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Dipsadoboa flavida (BROADLEY & STEVENS, 1971)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesDipsadoboa flavida flavida (BROADLEY & STEVENS 1971)
Dipsadoboa flavida broadleyi RASMUSSEN 1989 
Common Namesbroadleyi: Cross-barred Tree Snake 
SynonymChamaetortus aulicus flavidus BROADLEY & STEVENS 1971
Dipsadoboa aulica flavida — RASMUSSEN 1979: 152
Dipsadoboa flavida — RASMUSSEN 1989
Dipsadaboa flavida — LILLYWHITE 2014: 128 (in error, see comment)
Dipsadoboa flavida — WALLACH et al. 2014: 231
Dipsadoboa flavida — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 528

Dipsadoboa flavida broadleyi RASMUSSEN 1989
Dipsadoboa flavida broadleyi — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 31
Dipsadoboa flavida broadleyi — MALONZA et al. 2006
Dipsadoboa flavida broadleyi — BRANCH et al. 2019 
DistributionS Malawi, S Somalia, coastal Kenya and Tanzania, to S Mozambique (Dipsadoboa flavida flavida)

broadleyi: S Somalia, SE Kenya, E Tanzania, S Mozambique (isolated reocords); Type locality: Mziha, Tanzania.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.8.33
Holotype: CAS 85748, an adult male collected by Leech and Ross at Mziha (5.55S 37.45E-475 m), Tanzania, 13 November, 1957. Paratypes: ZMUC, SMNS 2751 and 2752 [broadleyi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: An endemic form of Dipsadoboa from southern Malawi which predominantly occurs in dense thickets of Golden Bamboo in the vicinity of water, and which has the following character combination: dorsals in 17-17-13 rows; ventrals 193-206 iri males and 188- 197 in females; subcaudals 97-106 in males and 93-97 in females; 15-18 + II + 1 max- illary teeth; juveniles and semiadults pale with a characteristic pattern of 65-95 brown blotches between nape and vent; in adults the brown spots become more or less con- fluent posteriorly, but even in the largest specimen the adult pattern is retained anteriorly; tongue white distally, with a black band proximal to bifurcation; anal glands extend to subcaudal no. 4-6 [from RASMUSSEN 1989].

Diagnosis (broadleyi): An East African (south Somalia to south Mozambique) form of Dipsadoboa which predominantly occurs in bamboos or miwale palms, and which has the following char- acter combination: dorsals in 17-17 (rarely 15)-13 (rarely 11or 12) rows; ventrals 177-197 in males and 170-194 in females; subcaudals 90-100 in males and 79-100 in females; 13-16 + II + 1 maxillary teeth; juveniles and adults with a characteristic pat- tern of 58-82 whitish spots more or less confluent into closely-set cross-bars, in larger specimens the bars become indistinct posteriorly; tongue white distally, with a black band proximal to bifurcation; anal glands extend to subcaudals no. 4-6 [from RASMUSSEN 1989]. 
CommentKriton Kunz, in a book review (Reptilia 20 [114]: 75) stated that the Dipsadoboa in Lillywhite is actually a Crotaphopeltis.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • BRANCH, WILLIAM R.; JULIAN BAYLISS, GABRIELA B. BITTENCOURT-SILVA, WERNER CONRADIE, HANLIE M. ENGELBRECHT, SIMON P. LOADER, MICHELE MENEGON, CRISTÓVÃO NANVONAMUQUITXO, KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY 2019. A new species of tree snake (Dipsadoboa, Serpentes: Colubridae) from ‘sky island’ forests in northern Mozambique, with notes on other members of the Dipsadoboa werneri group. Zootaxa 4646 (3): 541–563 - 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, D.G. & STEVENS,R.A. 1971. A review of Chamaetortus aulicus GÜNTHER, with the description of a new subspecies from Malawi (Serpentes: Colubridae). Arnoldia 11 (5): 1-11
  • 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
  • Lanza, B. 1990. Amphibians and reptiles of the Somali Democratic Republic: check list and biogeography. Biogeographia, 14: 407-465 [1988] - get paper here
  • Lillywhite, H.B. 2022. Discovering snakes in wild places. ECO Publishing, Rodeo, NM, 164 pp. - get paper here
  • Lillywhite, Harvey B. 2014. How Snakes Work: Structure, Function and Behavior of the World's Snakes. Oxford University Press, New York, 256 pp
  • Malonza, Patrick K.; David M. Mulwa, Joash O. Nyamache, Georgina Jones 2017. Biogeography of the Shimba Hills ecosystem herpetofauna in Kenya. Zoological Research 38(5): 1-11 - get paper here
  • Malonza, Patrick K.; Victor D. Wasonga, Vincent Muchai , Damaris Rotich, Beryl A. Bwong; A.M. Bauer 2006. DIVERSITY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY OF HERPETOFAUNA OF THE TANA RIVER PRIMATE NATIONAL RESERVE, KENYA. Journal of East African Natural History 95(2): 95–109 - get paper here
  • Muchai, Vincent & Patrick Malonza 2011. The reptiles and amphibians of Kibwezi Forest, Ngulia and Chyulu Hills. Kenya Past and Present (39): 45-49 - get paper here
  • Pietersen, Darren, Verburgt, Luke & Davies, John 2021. Snakes and other reptiles of Zambia and Malawi. Struik Nature / Penguin Random House South Africa, 376 pp., ISBN 9781775847373
  • Rasmussen,J.B. 1989. On the taxonomic status of Dipsadoboa aulica aulica GÜNTHER and D. aulica flavida BROADLEY & STEVENS, with tthe description of a new subspecies of D. flavida BROADLEY & STEVENS (Boiginae, Serpentes). Amphibia-Reptilia 10: 35-62 - get paper here
  • Schlüter, A. & Hallermann, J. 1997. The Type Specimens in the Herpetological Collection of the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde in Stuttgart. Stuttgarter Beitr. Naturk. Ser. A (553): 1-15 - 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
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 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.
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