Brachyorrhos albus (LINNAEUS, 1758)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Brachyorrhos albus?
|Higher Taxa||Homalopsidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Seram Short-tailed Snake|
|Synonym||Coluber albus LINNAEUS 1758: 218|
Coluber brachiurus — SHAW 1802: 470 (fide DUMÉRIL et al. 1854)
Brachyorrhos albus — KUHL in SCHLEGEL 1826
Brachyorrhos albus — BOIE 1827: 519
Calamaria brachyorrhos — SCHLEGEL 1837: 33
Brachyorrhos albus — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 511
Brachiorrhos albus — JAN 1865
Brachyorrhus albus [sic] — BOULENGER 1893: 305
Brachyorrhos albus — MURPHY 2007
Brachyorrhos albus — MURPHY 2012
Brachyorrhos albus — MURPHY & VORIS 2014
|Distribution||Indonesia (restricted to restricted to Seram, Ambon and some island by Murphy et al. 2012)|
Type locality: “Indiis” (Ambon, Indonesia)
|Types||Holotype: NRM 19|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis (genus). Brachyorrhos are the only homalopsid snakes known to have: bilobed nasal scales separated by rostral, rostral that is as broad as tall, and divided internasal behind and dorsal to nasals. Members of this genus can be distinguished from Calamophis (with which it has been long confused) by lack of dorsal scale row reduction (Brachyorrhos has 19–19–19, Calamophis has 19–19–17); dorsal scales ovate, slightly imbricate or juxtaposed compared to dorsal scales in Calamophis; longer snout, divided nasal scale, and tail that lacks constriction at base and tapers gradually to tip, premaxillary bone present. (MURPHY & VORIS 2014: 6).|
Diagnosis. Distinct preocular scale usually present; seven upper labials, fourth (rarely 3+4) in orbit, sixth is tallest; dorsal scales more lanceolate (elongated, taper posteriorly) than in congeners; usually single temporal scale contacting postoculars in Ambon population; two primary temporals in some Seram individuals (MURPHY & VORIS 2014).
Brachyorrhos are fangless, cryptozoic, worm-eating snakes that lack most of the aquatic adaptations seen in the fanged homalopsids.
Comparisons: Murphy & Voris 2020 present a table of characters across the species of Brachyorrhos.
|Comment||Synonymy after DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854 and MURPHY 2012. Rabdion gastrotaenia BLEEKER 1860 was resurrected from the synonymy of B. albus by MURPHY 2012.|
Distribution: previously reported from Timor, Saparua, Nusa Laut, Haruku, Ambon, Buru, Halmahera, Morotai, Ternate, Aru, Jobi, Irian Jaya, and Java (doubtful), but restricted by Murphy et al. 2012.
Type species: Coluber albus LINNAEUS 1758 is the type species of the genus Brachyorrhos KUHL in SCHLEGEL 1826. Note that Brachyorrhos is a substitute name for Brachura Kuhl and van Hasselt, 1822, erroneously believed to be preoccupied by Brachyurus Fischer, 1808.
Habitat: terrestrial/fossorial, occasionally arboreal.
|Etymology||Named after Latin “albus, -a, -um” = white.|
The genus name Brachyorrhos is derived from the Greek words brachy = short, and orrhos = rump or tail; the gender is masculine.
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