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Calamophis jobiensis MEYER, 1874

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Higher TaxaHomalopsidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Yapen Island Stout-tailed Snake 
SynonymCalamophis jobiensis MEYER 1874: 10
Brachyorrhos jobiensis — PETERS & DORIA 1878
Calamophis jobiensis — SAUVAGE 1879: 60
Brachyorrhos jobiensis — MCDOWELL 1980
Brachyorrhos jobiensis — MURPHY 2007
Calamophis jobiensis — MURPHY 2012
Calamophis jobiensis — MURPHY & VORIS 2014: 7
Calamophis jobiensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 143 
DistributionIndoensia (Jobi = Yapen Island)

Type locality: Ansus, Yapen, Indonesia (about 1°43'2"S, 136°7'57"E)  
TypesHolotype: MTD (= MTKD) Dresden Museum, destroyed in WWII 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Rostral broader than tall, nasal scale undivided, quadrangular; nares tiny, crescent-shaped, valvular; internasal single; postocular single; dorsal scales in 19 rows that are reduced to 17 anterior to vent will readily separate these snakes from Brachyorrhos; dorsal scales lanceolate, imbricate; base of tail constricted; tail thick and tapers slowly to almost blunt tip; males of some species have tubercles on scales in first four rows just anterior and posterior to vent, premaxillary bone present (MURPHY & VORIS 2014).

Diagnosis. This diagnosis is based on a translation of the original description: 164 ventrals and 10 subcaudals. Upper labials six; third and fourth enter orbit, eight lower labials, one preocular, one postocular; pentagonal internasal contacts rostral with one side and penetrates between prefrontals; subcaudals divided (MURPHY & VORIS 2014). 
CommentType species: Calamophis jobiensis MEYER 1874 is the type species of the genus Calamophis MEYER 1874.

Morphology: fangless

Habitat: terrestrial–fossorial

Diet: vermivorous (worm-eating)

Synonymy: Boulenger (1893) considered Brachyorrhos jobiensis a junior synonym of Brachyorrhos albus (Linnaeus) apparently without actually examining any specimens. Authors of regional reptile checklists (Rooij, 1917; Kopstein, 1926; de Haas, 1950; Welch, 1988) followed Boulenger’s arrangement for Brachyorrhos albus.

Distribution: The Papua New Guinea locality for B. jobiensis in Iskandar and Colijn (2001) is based on Mainophis robusta, which is a synonym of the elapid Furina tristis (Shea & Sadlier, 1999) and should not be included in synonymies of Calamophis or Brachyorrhos. 
EtymologyNamed after the island of Yapen which has also been called Japen and Jobi. Therefore, C. jobiensis is likely named after the Indonesian island.

Etymology (genus). It is unclear if Meyer named this snake using the Latin root calamitas (calamity, misfortune, disaster) or calamus (anything made of a reed, such as a pen or arrow). The latter seems more probable given the striped pattern of the type species. 
  • McDowell, Samuel B. 1980. The zoogeography of New Guinea region snakes.
  • Meyer, A.B. 1874. Eine Mittheilung von Hern. Dr. Adolf Berhard Meyer über die von ihm auf Neu-Guinea und den Inseln Jobi, Mysore und Mafoor im Jahre 1873 gesammelten Amphibien. Monatsber. K. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1874: 128-140 - get paper here
  • Murphy, J.C. & Voris, H.K. 2014. A Checklist and Key to the Homalopsid Snakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes), with the Description of New Genera. FIELDIANA: LIFE AND EARTH SCIENCES (8): 1–43 - get paper here
  • Murphy, John C. 2007. Homalopsid Snakes: Evolution in the Mud. Krieger Publishing, Malabar, Florida, 249 pp.
  • Murphy, John C.; Mumpuni, Kate L. Sanders 2011. First molecular evidence for the phylogenetic placement of the enigmatic snake genus Brachyorrhos(Serpentes: Caenophidia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61 (3): 953-957 - get paper here
  • Murphy, John C.; Mumpuni, Ruud de Lang, David J. Gower and Kate L. Sanders 2012. The Moluccan short-tailed snakes of the genus Brachyorrhos Kuhl (Squamata: Serpentes: Homalopsidae), and the status of Calamophis Meyer. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 60 (2): 501-514 - get paper here
  • O’Shea M and Kaiser H. 2016. The first female specimen of the poorly known Arfak Stout-tailed Snake, Calamophis sharonbrooksae Mur- phy, 2012 (Serpentes: Colubroidea: Homalopsidae), from the Vogelkop Peninsula of Indonesian West New Guinea, with comments on the taxonomic history Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 10(2) [General Section]: 1–10 (e122)
  • Sauvage, H. E. 1879. Notice sur quelques reptiles nouveaux ou peu connus de la Nouvelle-Guinee. [Elania annulata]. Bull. Soc. philom. Paris (7) 3: 47-61 - 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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