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Mehelya egbensis DUNGER, 1966

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Dunger's File Snake 
SynonymMehelya egbensis DUNGER 1966: 2
Gonionotophis egbensis — KELLY et al. 2011
Mehelya egbensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 425
Mehelya egbensis — BROADLEY et al. 2018
Gonionotophis egbensis — CHIPPAUX & JACKSON 2019: 212 

Type locality: "Egbe, Nigeria (latitude 8˚14'N., longitude 5˚31'E.)." [Kwana State].  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 96100, a 235 mm male (D. Warren, Oct. 1964). 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: A small species belonging to the genus Mehelya but readily distinguished from al other members of the group in having fewer ventrals, fewer subcaudals, fewer maxillary teeth, and a narrow rostral that projects well beyond the anterior edge of the mental. In having nearly smooth dorsal scales, with only faint traces of kels, the species most closely resembles M. stenop/thalmus (Mocquard). In M. egbensis the diameter of the eye is greater instead of less than its distance from the mouth, and the tail of egbensis is proportionately shorter. According to Loveridge (supra cit.), Mehelya stenophthalmus has from 198 to 214 ventrals and from 47 to 60 pairs of subcaudals, whereas the holotype of M. egbensis has 147 ventrals and 36 pairs of subcaudals. (Dunger 1966) 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. [detaileld review in HR 51 (1): 161] - get paper here
  • Dunger, G.T. 1966. A new species of the colubrid genus Mehelya from Nigeria. American Museum Novitates 2268: 1-8. - get paper here
  • Kelly, Christopher M.R.; William R. Branch, Donald G. Broadley, Nigel P. Barker, Martin H. Villet 2011. Molecular systematics of the African snake family Lamprophiidae Fitzinger, 1843 (Serpentes: Elapoidea), with particular focus on the genera Lamprophis Fitzinger 1843 and Mehelya Csiki 1903. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 58(3): 415-426 - 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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