Craspedocephalus strigatus GRAY, 1842
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Craspedocephalus strigatus?
|Higher Taxa||Viperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Horseshoe (pit-) viper|
|Synonym||Trimeresurus strigatus GRAY 1842: 49|
Lachesis strigatus BOULENGER 1896
Atropos darwini DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1520 (fide SMITH 1943)
Trigonocephalus (Cophias) neelgherriensis JERDON 1854 (fide SMITH 1943)
Trimeresurus strigatus — SMITH 1943: 514
Trimeresurus strigatus — WELCH 1994: 117
Protobothrops strigatus — KRAUS et al. 1996
Trimeresurus strigatus — HERRMANN et al. 2004
Trimeresurus strigatus — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004
Trimeresurus strigatus — MALHOTRA & THORPE 2004
Trimeresurus (Craspedocephalus) strigatus — DAVID et al. 2011
Craspedocephalus strigatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 188
Craspedocephalus strigatus — MALLIK et al. 2021: 609
|Distribution||India (Western Ghats, Nilgiri Hills, Anamalai Hills, Palni Hills, Shevaroy Hills, Deccan, Kerala).|
Type locality: “Cape of GoodHope?” and “Madras?”, restricted to “Madras Presidency” by BOULENGER 1896: 550; given as “from Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu” by Mallik et al. 2021.
|Types||Syntypes NHMUK 19184.108.40.206, NHMUK 19220.127.116.11|
|Diagnosis||Lineage diagnosis (also see Whitaker & Captain, 2004). A species of Craspedocephalus (L8) endemic to the Western Ghats, characterized by having the following combination of characters: 2nd supralabial (usually) not bordering the anterior margin of loreal pit (vs. always bordering in the C. malabaricus, C. gramineus complexes); lacking a prehensile tail and green dorsum (vs. having prehensile tail and green dorsum in the C. gramineus, C. macrolepis complexes); having an undivided supraocular (vs. divided or with indented margins in the C. malabaricus complex) (Mallik et al. 2021).|
Description. Relatively stout species with a cylindrical body of snout to vent length (SVL) up to 391 mm and a tail of length (TL) up to 64 mm; dorsal scales keeled with anterior dorsal scale rows (DSR) 20 to 22, mid body scale rows (MSR) 19 to 21 and posterior scale rows (PSR) 15 to 17; head prominent, clearly distinguished from the neck with small juxtaposed scales on the dorsal surface of the head; rostral scale sub triangular with the upper side roughly half the size of the lower side with the tip visible from above; supraoculars separated by 9 to 11 scales on the posterior end; canthus rostralis distinct with three canthal scales; two to three preoculars, two to three postocular and a thin elongated crescent shaped subocular; eye with a distinct elliptical pupil; temporal scales smooth; aperture of the nostril completely covered by the nasal scale, undivided and subrectangular; nasal scale bordering the first supralabial; loreal pit present in contact with the second supralabial with two scales between the nasal and the second supralabial; nine to 10 supralabials and 10 to 12 infralabials, with six to eight scales between the last supralabial, including the last supralabial till the start of the ventral scales; 1st, 2nd and 3rd infralabial scale in contact with the first pair of genials; a gap of three scales including the posterior genials followed by 134 to 142 ventrals, laterally separated from the dorsal scale rows by a slightly broader row of dorsal scales; anal scale undivided, followed by 38 to 44 divided subcaudals scales; terminal scale on the tail larger than the previous scale, blunt at the tip (Mallik et al. 2021).
Colour in life. Bronze to light brown dorsum blotched with a stark, continuous alternating saddle-shaped pattern in dark brown to black, strikingly similar to the markings on Vipera berus or Gloydius himalayanus; preocular/temporal stripe in dark brown; post ocular stripe in dirty brown continuing towards the loreal pit and the infralabials; another stripe below the subocular stripe fades into the infralabials followed by another blotch towards the end of the infralabials; base colour of the infralabials and ventrals being light creamish to white in colour, of-
ten dotted with rufous spots in the supralabials the region where the dorsal scales meet the ventrals in altenating dark brown colour and light brown/bronze colour scales; dorsal bronze scales are dotted with darker brown; the nape is characterized with a prominent horse shoe shaped marking hence earning its common name; in juveniles, the bronze colour is replaced with light brown (Mallik et al. 2021).
|Etymology||Latinized from its stem word ‘strigate’ alluding to the pattern streaked with colourful, alternate, transverse bars.|
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