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Karnsophis siantaris MURPHY & VORIS, 2013

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Higher TaxaHomalopsidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Sumatran Short-tailed Snake 
SynonymKarnsophis siantaris MURPHY & VORIS 2013
Brachyorrhos albus – BLEEKER 1857a: 472
Brachyorrhos albus – BLEEKER 1860: 286
Brachyorrhos albus – LUDEKING 1867: 50
Karnsophis siantaris — MURPHY & VORIS 2013
Karnsophis siantaris — MURPHY & VORIS 2014: 9
Karnophis siantaris — O’SHEA & KAISER 2016 (in error) 
DistributionIndonesia (Sumatra)

Type locality: Siantar, Sumatera Utara, Sumatra, Indonesia (~1°58' N, 99°47' E).  
TypesHolotype: USNM 103578, an adult male. The holotype was collected in 1937, the collector is unknown, but see discussion in Murphy & Voris 2013. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): A fangless homalopsid with 19 scale rows (not reduced posteriorly) distinguished from Brachyorrhos by depressed skull; rostral not visible from above; eye diameter greater than eye-mouth distance; countersunk lower jaw; and laterally compressed tail. Distinguished from Calamophis by 19 scale rows just anterior to vent (17 in Calamophis); divided internasal (single in Calamophis); divided nasal scale (single in Calamophis); and two postoculars (one in Calamophis). Premaxillary absent and nasal bones greatly reduced in size. Neural spine present on atlas (absent in Brachyorrhos).

Diagnosis (genus): Fangless, with 19 scale rows not reduced posteriorly; depressed skull, rostral not visible from above; eye diameter greater than the eye–mouth distance, slightly countersunk lower jaw, laterally compressed tail; premaxillary bone is absent (MURPHY & VORIS 2014).

Diagnosis: Rostral not visible from above (visible in Brachyorrhos), jaw slightly countersunk, upper jaw extending over lower jaw with anterior border mental posterior to posterior border internasal (in Brachyorrhos anterior edge of mental meeting anterior edge first labial and lower jaw not countersunk); eye diameter is greater than eye-mouth distance (in Brachyorrhos eye diameter equal to, or less than eye-mouth distance); primary temporal longer than supraocular (in Brachyorrhos temporal shorter than supraocular); nasal scale equal to the length of the first two labials (in Brachyorrhos nasal scale shorter, ca. 75% of the length of the first two labials); head depressed, ca. 35% of head length, (in Brachyorrhos head height ca. 65% of head width); tail laterally compressed, at mid-tail width ca. 72% of height (in B. albus tail width ca. 90% of the height at mid-tail). 
CommentType species: Karnsophis siantaris MURPHY & VORIS 2013 is the type species of the genus Karnsophis MURPHY & VORIS 2013.

Known only from the type specimen.

Diet: Stomach contains a very well digested frog with visible eggs and toes. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality, Siantar.

Etymology (genus): Named in honor of Daryl R. Karns for his contributions to homalopsid snake biology. 
  • Murphy, J.C. & Voris, H.K. 2013. An Unusual, Fangless Short-tailed Snake (Squamata, Serpentes, Homalopsidae) from Sumatra, Indonesia. Asian Herpetological Research 4 (2): 140–146
  • Murphy, J.C. & Voris, H.K. 2014. A Checklist and Key to the Homalopsid Snakes (Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes), with the Description of New Genera. FIELDIANA: LIFE AND EARTH SCIENCES (8): 1–43 - get paper here
  • O’Shea M and Kaiser H. 2016. The first female specimen of the poorly known Arfak Stout-tailed Snake, Calamophis sharonbrooksae Mur- phy, 2012 (Serpentes: Colubroidea: Homalopsidae), from the Vogelkop Peninsula of Indonesian West New Guinea, with comments on the taxonomic history Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 10(2) [General Section]: 1–10 (e122)
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