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Malpolon moilensis (REUSS, 1834)

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Higher TaxaPsammophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Moila Snake
G: Moilanatter 
SynonymColuber moilensis REUSS 1834: 142
Coelopeltis producta GERVAIS 1857
Rhagerrhis moilensis — PETERS 1862
Rhagerrhis producta — SCLATER 1891:26
Coelopeltis producta — WERNER 1894: 85
Coelopeltis moilensis — BOULENGER 1896
Coelopeltis moilensis — ANDERSON 1901: 150
Coelopeltis cordofanensis WERNER 1919: 506 (fide BÖHME & DE PURY 2011)
Rhamphiophis septentrionalis ANGEL 1923: 226 (fide CHIPPAUX 2006)
Malpolon moilensis — PARKER 1931: 522
Coelopeltis moilensis — ANGEL 1932: 386
Malpolon moilensis — HAAS 1957: 80
Rhamphiophis moilensis — KRAMER & SCHNURRENBERGER 1963
Malpolon moilensis — LEVITON & ANDERSON 1967: 182
Rhamphiophis maradiensis CHIRIO & INEICH 1991 (fide TRAPE & MANÉ 2006: 10)
Malpolon moilensis — MATTISON 1995: 221
Scutophis moilensis — BRANDSTÄTTER 1995
Malpolon moilensis — SCHLEICH, KÄSTLE & KABISCH 1996: 499
Scutophis moilensis — GENIEZ et al. 2000: 156
Scutophis moilensis — GENIEZ et al. 2004
Scutophis moilensis — SCHLÜTER 2005
Malpolon moilensis —TRAPE & MANÉ 2006
Scutophis moilensis — PADIAL 2006
Malopolon moilensis — MATTISON 2007: 245 (in error)
Malopolon moilensis — GRUBER 2009: 152 (in error)
Malpolon moilensis — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 548
Scutophis moilensis — BARATA et al. 2011
Rhagerhis moilensis — BÖHME & DE PURY 2011
Rhagerhis moilensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 645
Rhagerhis maradiensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 633
Malpolon moilensis — FIGUEROA et al. 2016
Rhagerhis moilensis — TRAPE & MANÉ 2017
Rhagerhis moilensis — BAUER et al. 2017
Rhagerhis moilensis — CARRANZA et al. 2018
Malpolon moilensis — CHIPPAUX & JACKSON 2019: 246
Rhamphiophis maradiensis — CHIPPAUX & JACKSON 2019: 278
Rhagerhis moilensis — BURRIEL-CARRANZA et al. 2019
Rhagerhis moilensis — MARTÍNEZ et al. 2019 
DistributionMorocco ?, Western Sahara, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Sinai, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, SW Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait,
Mauritania, Niger, Mali, Sudan (Jumhūriyyat), Eritrea, Ghana ?

Type locality: Moilah (= Al Muwaylih), Saudi Arabia.

Rhamphiophis maradiensis: Niger (Maradi); Type locality: “aux environs de Gari'n Bakwai, 50 km au sud-ouest de Maradi. au Niger”;  
TypesHolotype: SMF 20017, Syntype: ZMB 2635 (fide J. Hallermann, pers. comm.)
Holotype: MNHN 1989-2739, female [Rhamphiophis maradiensis]
Syntype: ZMB 10831 [Coelopeltis producta] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus Rhagerhis): (1) the skull structure (Szyndlar 1988) that results in the typical head shape of Moila snakes (see also Brandstätter 1996); (2) elongated neck ribs that are on average 3 mm longer than in equal-sized Malpolon (for details see de Pury 2010, and Fig. 2) and facilitate the spreading of the neck into a hood-shaped pattern (Fig. 1) characteristic of R. moilensis; (3) the dorsal scale microdermatoglyphic pattern that is drastically different in Rhagerhis moilensis as compared with both Mal­polon insignitus and M. monspessulanus (Böhme & Pury 2011). 
CommentType speces: Coelopeltis producta GERVAIS 1857 is the type species of the genus Rhagerhis PETERS 1862: 274. For a diagnosis of the genus see BÖHME & DE PURY 2011.

Synonymy: TRAPE & MANÉ 2006 synonymized Rhamphiophis maradiensis CHIRIO & INEICH 1991 with Rhagerhis (Malpolon) moilensis. However, L. Chirio (pers. comm. 23 May 2013) disagrees, because “Malpolon (Scutophis) moilensis presents a caracteristic agressive behaviour, producing a flat neck a bit like a Naja. Then this species always shows 2 big dark spots on the edges of the neck. R. maradiensis doesn't show neither these spots, nor the agressive behaviour. It is a very timid snake, also thinner than M. moilensis.”

Phylogenetics: we follow Figueroa et al. 2016 for the position of Rhagerhis within Malpolon, even though few recent authors seem to follow that arrangement.

Type species: Coluber moilensis REUSS 1834 is the type species of Scutophis BRANDSTÄTTER 1995. Coelopeltis productus is the type species of the genus Rhagerhis PETERS 1862.

Distribution: see map in Sindaco et al. 2013: 288 (map 126), who has only one record from Sudan. See map in Burriel-Carranza et al. 2019 for map in UAE. 
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