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Lycophidion jacksoni BOULENGER, 1893

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesLycophidion jacksoni jacksoni BOULENGER 1893
Lycophidion jacksoni occidentale TRAPE 2021 
Common NamesE: Western Jackson’s Wolf Snake
E: Western Jackson's Wolf Snake [occidentale] 
SynonymLycophidion jacksoni BOULENGER 1893: 340
Lycophidium abyssinicum BOULENGER 1893: 342
Lycophidion irroratum — SCHMIDT 1923 (fide LAURENT 1968)
Lycophidium abyssinicum — CALABRESI 1925: 106
Lycophidium abyssinicum — ANGEL 1925
Lycophidium abyssinicum — SCORTECCI 1929: 299
Lycophidion capense jacksoni — LAURENT 1968
Lycophidion capense jacksoni — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 25
Lycophidion capense jacksoni — BROADLEY & HUGHES 1993
Lycophidion capense jacksoni — BROADLEY 1996
Lycophidion jacksoni jacksoni — TRAPE 2021

Lycophidion jacksoni occidentale TRAPE 2021
Lycophidion jacksoni occidentale TRAPE 2021
Lycophidion capense (non Lycophidion capense Smith) — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006: 48 (in part) 
DistributionS Sudan (Jumhūriyyat), Republic of South Sudan (RSS), Ethiopia, NE Zaire, Uganda, W Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, W Tanzania (SE to the Uzungwa mountains and Morogoro);

Type locality: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

occidentale: Cameroon, Central African Republic; Type locality: “Tibati au Cameroun (6°28’N, 12°38’E, altitude 870 m).”  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH
Holotype: MNHN 2002.0968; Paratypes: Six spécimens du Cameroun et quatre spécimens de République centrafricaine : MNHN 2002.0970 de Somié (Cameroun : 6°23’N, 11°25’E, altitude 755 m), MNHN 2002.0948 de Mboula (Cameroun : 6°41’N, 13°59’E, altitude 925 m), MNHN 2002.0943 de Awing (Cameroun : 5°50’N, 10°15’E, altitude 1570 m), MNHN 2002.0943 de Yimbéré (Cameroun : 6°20’N, 11°34’E, altitude 770 m), MNHN 2002.0972 de Foumban (Cameroun : 5°43’N, 10°53’E, altitude 1180 m), MNHN 1999.6590 des Monts Bamboutos (Cameroun : approximativement 5°38’N, 10°03’E, altitude environ 2400 m), MNHN 2002.973 de Berberati (République centrafricaine : 4°15’N, 15°47’E, altitude 590 m), MNHN 1996.6754 de Bossembélé (République centrafricaine : 5°16’N, 17°38’E, altitude 690 m), MNHN 1996.6756 de Mboki (République centrafricaine : 5°18’N, 25°57’E, altitude 610 m) et MNHN 1997.3604 de Sangba (République centrafricaine : 7°55’N, 20°55’E, altitude 595 m) [occidentale] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (jacksoni). Nostril pierced at the posterior edge of the nasal, bordered by a postnasal that is in contact with the first supralabial. Dorsal scales with single apical pits in 17- 17-15 rows, the reduction taking place well before the
vent; ventrals 173-199 in males, 178-200 in females; subcaudals 36-45 in males, 25-38 in females (Broadley 1996).

Original Description: Diameter of the eye not greater than its distance from the mouth. Rostral twice as broad as deep, visible from above; internasals about as large as the nasals præfrontals a little longer than broad frontal a littie longer than broad, as long as its distance from the rostral, much shorter than the parietals; loreal longer than deep; præocular as large as the supraocular, broadly in contact with the frontal: two postoculars, both in contact with the parietal; temporals 1+2; eight upper labials, third, fourth, and fifth entering the eye chin-shields very small, the anterior in contact with four lower labials. Scales in 17 rows. Ventral 164-189; anal entire; subcaudals 28-33. Olive-grey above and beneath, the scales with
or without whitish dots. Total length 550 millim.; tail 55.” (based on 2 female specimens, Boulenger 1893: 340)

Coloration (jacksoni): Dark brown; an ill-defined pale band round the snout, but top of head usually immaculate; each dorsal scale with a pale apical spot. Juveniles pale below, but ventrum darkens from the tail anteriorly, so that adults are dark below except for the throat and free edges of the ventrals. Skull elongate, with well developed parietal crests which are convergent posteriorly (Broadley 1996).

