogue of herpetological specimens from peninsular India at the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History (SACON), India. JoTT 12 (9): 16123–16135 - get paper here
  • Groen,J. 2008. Het Boiga-genus. Lacerta 66 (1-3): 64-79 - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1875. Second report on collections of Indian Reptiles obtained bv the British Museum. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1875: 224-234 - 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
  • Kalki, Yatin; Chayant Gonsalves , Daniel B. Wylie , Karthik A. K. Sundaram and Tristan D. Schramer 2021. Annotated checklist of the snakes of Bengaluru Urban District, Karnataka, India with notes on their natural history, distribution, and population trends over the last 150 years. Journal of Animal Diversity 3 (2): 26-41 - get paper here
  • Kästle , W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.H. 2013. FIELD GUIDE to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. ARCO-Nepal e.V., 625 pp. - get paper here
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • 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
  • Shah, K. B. 1998. Checklist of the herpetofauna of Nepal with english and vernacular names. NAHSON Bull., Nat. Hist. Soc. Nepal, Kathmandu 8 (1-4): 26-30
  • 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.
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