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Liopholidophis grandidieri MOCQUARD, 1904

IUCN Red List - Liopholidophis grandidieri - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaPseudoxyrhophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Grandidier's Water Snake 
SynonymLiopholidophis grandidieri MOCQUARD 1904: 304
Liopholidophis grandidieri — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 338
Liopholidophis grandidieri — WALLACH et al. 2014: 395 
DistributionMadagascar (RNP , Ambohimitombo Forest, Tsinjoarivo)

Type locality: "l'embouchure du Saint-Augustin, Madagascar." Emended to "embouchure du fleuve Saint Augustin (S.O. Madagascar)," fide MNHN catalogue and Guibé, 1958: 218 [=Saint Augustin bay or mouth of Onilahy River, 25 km south of Toliara, southwestern Toliara Province, southwestern Madagascar].  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1902.0103, a 912 (SVL) and 1636 (total length) mm male (G. Grandidier) 
CommentType species: Liopholidophis grandidieri MOCQUARD 1904 is the type species of the genus Liopholidophis MOCQUARD 1904 (WILLIAMS & WALLACH 1989).

All described species of Liopholidophis generally share 17 dorsal scale rows at midbody, and all but L. varius are characterised by an extreme sexual dimorphism in tail length. Males have much longer tails, a higher number of subcaudal scales and usually a longer snout-vent length than females; consequently, their total length is also longer. Cadle (1996a) noted that L. rhadinaea shows remarkable similarities to species of the genus Liophidium in morphology and colouration, making a clear definition and delimitation of these two genera difficult.

Distribution: reports of “Liopholidophis grandidieri” from the Andringitra Massif (Raxworthy and Nussbaum 1996) are apparently based on UMMZ 209474, which has been subsequently reidentified as L. sexlineatus (Gregory E. Schneider, pers. comm., cited in Cadle 2014). 
EtymologyNamed after Alfred Grandidier (1836-1921), French explorer, geographer, and ornithologist who collected in Madagascar (1865). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Cadle, J. E. 1996. Snakes of the genus Liopholidophis (Colubridae) from Eastern Madagascar: New species, revisionary notes, and an estimate of phylogeny. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 154 (5): 369-464. - get paper here
  • Cadle, John E. 2009. Sexual Dimorphism and Reproductive Biology in the Malagasy Snake Genus Liopholidophis (Lamprophiidae: Pseudoxyrhophiinae) Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 60 (15): 461–502
  • Cadle, John E. 2014. Natural History and Taxonomic Notes on Liopholidophis grandidieri Mocquard, an Upland Rain Forest Snake from Madagascar (Serpentes: Lamprophiidae: Pseudoxyrhophiinae). Herp. Cons. Biol. 9 (2): - get paper here
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln (ISBN 3-929449-01-3)
  • Glaw, F.; Nagy, Z.T.; Franzen, M. & Vences, M. 2007. Molecular phylogeny and systematics of the pseudoxyrhophiine snake genus Liopholidophis (Reptilia, Colubridae): evolution of its exceptional sexual dimorphism and descriptions of new taxa. Zoologica Scripta 36: 291–300 - get paper here
  • Mocquard,M.F. 1904. Description de quelques reptiles et d'un batracien nouveaux de la collection du Muséum. Bull. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. Paris 10 (26): 301-309 - 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.
  • Williams, K.L. & Wallach, V. 1989. Snakes of the World. 1. Synopsis of snakes generic names. Krieger, Malabar, Florida, 234 pp.
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