Diagnosis (occidentale). “Lycophidion jacksoni occidentale ssp. nov. du Cameroun et de la République Centrafricaine diffère de la sous-espèce nominative L. j. jacksoni de Tanzanie, du Kenya, d’Ouganda, du Rwanda, du Burundi et de l’est du Congo-Kinshasa par l’absence de bande et de vermiculations blanches autour du museau, celui-ci étant toujours noirâtre ainsi que le reste de la tête. Il présente par ailleurs la combinaison de caractères suivante : dorsales sur 17/17/15 rangs, une seule fossette apicale, première supralabiale en contact avec la postnasale, de 182 à 185 ventrales chez les mâles et de 188 à 202 ventrales chez les femelles, de 36 à 40 sous-caudales chez les mâles et de 30 à 37 sous-caudales chez les femelles, dos entièrement noirâtre sauf le rebord postérieur des écailles dorsales qui présente un croissant clair très apparent sur les écailles des flancs, gorge blanchâtre contrastant avec le reste de la face ventrale qui est noirâtre à l’exception du bord libre des écailles ventrales.” (Trape 2021).

Diagnosis (occidentale): Lycophidion jacksoni occidentalis ssp. nov. from Cameroon and the Central African Republic differs from the nominative subspecies L. j. jacksoni from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Congo-Kinshasa by the absence of a stripe and white vermiculations around the snout, this being always blackish as well as the rest of the head. It also has the following combination of characters: dorsal scales in 17/17/15 rows, a single apical dimple, first supralabial in contact with the postnasal, from 182 to 185 ventrals in males and from 188 to 202 ventrals in females, 36 to 40 sub-caudals in males and 30 to 37 sub-caudals in females, entirely blackish back except for the posterior edge of the dorsal scales which has a very apparent light crescent on the scales of the flanks, whitish throat contrasting with the rest of the ventral side which is blackish except for the free edge of the ventral scales. 
CommentSubspecies: see also Lycophidion capense.

Synonymy: see also Lycophidion capense.

Map: Laurent 1968: 482, Broadley 1996 (including subspecies), Trape 2021: Fig. 1. 
EtymologyApparently after the collector of the type, F.J. Jackson (Esq.)

The subspecies epithet, occidentale, comes from Latin occidentāle (neuter singular of occidentālis, "western, westerly"). It is a reference to its most geographical location Western Central Africa for all species and subspecies of the capense group.
  • Angel, Fernand 1925. Résultats Scientifiques. Vertebrata. Reptiles et Batraciens. [Mabuia (Mabuiopsis) jeanneli, Lygosoma graueri quinquedigitata, Ablepharus massaiensis]. In: Voyage de Ch. Alluaud et R. Jeannel en Afrique Orientale (1911-1912). - Paris, 2: 1-63.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1996. A revision of the genus Lycophidion Fitzinger (Serpentes: Colubridae) in Africa south of the equator. Syntarsus 3: 1-33. - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. & Hughes,B. 1993. A review of the genus Lycophidion (Serpentes: Colubridae) in northeastern Africa. The Herpetological Journal 3 (1): 8-18 - get paper here
  • Calabresi, Enrica 1925. Anfibi e rettili raccolti dal Signor Ugo Ignesti nell'Abissinia settentrionale. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano 64: 100-109 - get paper here
  • Laurent, R.F. 1968. A re-examination of the snake genus Lycophidion Duméril & Bibron. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harvard 136 (12): 461-482 - get paper here
  • Scortecci, G. 1929. Rettili dell'Eritrea esistenti nelle Collezioni del Museo Civico de Milano. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali, e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milano 67 (3-4): 290-339 [1928] - get paper here
  • Trape, J.-F. 2021. Trois serpents nouveaux du genre Lycophidion Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata : Lamprophiidae) en Afrique centrale. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 178: 24-37
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