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Buhoma vauerocegae (TORNIER, 1902)

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Higher TaxaElapoidea, incertae sedis, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Usambara forest snake 
SynonymGeodipsas vauerocegae TORNIER 1902: 703
Geodipsas vauerocegae — WERNER 1913: 26
Geodipsas vauerocegae — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 26
Buhoma vauerocegae — ZIEGLER et al. 1997
Buhoma vauerocegae — SPAWLS et al. 2002: 371
Buhoma vauerocegae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 127
Buhoma vauerocegae — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 416 
DistributionTanzania (Usambara, Uluguru, Magrotto Mountains)

Type locality: Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.  
TypesLectotype: ZMB 17557, female (Küttner, Böhler, and F. Sammler), missing fide R. Günther, in litt. Paralectotypes: ZFMK 95261, ZMB 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Distinguishable from Geodipsas by deep bifurcation of sulcus spermaticus, and by combination of configuration of (a) sublinguals and (b) temporals (see above). Following BOGERT (1940) a distinction from all other African colubrid genera is possible by combination of (a) presence of hypapophyses on the posterior vertebrae, (b) grooved posterior maxillary teeth, (c) sulcus spermaticus forked. (Ziegler et al. 1997) 
CommentPhylogenetics: The genus Buhoma has not been unambiguously assigned to any particular snake family although Zaher et al. 2019 showed that it is more closely related to Elapidae than to any other family. CHIPPAUX & JACKSON 2019 included Buhoma in the subfamily Pseudoxyrhophiinae although the phylogenetic relationships of the genus remain uncertain.

Type species: Geodipsas vauerocegae TORNIER 1902: 703 is the type species of the genus Buhoma ZIEGLER et al. 1997. 
EtymologyTORNIER (1902) did not explain the source of the species name. Klaver (2022), following Mertens (1949), speculated that it is a word play pronouncing the letters V, R, O and C in German, i.e. ”vau”, ”er”, ”o” and “ce”, probably standing for Vertebrata, Reptilia, Ophidia, and Colubridae.

The genus name Buhoma is the vernacular name by which B. depressiceps marlieri is known in the Musigati region, Burundi (DERLEYN 1978); we here define its gender as feminine. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Böhme, Wolfgang 2014. Herpetology in Bonn. Mertensiella 21. vi + 256 pp. - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Klaver, Charles 2022. The etymology of three enigmatic (sub-)specific names clarified. Amphibia-Reptilia, 43(4), 431-432 - get paper here
  • Menegon, Michele; Nike Doggart, Nisha Owen 2008. The Nguru mountains of Tanzania, an outstanding hotspot of herpetofaunal diversity. Acta Herpetologica 3 (2): 107-127
  • Mertens, R. 1949. Lebengebärende Dreihorn-Chamäleons. Natur und Volk 79: 195-202
  • Rasmussen, J. B., K. M. HOWELL & M. ANDERSEN 1995. A review of the Usambara forest snake Geodipsas vauerocegae and the Uluguru forest snake G. procterae. Amphibia-Reptilia, Leiden, 16 (2): 123-136. - get paper here
  • Rasmussen,J.B. 1981. The snakes from the rainforest of the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania: a checklist and key. Salamandra 17 (3-4): 173-188 - get paper here
  • Rovero, F., Menegon, M., Fjeldså, J., Collett, L., Doggart, N., Leonard, C., Norton, G., Owen, N., Perkin, A., Spitale, D., Ahrends, A., Burgess, N. D. 2014. Targeted vertebrate surveys enhance the faunal importance and improve explanatory models within the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya and Tanzania. Diversity and Distributions. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12246 - get paper here
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Tornier,G. 1902. Herpetologisch Neues aus Ostafrika. Zool. Anz. 25: 700-704 - 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.
  • Werner, F. 1913. Neue oder seltene Reptilien und Frösche des Naturhistorischen Museums in Hamburg. Reptilien der Ostafrika-Expedition der Hamburger Geographischen Gesellschaft 1911/12. Leiter: Dr. E. Obst. Reptilien und Amphibien von Formosa. Jb. Hamb. wiss. Anst., 30 [1912], 2. Beiheft: 1-39, 40-45, 45-51 - get paper here
  • Zaher H, Murphy RW, Arredondo JC, Graboski R, Machado-Filho PR, Mahlow K, et al. 2019. Large-scale molecular phylogeny, morphology, divergence-time estimation, and the fossil record of advanced caenophidian snakes (Squamata: Serpentes). PLoS ONE 14(5): e0216148 - get paper here
  • Ziegler T.; Vences M.; Glaw F.; Böhme W. 1997. Genital morphology and systematics of Geodipsas Boulenger, 1896 (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae), with description of a new genus. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 104 (1): 95-114. - get paper here
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