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Crotaphopeltis hippocrepis (REINHARDT, 1843)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymDipsas hippocrepis REINHARDT 1843
Heterurus hippocrepis — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1177
Leptodeira hippocrepis — GRAY 1858: 161
Leptodira hotamboeia — BOULENGER 1896: 90 (not LAURENTI)
Leptodira hitamboeia [sic] — WERNER 1899
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia — CHABANAUD 1921: 469 (not LAURENTI) (part.)
Crotaphopeltis acarina ROMAN 1974
Crotaphopeltis hippocrepis — RASMUSSEN 1985: 126
Crotaphopeltis hippocrepis — RASMUSSEN 2000
Crotaphopeltis hippocrepis — BÖHME et al. 2011: 58
Crotaphopeltis hippocrepis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 199 
DistributionUpper Volta (Burkina Faso), Cameroon (fide JOGER 1982), Central African Republic, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea (Conakry), Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Mali, Nigeria, Republic of South Sudan (RSS)

Type locality: Danish settlement on the coast of Guinea, near Accra, [now] Ghana.  
TypesHolotype: ZMUC R63127 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: A West and Central African savanna species of Crotaphopeltis with the following character combination: 19 scale rows at mid-body, scales in more or less oblique rows anteriorly, smooth allover the body; 12-16 + II + 1 maxillary teeth; 44-58 (male) and 39-54 (female) subcaudals; hemipenis extending to subcaudal scute No. 8-12 and provided with two enlarged spines proximally; dorsum various shades of brown, without white specks; occiput white in juveniles; temples with a dark brown mark extending to posterior jaw, covering the last two to five infralabials with pigment; venter and underside of tail white, cream or yellowish, latter often with median stripe [from RASMUSSEN et al. 2000]. 
CommentSynonymy: Crotaphopeltis hippocrepis has been synonymized with C. hotamboeia by BOULENGER 1896. Crotaphopeltis acarina ROMAN 1974 has been considered a synonym of C. braestrupi but more recently as a synonym of C. hippocrepis (TRAPE & MANÉ 2006).

Distribution: Reports from Tanzania need confirmation (see RASMUSSEN 2000). 
  • Böhme, Wolfgang, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Christian Brede & Philipp Wagner 2011. The reptiles (Testudines, Squamata, Crocodylia) of the forested southeast of the Republic Guinea (Guinée forestière), with a country-wide checklist. Bonn zoological Bulletin 60 (1): 35-61 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Branch Bill 2005. Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia (Laurenti, 1768) Herald Snake - Maximum size. African Herp News (38): 25. - get paper here
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. 2009. Inventaire des reptiles de la région de la Réserve de Biosphère Transfrontalière du W (Niger/Bénin/Burkina Faso: Afrique de l’Ouest). [Herpetological survey of the W Transfrontier Biosphere Reserve area (Niger/Benin/Burkina Faso: West Africa]. Bull. Soc. Herp. France (132): 13-41 - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Chirio, Laurent and Ivan Ineich 2006. Biogeography of the reptiles of the Central African Republic. African Journal of Herpetology 55(1):23-59. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Gray, J.E. 1858. Description of a new genus of Boidae from Old Calabar and a list of W. African Reptiles. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1858: 154-167 - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 2013. Snakes of Bénin, West Africa. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 144: 101-159
  • Joger, U. 1982. Zur Herpetofaunistik Kameruns (II). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 33 (2-4): 313-319 - get paper here
  • Rasmussen J B 1985. A new species of Crotaphopeltis from east Africa, with remarks on the identity of Dipsas hippocrepis Reinhardt, 1843 (Serpentes: Boiginae). Steenstrupia 11 (4): 113-129
  • Rasmussen, J.B. & B. Hughes 1996. Description of some new snake species. I. [English translation of the original Danish text of T. Reinhardt 1843]. Steenstrupia 22: 13-39
  • Rasmussen, Jens Bodtker; Chirio, Laurent; and Ineich, Ivan 2000. The Herald Snakes (Crotaphopeltis) of the Central African Republic, Including a Systematic Review of C. hippocrepis. Zoosystema 22(3):585-600
  • Reinhardt, J. T. 1843. Beskrivelse af nogle nye Slangearter. Danske Vidensk. Selsk. Afhandl. 10: 233-279. - get paper here
  • Segniagbeto GLazcano. H., Trape J. F., David P., Ohler A., Dubois A. & Glitho I. A. 2011. The snake fauna of Togo: systematics, distribution and biogeography, with remarks on selected taxonomic problems. Zoosystema 33 (3): 325-360. DOI: 10.5252/z2011n3a4 - get paper here
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mané, Y. 2006. Guide des serpents d’Afrique occidentale. Savane et désert. [Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger]. IRD Editions, Paris, 226 pp. - get paper here
  • TRAPE, JEAN-FRANÇOIS & CELLOU BALDÉ 2014. A checklist of the snake fauna of Guinea, with taxonomic changes in the genera Philothamnus and Dipsadoboa (Colubridae) and a comparison with the snake fauna of some other West African countries. Zootaxa 3900 (3): 301–338 - get paper here
  • Trape, Jean-François & Youssouph Mané 2017. The snakes of Mali. Bonn zoological Bulletin 66 (2): 107–133 - get paper here
  • Ullenbruch, K.; Grell, O.; Böhme, W. 2010. Reptiles from southern Benin, West Africa, with the description of a new Hemidactylus (Gekkonidae), and a country-wide checklist. Bonn Zool. Bull. 57 (1): 31-54 - 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. 1899. Ueber Reptilien und Batrachier aus Togoland, Kamerun und Deutsch-Neu-Guinea grösstentheils aus dem k. Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 49: 132-157 - get paper here
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