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Dendrelaphis cyanochloris (WALL, 1921)

IUCN Red List - Dendrelaphis cyanochloris - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Ahaetuliinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Wall's Bronzeback
G: Blaue Bronzenatter 
SynonymDendrophis pictus var. cyanochloris WALL 1921: 155
Dendrophis boiga cyanochloris — MEISE & HENNIG 1932
Ahaetulla cyanochloris — SMITH 1940: 482
Ahaetulla cyanochloris — SMITH 1943: 244
Dendrelaphis cyanochloris — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 337
Dendrelaphis cyanochloris — COX et al. 1998: 70
Dendrelaphis cyanochloris — WALLACH et al. 2014: 216 
DistributionIndia (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh [A. Captain, pers. comm.], Mizoram), Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar (= Burma), S Thailand, Singapore,
W Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Pahang, Pulau Tioman, China

Type locality: Eastern Himalaya, Assam, Myanmar (= Burma) [see comment]. Corrected to “Darjeeling” by VOGEL & VAN ROOIJEN 2007.  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1940.3.4.27 (designated by VOGEL & ROOIJEN 2007). 
DiagnosisDescription of lectotype (subadult male from “Darjeeling”, State of West Bengal, India): SVL 59.0 cm; TAIL 26.0 cm; Head-length 19.0 mm; 201 ventrals; 137 divided subcaudals; anal plate divided; dorsals 15:15:11; vertebral scales larger than first row of dorsals, hexagonal in shape and with straight posterior margin; 1 loreal (L+R); 1 preocular (L+R); 2 postoculars (L+R); 1 supraocular (L+R); 9 supralabials (L+R); supralabials 5 and 6 touch the eye (L+R); 9 infralabials, 5th largest (L), 10 infralabials, 6th largest (R); first infralabials touch at the mental groove; infralabials 1 through 4 touch anterior chin shield (L), infralabials 1 through 5 touch anterior chin shield (R); infralabials 4 and 5 touch posterior chin shield (L); infralabials 5 and 6 touch posterior chin shield (R); first sublabial long, touches infralabials 5 through 9 (L), first sublabial short, touches infralabials 6 and 7 (R); temporals 2:2:2 (L+R); eye small, 4.3 mm in diameter (L and R averaged); a black temporal stripe starts behind the eye, covers the whole temporal region and extends onto the neck up to the level of the 4th ventral scale. In the anterior part of the body, there are groups of dorsals with white spots, these white spots are partly covered by adjoining dorsals; all dorsals, except first row, have black anterior and lower edges which are largely covered by preceding and adjoining dorsals; vertebral scales with black edges anteriorly which are largely covered by preceding vertebrals and adjoining dorsals; some vertebral scales lack a white lateral margin, some have a unilateral white margin and some have white margins bilaterally, these white margins are covered by adjoining dorsal scales; subcaudals without a black point medially; no lateral black stripes in posterior half of the body; dorsals on tail without black margins; no light ventrolateral stripe (from VOGEL & ROOIJEN 2007). 
CommentNot listed by GRANDISON 1977.

Distribution: Possibly in Bhutan (Lenz 2012). The original type locality seems to have included the Nicobar Islands but the species has not been listed for these islands by DAS 1999 or VIJAYAKUMAR & DAVID 2006.

Similar species: Can be confused with D. formosus.

Group: Jiang et al. 2020 defined the D. cyanochloris complex as being composed of D. cyanochloris and D. ngansonensis.

The original description of D. cyanochloris is composite as it was partly based on specimens of D. humayuni Tiwari & Biswas, 1973 (fide VOGEL & ROOIJEN 2007).

