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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), Chad

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. [detaileld review in HR 51 (1): 161] - 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; Israël Demba Kodindo, Ali Sougoudi Djiddi, Joseph Mad-Toïngué & Clément Hinzoumbé Kerah 2020. The snakes of Chad: results of a field survey and annotated country-wide checklist. Bonn zoological Bulletin 69 (2): 367–393 - 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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