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Crotaphopeltis tornieri (WERNER, 1908)

IUCN Red List - Crotaphopeltis tornieri - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Werner's Water Snake 
SynonymLeptodira tornieri WERNER 1908: 1876
Leptodira rufescens WERNER 1895 [not L. r. (GMELIN) now Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia].
Leptodeira tornieri — BARBOUR & AMARAL 1927
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia tornieri — BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1928
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia hotamboeia — BOGERT 1940
Crotaphopeltis tornieri — BROADLEY 1968
Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia tornieri — WELCH 1982
Crotaphopeltis tornieri — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 31
Crotaphopeltis tornieri — WALLACH et al. 2014: 200
Crotaphopeltis tornieri — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 526 
DistributionKenya, Tanzania (Usambara, Uluguru, Rungwe Mountains), N Malawi

Type locality: Usambara Mountains, Tanzania.  
TypesHolotype: ZMH R00652 (formerly no. 4576), subadult male. 
CommentIn 1895 WERNER believed that the specimen was a Crotaphopeltis rufescens
GMELIN, 1789, a junior synonym of C. hotamboeia. Later it was regarded as a subspecies of C. hotamboeia (BARBOUR & LOVERIDGE 1928, LOVERIDGE 1953, MERTENS 1955, WELCH 1982). The uncertainty regarding the validity of this taxon and its demarcation from C. hotamboeia has been removed by RASMUSSEN (1993 a) [from Hallermann 1998]. 
EtymologyNamed after Gustav Tornier (1858-1938), German zoologist. 
  • Angenstein, P. 1996. Zur Haltung und Nachzucht von Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia und C. tornieri (Serpentes: Boiginae). Elaphe 4 (3): 6-16
  • Barbour, T. & LOVERIDGE.A. 1928. A comparative study of the herpetological fauna of the Uluguru and Usambara mountains, Tanzania Territory with descriptions of new species. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool. Cambridge (Massachusetts), 50 (2): 85-265 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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
  • Broadley, Donald G. 1968. A new species of Crotaphopeltis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Barotseland, Zambia. Fieldiana. Zoology 51 (10): 135-139 - get paper here
  • Engelbrecht, Hanlie M. 2017. The radiation and biogeography of snakes across south-eastern Africa with respect to the evolution of the savanna biome. PhD thesis, Stellenbosch University, - get paper here
  • Finke, Florian & Daniel Liepack 2021. Erstnachweis der Torniers Katzennatter Crotaphopeltis tornieri (werner, 1908) in Kenia. Sauria 43 (2): 67-70
  • Hallermann, J. 1998. Annotated catalogue of the type specimens of the herpetological collection in the Zoological Museum of the University of Hamburg. Mitt. hamb. zool. Mus. Inst 95: 197-223.
  • Lyakurwa, J.V., Howell, K.M., Munishi, L.K., Treydte, A.C. 2019. Uzungwa Scarp Nature Forest Reserve; a unique hotspot for reptiles in Tanzania. Acta Herpetologica 14 (1): 3-14 - get paper here
  • Lyakurwa, John Valentine 2017. The Reptiles of the Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve (USFR): An Updated Checklist with Notes on Dagger-Tooth Vine Snake Xyelodontophis uluguruensis. Journal of East African Natural History 106(2):57-65. - 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 1993. The current taxonomic status of Tornier's cat-snake (Crotaphopeltis tornieri). Amphibia-Reptilia 14: 395-409 - 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
  • 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. 1908. Ergebnisse der mit Subvention aus der Erbschaft Treitl unternommenen zoologischen Forschungsreise Dr. Franz Werner's nach nach dem Ägyptischen Sudan und Norduganda. XII. die Reptilien und Amphibien. [Mabuia mongallensis, Leptodira attarensis]. Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien 116 [1907]: 1823-1926 - get paper here
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