Behavior: diurnal

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018) 
  • Baker, Nick 2017. Montane record of Blue Bronzeback Dendrelaphis cyanochloris from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia. SEAVR 2017: 62-63 - get paper here
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
  • Chan-ard,T.; Grossmann,W.; Gumprecht,A. & Schulz,K. D. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand - an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp. [book review in Russ. J Herp. 7: 87] - get paper here
  • Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
  • Das, Abhijit; Uttam Saikia, B. H. C. K. Murthy, Santanu Dey and Sushil K. Dutta 2009. A herpetofaunal inventory of Barail Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent regions, Assam, north-eastern India. Hamadryad 34 (1): 117 – 134 - get paper here
  • Das, I. 1999. Biogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. In: Ota,H. (ed) Tropical Island herpetofauna..., Elsevier, pp. 43-77
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • Dowling, H.G., & Jenner, J.V. 1988. Snakes of Burma: checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (76): 19 pp. - get paper here
  • Goldberg, Stephen R. and L. Lee Grismer. 2014. Dendrelaphis cyanochloris (Wall's bronzeback) reproduction. Herpetological Review 45 (2): 337 - get paper here
  • Goldberg, Stephen R., Charles R. Bursey and L. Lee Grismer. 2014. Dendrelaphis cyanochloris (Wall's bronzeback) endoparasite. Herpetological Review 45 (2): 337 - get paper here
  • Grossmann,W. & Tillack,F. 2001. Bemerkungen zur Herpetofauna des Khao Lak, Phang Nga, thailändische Halbinsel. Teil II: Reptilia: Serpentes; Testudines; Diskussion. Sauria 23 (1): 25-40 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Hien,P. Grossmann,W. & Schäfer, C. 2001. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der landbewohnenden Reptilienfauna von Pulau Tioman, West-Malaysia. Sauria 23 (4): 11-28 - get paper here
  • Lalremsanga, H.T.; Saipari Sailo and Chinliansiama 2011. Diversity of Snakes (Reptilia: Squamata) and Role of Environmental Factors in Their Distribution in Mizoram, Northeast India. Advances in Environmental Chemistry - get paper here
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • Meise,Wilhelm & HENNIG,Willi 1932. Die Schlangengattung Dendrophis. Zool. Anz. 99 (11/12): 273-297
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; David, P.; Chimsunchart, C. & Thirakhupt, K. 2003. Reptiles of Phetchaburi Province, Western Thailand: a list of species, with natural history notes, and a discussion on the biogeography at the Isthmus of Kra. Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 3 (1): 23-53 - get paper here
  • Pauwels,O.S.G. et al. 2000. Herpetological investigations in Phang-Nga Province, southern Peninsular Thailand, with a list of reptile species and notes on their biology. Dumerilia 4 (2): 123-154 - get paper here
  • Purkayastha J. 2013. An Amateur’s Guide to Reptiles of Assam. EBH Publishers (India) - get paper here
  • Rooijen, J. van & van Rooijen, M. 2002. Einige Ergänzungen, Berichtigungen und neue Beobachtungen zur Herpetofauna von Pulau Tioman, West-Malaysia. Sauria 24 (3): 3-12 [erratum in 24 (4): 34] - get paper here
  • Rooijen, J. van & Vogel, G. 2008. A new species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Java, Indonesia. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 56 (1): 189-197 - get paper here
  • Rooijen, J. van & Vogel, G. 2008. Contributions to a review of the Dendrelaphis pictus complex (Serpentes: Colubridae) – 1. Description of a sympatric species. Amphibia-Reptilia 29: 101-115 - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Sumarli, Alex X.; L. Lee Grismer, Shahrul Anuar, Mohd Abdul Muin and Evan S.H. Quah 2015. First report on the amphibians and reptiles of a remote mountain, Gunung Tebu in northeastern Peninsular Malaysia. Check List 11 (4): 1679 - get paper here
  • Taylor,E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096 - get paper here
  • Teo, R.C.H. & N.J. Thomas 2019. Updated Inventory of Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals of the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 71(Suppl. 1):145-183; doi: 10.26492/gbs71(suppl.1).2019-06 - get paper here
  • Tshewang, S. & L. Letro 2018. The herpetofauna of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in central Bhutan: status, distribution and new records. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(11): 12489–12498; - get paper here
  • Vogel, G. & J. VAN ROOIJEN 2007. A new species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Southeast Asia. Zootaxa 1394: 25-45 - get paper here
  • VOGEL, GERNOT; JOHAN VAN ROOIJEN & SJON HAUSER 2012. A new species of Dendrelaphis Boulenger, 1890 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Thailand and Myanmar. Zootaxa 3392: 35–46 - get paper here
  • Wall. F. 1921. Remarks on the lndian species of Dendrophis and Dendrelaphis. Records of the Indian Museum 22: 151 - 162 - 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.
  • Wangyal, Jigme Tshelthrim 2019. The status of herpetofauna of Bhutan. District Forest Office, District Administration, Trashigang, Bhutan, 20-39 - get paper here
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
  • Zug, G.R. & Mulcahy, D.G. 2019. Identification guide Amphibians and reptiles of South Tanintharyi. Fauna & Flora International, 101 pp.
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