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Lytorhynchus gasperetti LEVITON, 1977

IUCN Red List - Lytorhynchus gasperetti - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Leviton's Leafnose Snake 
SynonymLytorhynchus gasperetti LEVITON 1977
Lytorhynchus gasperetti — WALLACH et al. 2014: 416 
DistributionSaudi Arabia

Type locality: Khasawiyah (16°56'N, 42°37'E), Saudi Arabia  
TypesHolotype: CAS 134150 Paratype: CAS 136477 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A member of the "diadema" group of the genus (Leviton and Anderson, 1970,p. 257) having the rostral broadly truncate, as broad at its base asitswidth atits anterior-most projection; color pattern consisting of 1) a vertebral row of 33 longitudinally rectangular white bars, each narrowly edged by black and connected to one another by a middorsal series of lighter brownish blotches (most prominent on the anterior half of the body), 2) a lateral row of brownish blotches, each lateral blotch centered beneath thewhite vertebral bar and 3) a ventrolateral series of smaller dark blotches on theouter two scale rows that alternate inposition with the lateral markings; dorsal scales moderately keeled; ventrals: male 157, female 165 (Leviton 1977).

Description: Rostral large, pro-jecting, aswide atits anteriormost projection as at its base, extending onto thedorsum of thehead to separate internasals for1/2 of their common suture; prefrontals twice as wide as deep; frontal as long as its distance to theendofthesnout, its width equalto2/3ofitslength; supraoculars narrow, 1/3 as wide as frontal and 2/3 as long; parietals as long and as wide as frontal; nasal shield, twice as long as wide, with crescent-shaped nostral pointing upward and backward and positioned intheupper center of the divided shield; anterior portion of nasal shield i n contact with rostral, anterior half of internasal, and first and anterior 1/4 of second upper labials; posterior half of nasal i n contact with posterior half of internals prefrontal, loreal, and with second and barely with third upper
labials; loreal small, trapezoidal, narrower anteriorly than posteriorly, in contact with prefrontal, two of 4 preoculars and third and fourth upper labials; 4 preoculars, uppermost largest and in contact with prefrontal and supraocular; preoculars two and three slightly smaller, squarish, the third resting upon upper labials four and five; fourth preocular in subocular position, rests upon fifth upper labial, excluding latter shield from border of eye; two postoculars, upper shield almost twice as wide as narrow lower shield; temporals 2+2+3, the lower anterior shield in contact with upper labials 6 through 8, the upper shield in contact with both postoculars; 9 upper labials, 8 the highest, sixth alone bordering eye. Mental twice as broad as deep; 10 lower labials, first pair in contact behind mental, sixth the largest, fourth and fifth prevented from contacting chin shields by two accessory scales on each side; anterior chinshields as long as but twice as broad as posterior pair. Scales in 19 rows at midbody, decreasing to 15 one head's length before the vent; outer three rows of scales on each side smooth, then becoming progressively more strongly keeled mid-dorsally; posteriorly scales more strongly keeled and only outermost row smooth (Leviton 1977).

Coloration: a series of 33 small middorsal dark brown blotches, each connected by white dark edged bars, each bar three to five scale rows long and one and two half scale rows wide; alternating with the dark middorsal blotches are a series
of lighter dark spots on lateral scale rows four through six; a series of paired dark spots, one occupying parts of outer scale rows one and two, the other parts of scale rows two and three; except for dark spots, outer two scale rows pigmentless; venter immaculate. Color pattern of head includes dark spotting on the snout and a poorly defined "hour-glass" figure on the frontals and parietals; a dark labial bar extends from beneath the eye to the mouth on upper labials 6 and part of 7 and from behind the eye to the angle of the jaw covering the postoculars, anterior temporals and upper labials 8 and 9. None of the above markings are sharply defined and there i s a scattering of dark pigment on other shields as well. Nuchal region darkly pigmented with the centers of each scale light (Leviton 1977). 
Etymologynamed after the collector of the type, John Gasperetti (1920-2001), engineer and surveyor of various companies and governments in the Middle East and Field Associate of the Department of Herpetology of the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Egan, D. 2007. Snakes of Arabia. Motivate Publishing, Dubai, 208 pp.
  • Leviton A E 1977. A new lytorhynchid snake. JOURNAL OF THE SAUDI ARABIAN NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY (No. 19): 16-25
  • Torki, Farhang 2017. Description of a new species of Lytorhynchus (Squamata: Colubridae) from Iran. Zoology in the Middle East 63 (2): 109, DOI: 10.1080/09397140.2017.1299319 - 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.
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