Hebius venningi (WALL, 1910)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Hebius venningi?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Chin Hills Keelback|
|Synonym||Tropidonotus venningi WALL 1910: 345|
Natrix venningi WALL 1910
Tropidonotus venningi — VENNING 1911: 773
Tropidonotus venningi — WERNER 1929: 15 & 24 (in part)
Natrix venningi WALL 1923
Natrix venningi venningi — SMITH 1940: 483
Natrix venningi — SMITH 1943: 286
Amphiesma venningi MALNATE 1960
Paranatrix venningi — MAHENDRA 1984
Amphiesma venningi venningi — WELCH 1988: 34
Amphiesma venningi — DAVID et al. 2007
Hebius venningi — GUO et al. 2014
Amphiesma venningi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 34
Hebius venningi — DAVID et al. 2021
|Distribution||India (Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh), N Myanmar (= Burma; Chin state)|
Type locality: Haka Chin Hills, Burma
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 19184.108.40.206, male, Paralectotypes: BMNH 19220.127.116.11, BMNH 1918.104.22.168, juvenile|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A moderately to large sized species of the genus Hebius characterized by the combination of (1) 17–18-17-16–17 dorsal scale rows, moderately keeled at midbody, strongly keeled posteriorly but 1st DSR smooth; (2) scales around the base of the tail strongly keeled; (3) head moderately distinct from the neck; (4) eye rather large; (5) maxillary teeth 28–30, the last two moderately enlarged; (6) tail long, with a ratio TaL/TL usually > 0.30; (7) VEN 155–172; (8) SC 115–129; (9) prefrontal scales 2; (10) anterior temporal rectangular, narrowing anteriorly; (11) venter never entirely dark along the whole length of the body: venter pale yellowish-grey or pale yellowish- brown (usually pink or coral-red in life, sometimes dark yellow) mesially, at least on the anterior part of the body, with outer parts of ventrals heavily and broadly clouded with darker hues of brown or dark brown; these dark areas extend progressively more widely inwards giving a dark, clouded venter posteriorly; (12) dorsum and sides olive- brown, olive-grey, dark grey, brown to dark brown or sometimes blackish-brown (same in preservative and in life); (13) dorsal surface distinctly chequered by the presence on sides and upper part of the body of diffuse, elongate or rectangular blackish-brown or very dark grey blotches; (14) a dorsolateral series of irregular blotches, yellow-ochre or yellowish-brown (brighter yellow-ochre or yellowish-brown in life), enlarged and forming a chain on the first quarter to third of the body, progressively smaller, usually vanishing after midbody; (15) a dark postocular streak usually present; and (16) an ochre-yellow or yellowish-brown streak on each side of the neck and nape forming an incomplete collar.|
Description: see David et al. 2021 for a detailed description.
Sexual dimorphism. It is expressed in the following characters:
(1) Weakly by the difference in the number of ventral scales: males: 164–167 (mean = 165.5, SD (standard deviation) = 1.7); females: 157–165 (mean = 160.0, SD = 4.4). (2) Strongly by the difference in the position of the reduction from 8 to 6 scale rows around the tail (counted in number of subcaudals): males: SC 19–24; females: SC 4–9. (3) Strongly by the difference in length of the portion of tail with 6 dorsal scale rows/length of the portion of tail with 4 dorsal scale rows: 2.1–2.5 in 4 males, 1.0–1.4 in 2 females (David et al. 2021).
|Comment||Subspecies: some authors have considered Amphiesma taronensis (SMITH 1940) as a subspecies of A. venningi. The status of A. taronense still seems to be a bit unclear.|
Diet: tadpoles and frogs (David et al. 2021).
Distribution: not in Yunnan (China).
|Etymology||Named after Brigadier Francis Esmond Wingate Venning (1882-1970) wwho served in the Indian army (1902-1933) and was an ornithologist and zoologist.|
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