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Leiopython fredparkeri SCHLEIP, 2008

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Higher TaxaPythonidae, Henophidia, Pythonoidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Southern whitelip python
E: Karimui Basin whitelip python [fredparkeri]
E: Wau White-lipped Python [montanus] 
SynonymLeiopython hoserae HOSER 2000
Leiopython albertisii bennetti HOSER 2000
Leiopython bennettorum — WÜSTER et al. 2001
Leiopython hoserae — SCHLEIP 2008: 656
Leiopython bennettorum — SCHLEIP 2008: 658
Leiopython fredparkeri SCHLEIP 2008: 659
Bothrochilus hoserae — REYNOLDS et al. 2014
Leiopython meridionalis SCHLEIP 2014
Leiopython montanus SCHLEIP 2014
Bothrochilus fredparkeri — REYNOLDS et al. 2014
Bothrochilus bennettorum — REYNOLDS et al. 2014
Bothrochilus hoserae — REYNOLDS et al. 2014
Bothrochilus montanus — REYNOLDS et al. 2014 (by implication)
Leiopython hoserae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 366
Leiopython bennettorum — WALLACH et al. 2014: 366
Leiopython fredparkeri — WALLACH et al. 2014: 366
Leiopython meridionalis — BARKER et al. 2015
Leiopython fredparkeri — BARKER et al. 2015
Leiopython montanus — BARKER et al. 2015
Leiopython meridionalis — NATUSCH et al. 2020
Leiopython meridionalis — ESQUERRÉ et al. 2020 
DistributionPapua New Guinea (Western Province)

Type locality: Wipim, Western Province, Papua New Guinea

montanus: Papua New Guinea; Type locality: near Wau, Morobe Province, PNG

fredparkeri: Papua New Guinea, elevation 1100-1500 m. Type locality: Karimui, Chimbu District, Simbu Province, PNG  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 107150
Holotype: BPBM 5452 [montanus]
Holotype: CAS 118906, A large male (everted hemipenes) collected by F. Parker 7 July 1967 [fredparkeri] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Leiopython meridionalis is distinguished from L. albertisii by dark grey, brown or black dorsal colouration (versus dark yellow or golden in L. albertisii); absence of small specks of white patterning on the postocular scales in all specimens; generally a single pair of parietal scales (as opposed to two pairs in most L. albertisii); and a higher mean number of dorsal midbody scales and fewer ventral scales than L. al- bertisii. Relative to its body length, L. meridionalis has a longer and wider head than L. albertisii and preliminary data suggest that L. mer- idionalis grows to a larger maximum body size (Natusch and Lyons, 2012). Leiopython meridionalis is easily differentiated from L. albertisii on the basis of molecular genetic information (Natusch et al. 2020). 
CommentSynonymy: Natusch et al. 2020 synonymized L. montanus and L. fredparkeri (including their synonyms) with L. meridionalis, but fredparkeri has priority over meridionalis. 
EtymologyThe specific name meridionalis derives from the Latin for ‘southern,’ in reference to the fact that this species was often referred to as the southern form of White-Lipped Pythons.

The specific name montanus derives from the Latin adjective for ‘living on a hill,’ in reference to the topography near the town of Wau.

L. fredparkeri was named in honor of the collector of these and many other specimens, the herpetologist Fred Parker, Townsville, Australia. 
  • Barker, D. G., Barker, T. M., Davis, M. A. and Schuett, G. W. 2015. A review of the systematics and taxonomy of Pythonidae: an ancient serpent lineage. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 175 (1): 1-19; doi: 10.1111/zoj.12267 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Esquerré, Damien; Stephen Donnellan, Ian G Brennan, Alan R Lemmon, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Hussam Zaher, Felipe G Grazziotin, J Scott Keogh 2020. Phylogenomics, Biogeography, and Morphometrics Reveal Rapid Phenotypic Evolution in Pythons After Crossing Wallace’s Line. Systematic Biology, 69 (6): 1039–1051 - get paper here
  • Hoser, Raymond 2000. A Revision of the Australasian pythons. Ophidia Review 1: 7-27
  • Natusch, Daniel J.D. et al. 2020. Phylogenomics, biogeography and taxonomic revision of New Guinean pythons (Pythonidae, Leiopython) harvested for international trade. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham; Matthew L. Niemiller, Liam J. Revell 2014. Toward a Tree-of-Life for the boas and pythons: Multilocus species-level phylogeny with unprecedented taxon sampling. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 71: 201–213 [published online in 2013] - get paper here
  • Schleip, Wulf D 2008. Revision of the Genus Leiopython Hubrecht 1879 (Serpentes: Pythonidae) with the Redescription of Taxa Recently Described by Hoser (2000) and the Description of New Species. Journal of Herpetology 42 (4): 645 - get paper here
  • Schleip, Wulf D. 2014. Two New Species of Leiopython Hubecht, 1879 (Pythonidae: Serpentes): Non-Compliance with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature Leads to Unavailable Names in Zoological Nomenclature. Journal of Herpetology Jun 2014, Vol. 48, No. 2: 272-275. - 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.
  • Werning, H. 2009. Das Serpentarium des Snakeparadise in Eschlikon in der Schweiz. Reptilia (Münster) 14 (79): 76-82 - get paper here
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