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Dipsadoboa duchesnii (BOULENGER, 1901)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymLeptodira duchesnii BOULENGER 1901: 10
Dipsodomorphus brevirostris STERNFELD 1908: 411
Dipsadomorphus viridis STERNFELD 1908: 411 (fide BOULENGER 1919: 287)
Leptodira nigeriensis WERNER 1913: 27 (fide RASMUSSEN 1989)
Chamaetortus aulicus ellenbergeri CHABANAUD 1916: 453 (fide BROADLEY & STEVENS 1971: 1)
Dipsadomorphus myops CHABANAUD 1917: 453
Leptodeira duchesnii — SCHMIDT 1923: 109
Dipsoglyphophis duchesnii — BARBOUR AND AMARAL 1927: 26
Dipsadoboa duchesnii — BOGERT 1940: 64
Crotaphopeltis duchesnii duchesnii — LOVERIDGE 1941: 122
Dipsadoboa duchesnei duchesnei — LAURENT 1956
Dipsadoboa duchesnei — RASMUSSEN 1989
Dipsadoboa duchesnei — BROADLEY 1998
Dipsadoboa duchesnii — PAUWELS et al. 2004
Dipsadoboa duchesnii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 231 
DistributionDemocratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire; except in the south), Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic

Type locality: Yabassi, Cameroon [brevirostris]  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.1.8.39 (formerly BMNH 1901.6.19.1)
Syntype: ZMB 21709; ROMC 476 according to Rassmussen; the type series of D. brevirostris contains some d. duchesnei 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: dorsals in 17-17-13 rows; ventrals 202-220 and 185-214, males and females, respectively; anal shields undivided - divided in three specimens, including one of the syntypes (ROMC 14356); subcaudals in 97 -120 + X and 92 -113 + X pairs, males and females, respectively; 18 - 23 + II + 1 maxillary teeth; juveniles and semi adults pale brown or grey, color becoming dark brown, purplish dark brown and eventually uniform bluegreen with increasing size; anal glands extend to caudal scale no. 4-7. 
CommentSynonymy: after RASMUSSEN 1989. WERNER 1924 synonymized Dipsadomorphus myops with Leptodira nigeriensis. Dipsas subaequalis Fischer 1880 may be a synonym of Dipsadoboa duchesnii, based on Fischer’s description (V. Wallach, pers. comm., 5 July 2017). However, the type of Dipsas subaequalis, formerly in Hamburg, is lost (Hallermann 2007).

Types: The type of Leptodira nigeriensis has been lost, hence it is impossible to determine its identity with certainty.

Distribution: Not reported from Benin according to ULLENBRUCH et al. 2010. Map in RASMUSSEN 1989. Not listed for Togo by Segniagbeto et al. 2012, not in Liberia (L. Chirio, pers. comm., 23 Aug 2013), not in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana fide TRAPE & BALDÉ 2014: 320. For a map with localities in Equatorial Guinea see SÁNCHEZ-VIALAS et al. 2022.

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after M. Duchesne, who collected one of the specimens. 
  • Barbour, T.; Amaral, A. D. 1927. Studies on African ophidia. Bull. Antivenin Inst. America 1 (1): 1-3
  • Barbour, T.; Amaral, A. D. 1927. Studies on African Ophidia. Bull. Antivenin Inst. America 1 (1): 25-27
  • Bogert,C.M. 1940. Herpetological results of the Vernay Angola Expedition. I. Snakes, including an arrangement of the African Colubridae. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 77: 1-107 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1901. Materiaux pour la faune du Congo. Batraciens et reptiles nouveaux. Ann. Mus. Congo Belge, Zool. (sect. C. ser. 1) 2: 7-14.
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Burger, M.; Branch, W.R. & Channing, A. 2004. Amphibians and Reptiles of Monts Doudou, Gabon: Species Turnover Along an Elevational Gradient. California Academy of Sciences Memoir 28: 145–186
  • Carlino, P. & Pauwels, O.S.G. 2015. An Updated Reptile List of Ivindo National Park, the Herpetofaunal Hotspot of Gabon. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 50(3): 25-39 - get paper here
  • Chabanaud, P. 1916. Enumération des Ophidiens non encore étudiés de l'Afrique occidentale, appartenant aux Collections du Muséum avec le description des espèces et des variétés nouvelles. Bull. Mus. natn. Hist. nat. Paris 22: 362-382 - get paper here
  • Chabanaud, P. 1917. Descriptions de trois espéces nouvelles de Reptilies de l'Afrique. Bull. Mus. nat. Hist. nat. Paris 23: 219-225 - get paper here
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • 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. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Hallermann, J. 2007. Zur Geschichte der herpetologischen Sammlung des Zoologischen Museums Hamburgs, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung von Dr. Johann Gustav Fischer (1819 - 1889). Sekretär 7 (1): 20-32 - 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
  • Laurent, R.F. 1956. Contribution à l'herpetologie de la région des Grandes Lacs de l'Afrique centrale. Ann. Mus. Roy. Congo Belge (Sci. Zool.), 48: 1-390
  • Loveridge, Arthur 1941. Report on the Smithsonian-Firestone Expedition's collection of reptiles and amphibians from Liberia. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 91 (3128): 113-140 - get paper here
  • Menzies, J.I. 1966. The snakes of Sierra Leone. Copeia 1966 (2): 169-179. - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G. & Vande Weghe, J.P. 2008. Les reptiles du Gabon. Smithsonian Institution, Washington: 272 pp. - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; David, P. 2008. Miscellanea Herpetologica Gabonica II. Hamadryad 32 (1): 19 – 24 - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; William R. Branch and Marius Burger 2004. REPTILES OF LOANGO NATIONAL PARK, OGOOUÉ-MARITIME PROVINCE, SOUTH-WESTERN GABON. Hamadryad 29 (1): 115 – 127 - get paper here
  • Portik DM, Jongsma GFM, Kouete MT, Scheinberg LA, Freiermuth B, Tapondjou WP, Blackburn DC. 2016. A survey of amphibians and reptiles in the foothills of Mount Kupe, Cameroon. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 10(2) [Special Section]: 37–67 (e131)
  • Rasmussen, J.B. 1989. A taxonomic review of the Dipsadoboa duchesnei complex. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 40 (3/4): 249-264 - get paper here
  • SÁNCHEZ-VIALAS, A., CALVO-REVUELTA, M. & DE LA RIVA, I. 2022. Synopsis of the terrestrial Reptiles of Equatorial Guinea. Zootaxa 5202 (1): 1-197 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K. P. 1923. Contributions to the herpetology of the Belgian Congo based on the collection of the American Museum Congo Expedition, 1909-1915. Part II. Snakes, with field notes by Herbert Lang and James P. Chapin. Bull. Amer. Mus. nat. Hist. 49 (1): 1-146 - get paper here
  • Sternfeld,R. 1908. Die Schlangenfauna von Kamerun. Mitt. zool. Mus. Berlin 3 (4): 397-432 - get paper here
  • Trape, J.F. & R. ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995. Les serpents du Congo: liste commentée et clé de détermination. Journal of African Zoology 109 (1): 31-50
  • 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
  • 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. 1913. Neue oder seltene Reptilien und Frösche des Naturhistorischen Museums in Hamburg. Reptilien der Ostafrika-Expedition der Hamburger Geographischen Gesellschaft 1911/12. Leiter: Dr. E. Obst. Reptilien und Amphibien von Formosa. Jb. Hamb. wiss. Anst., 30 [1912], 2. Beiheft: 1-39, 40-45, 45-51 - get paper here
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