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Dendrelaphis flavescens GAULKE, 1994

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Ahaetuliinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Sulu Bronzeback, Sulu Islands Tree Snake
G: Sulu-Bronzenatter 
SynonymDendrelaphis caudolineatus flavescens GAULKE, 1994
Dendrelaphis flavescens — VAN ROOIJEN & VOGEL 2012
Dendrelaphis flavescens — WALLACH et al. 2014: 217
Dendrelaphis flavescens — LEVITON et al. 2018 
DistributionPhilippines (Sulu Archipelago: (Bongao, Bubuan, Sanga-Sanga, Tawi-Tawi)

Type locality: Sanga Sanga, Sulu Archipelago,Philippines.  
TypesHolotype: SMF 74846, female; Paratypes: SMF 75174 (Sanga Sanga),SMF 75173 (Bongao), ZMUC R60763 (Tawitawi). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Dendrelaphis caudolineatus flavescens is characterizedas follows: No hint of black stripes on back, sides of head, or underside of tail; a very conspicious, broad, metallic orange-yellow band extends from both sides of the neck along the anterior part of the body; eyes large; ground dwelling (from Gaulke 1994: 138).

Description. A species of the Dendrelaphis caudolineatus group, characterized by the combination of 1) absence of black longitudinal stripes; 2) absence of a pale ventrolateral line; 3) absence of a black postocular stripe; 4) an orange stripe on the neck in live specimens (Taylor, 1922; Gaulke, 1994); 5) 173–181 ventrals (females – note that Gaulke [1994] recorded values of 171 and 172 in two specimens of undetermined sex); 6) 104–110 subcaudals; 7) relative tail-length 0.262–0.270; 8) 6–7 temporal scales on each side; 9) 9–11 infralabials on each side; 10) 4–5 scales touching the posterior borders of the parietal scales; 11) maximum total length females 126.0 cm [VAN ROOIJEN & VOGEL 2012]

Sexual dimorphism. Sexual dimorphism could not be established because only females were included in this study [VAN ROOIJEN & VOGEL 2012]. 
CommentBehavior: diurnal

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018), but Gaulke 1994 says “all sighted specimens of D. c. flavescens were observed on the floor of primary and secondary forest.”

Diet: SMF 75174 was kept alive in a terrarium for about 12 months, feeding on live
geckos. Locusts and mice were not taken (Gaulke 1994).

There seem to be no live photos. Gaulke 1994 says “not a rare snake. In all, 10 specimens were sighted, but as it is a very fast snake,few were caught”. 
Etymologyflavescens because of the yellowish band. 
  • Blackburn, D.G. 1993. STANDARDIZED CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF REPRODUCTIVE MODES IN SQUAMATE REPTILES. Herpetologica 49 (1): 118-132 - get paper here
  • Gaulke, M. 1994. Contribution to the snake fauna of the Sulu Archipelago, with the description of a new subspecies of Dendrelaphis caudolineatus (GRAY, 1834). The Herpetological Journal 4 (4): 136-144. - 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
  • ROOIJEN, JOHAN VAN & GERNOT VOGEL 2012. A revision of the taxonomy of Dendrelaphis caudolineatus (Gray, 1834) (Serpentes: Colubridae). Zootaxa 3272: 1–25 - 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.
  • Weinell, Jeffrey L.; Errol Hooper, Alan E. Leviton, Rafe M. Brown 2019. Illustrated Key to the Snakes of the Philippines. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (4) 66 (1): 1-49 - get paper here
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