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Elaphe moellendorffi (BOETTGER, 1886)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Flower Snake, Moellendorf’s rat snake
G: Moellendorffs Kletternatter / Blumennatter
Chinese: 百花锦蛇 
SynonymCynophis Moellendorffi BOETTGER 1886: 520
Coluber moellendorffi — BOULENGER 1894: 56
Elaphe moellendorffii STEJNEGER 1907
Elaphe möllendorffii — MELL 1931 [1929]
Elaphe moellendorffi — SMITH 1943: 153
Amblycephalus moellendorffii — DEUVE 1961: 30
Elaphe moellendorffi — SCHULZ 1996
Orthriophis moellendorffi — UTIGER et al. 2002
Elaphe moellendorffi — ZHAO 2006
Orthriophis moellendorffi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 512
Elaphe moellendorffi — CHEN et al. 2017
Orthriophis moellendorfii — HARRINGTON et al. 2018 
DistributionChina (Guangxi, Guangdong),
N Vietnam (Hoa Binh), Laos ?

Type locality: China: Guangxi, Nanning (Boettger, 1886)  
TypesHolotype: SMF 18476 (Boettger Kat. 8056,1a) 
CommentDistribution: Erroneously reported from Hong Kong. Possibly in Yunnan (China) but records from there are questionable (Wang et al. 2022).

Type species: Cynophis Moellendorffi BOETTGER 1886 is the type species of the genus Orthriophis UTIGER et al. 2002, which has been synonymized (again) with Elaphe by Chen et al. 2017.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic name Martinekea Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected its use instead of Orthriophis.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • Boettger, O. 1886. Diagnoses reptilium novorum ab ill. viris O. Herz et Consule Dr. O. Fr. de Moellendorff in Sina meridionali repertorum. Zool. Anz. 9: 519-520 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1894. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, xi, 382 pp. - get paper here
  • Chen, X., Lemmon, A.R., Lemmon, E.M., Alexander Pyron, R., Burbrink, F.T. 2017. Using phylogenomics to understand the link between biogeographic origins and regional diversification in ratsnakes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Deuve, J. 1961. Liste annotee des Serpents du Laos. Bull. Soc. Sci. Nat. Laos 1:5-32.
  • Gumprecht, A. 2003. Anmerkungen zu den Chinesischen Kletternattern der Gattung Elaphe (sensu lato) FITZINGER 1833. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (44): 37-41 - get paper here
  • Gumprecht, A. 2003. Orthriophis moellendorffi (BOETTGER 1886). Sauria (Suppl.) 25 (3): 603-608 - 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
  • Henderson, C.C. 1975. The captive breeding of the snake, Elaphe moellendorffi Copeia 1975 (3): 583-584. - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2012. A taxonomic revision of the Colubrinae genera Zamenis and Orthriophis with the creation of two new genera (Serpentes: Colubridae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 11: 59-64 - get paper here
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • Kunz, K. 2015. Dauerbrenner im Terrarium: Nattern. Reptilia (Münster) 20 (115): 18-27 - get paper here
  • Laita, Mark 2013. Serpentine. Abrams and PQ Blackwell, Auckland, New Zealand, 200 unnumbered pages
  • Lenk, P.; Joger, U. & Wink, M. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships among European ratsnakes of the genus Elaphe Fitzinger based on mitochondrial DNA sequence comparisons. Amphibia-Reptilia 22 (3): 329-339 - get paper here
  • Mell,R. 1931. List of Chinese snakes. Lingnan Sci. Jour., Canton, 8 [1929]: 199-219.
  • Nguyen, S.V., Ho, C.T. and Nguyen, T.Q. 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
  • Nguyen, Truong Quang; Tan Van Nguyen, Cuong The Pham, An Vinh Ong & Thomas Ziegler 2018. New records of snakes (Squamata: Serpentes) from Hoa Binh Province, northwestern Vietnam. Bonn zoological Bulletin 67 (1): 15–24 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Pham AV, Ziegler T, Nguyen TQ 2020. New records and an updated checklist of snakes from Son La Province, Vietnam. Biodiversity Data Journal 8: e52779 - get paper here
  • Qi, S., Shi, J. S., Ma, Y. B., Gao, Y. F., Bu, S. H., Grismer, L. L., Li, P.P. & Wang, Y. Y. 2021. A sheep in wolf's clothing: Elaphe xiphodonta sp. nov.(Squamata, Colubridae) and its possible mimicry to Protobothrops jerdonii. ZooKeys 1048: 23-47 - get paper here
  • Riel, C.A.P. van & H. Claessen 1983. Troubles with Elaphe moellendorffi (Boettger, 1886). Litteratura Serpentium 3 (2/3)82-87 - get paper here
  • Romer, J.D. 1953. Coloration of the Snake Elaphe moellendorffi Copeia 1953 (2): 123-124. - get paper here
  • Schulz, K. D. 1996. Eine Monographie der Schlangengattung Elaphe Fitzinger. Bushmaster, Berg (CH): 1-460
  • Schulz, K.-D. 1988. Die hinterasiatischen Kletternattern der Gattung Elaphe, Teil 13 Elaphe moellendorffi (BOETTGER, 1886). Sauria 10 (2): 27-29 - get paper here
  • Schulz, K.-D. 1998. Bemerkungen zur Pflege und Zucht von Elaphe moellendorffi (Boettger, 1886). Sauria 20 (4): 47-50 - get paper here
  • Schulz, Klaus-Dieter 1996. A monograph of the colubrid snakes of the genus Elaphe Fitzinger. Koeltz Scientific Books, 439 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.
  • Switak, Karl H. 2006. Adventures in Green Python Country. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 364 pp. - get paper here
  • Utiger, Urs, Notker Helfenberger, Beat Schätti, Catherine Schmidt, Markus Ruf and Vincent Ziswiler 2002. Molecular systematics and phylogeny of Old World and New World ratsnakes, Elaphe Auct., and related genera (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 9 (2): 105-124. - 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.
  • Wang K, Lyu ZT, Wang J, Qi S, Che J 2022. Updated Checklist and Zoogeographic Division of the Reptilian Fauna of Yunnan Province, China. Biodiversity Science 30 (4): 21326, 1–31 - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Wang, Y.Q.; Zhou, K.Y.; Xu, L.S.; Yang, G.; Xu, G.J. 1999. The Evolutionary Relationships of Several Colubrid Snakes Suggested by Sequence Analysis of Cyt b Gene Fragment. Acta Zoologica Sinica 45:332-338
  • Winchell, S. 2003. The wide world of snakes in China. Reptilia (GB) (31): 12-21 - get paper here
  • Winchell, S. 2003. Die vielfältige Welt chinesischer Schlangen. Reptilia (Münster) 8 (44): 20-29 - get paper here
  • Zhao, E.M. 2006. The snakes of China [in Chinese]. Hefei, China, Anhui Sience & Technology Publ. House, Vol. I, 372 pp., Vol. II (color plates), 280 pp.
  • Zhao,E. & Adler,K. 1993. Herpetology of China. SSAR, Oxford/Ohio, 1-522
  • ZIEGLER, THOMAS; RALF HENDRIX, VU NGOC THANH, MARTINA VOGT, BERNHARD FORSTER & DANG NGOC KIEN 2007. The diversity of a snake community in a karst forest ecosystem in the central Truong Son, Vietnam, with an identification key. Zootaxa 1493: 1-40 - get paper here
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