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Mehelya stenophthalmus (MOCQUARD, 1887)

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Small-eyed File Snake 
SynonymHeterolepis stenophthalmus MOCQUARD 1887: 16
Simocephalus stenophthalmus — BOULENGER 1893: 347
Simocephalus rostralis STERNFELD 1910 (fide HALLERMANN 2007)
Gonionotophis microps BOULENGER 1911: 370 (fide LOVERIDGE 1957: 255)
Gonionotophis microps — WITTE 1933
Mehelya stenophthalmus — PITMAN 1974
Mehelya stenophthalmus — BROADLEY 1998
Mehelya stenophthalmus — PAUWELS et al. 2004
Gonionotophis stenophthalmus — KELLY et al. 2011
Mehelya stenophthalmus — BÖHME et al. 2011
Mehelya stenophthalmus — SEGNIAGBETO et al. 2012: 344
Mehelya stenophthalmus — HUGHES 2013
Mehelya stenophthalmus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 425
Mehelya stenophthalmus — TRAPE & BALDÉ 2014
Gonionotophis stenophthalmus — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 411
Mehelya stenophthalmus — BROADLEY et al. 2018
Gonionotophis stenophthalmus — CHIPPAUX & JACKSON 2019: 217 
DistributionGuinea-Bissau, Guinea (Conakry), Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin ?, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Congo (Brazzaville), Uganda, Gabon, Republic of South Sudan (RSS)

Type locality: "Assinie." [=Assini, Aboisso Department, extreme southeastern Ghana, 5˚07'N, 3˚17'W] and "cap Lopez" [=Cape Lopez, Congo].  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 1885.0615 and MNHN-RA 1885.0715, largest specimen 700 mm (Chaper and Boisguilleaume, respectively), location of a third specimen unknown
Holotype: ZMB 23318 , from Genero Gebirge, Kamerun [Simocephalus rostralis] 
CommentDiet: Eats also other snakes (Chippaux 1999).

Not reported from Benin according to ULLENBRUCH et al. 2010. 
  • Böhme, Wolfgang, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Christian Brede & Philipp Wagner 2011. The reptiles (Testudines, Squamata, Crocodylia) of the forested southeast of the Republic Guinea (Guinée forestière), with a country-wide checklist. Bonn zoological Bulletin 60 (1): 35-61 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1911. Descriptions of three new snakes discovered by Mr. G.L. Bates in South Cameroon. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (8) 8: 370-371 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Carlino, P. & Pauwels, O.S.G. 2015. An Updated Reptile List of Ivindo National Park, the Herpetofaunal Hotspot of Gabon. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 50(3): 25-39 - get paper here
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Chippaux,J.P. 1999. Les serpents d’Afrique occidentale et centrale. Paris (IRD editions), 278 pp. [critical book review in Herp. Bull. 73: 30] - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Hallermann, J. 2001. Bemerkenswerter Mageninhalt von Mehelya stenophthalmus (MOCQUARD, 1887) (Serpentes: Colubridae). Salamandra 37 (2): 105-106 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2007. The status of problematic snake types of the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Reptilia, Serpentes). Mitt. Mus. Nat.kd. Berl., Zool. Reihe 83 (2): 160–165 - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 2013. Snakes of Bénin, West Africa. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 144: 101-159
  • 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
  • Lönnberg, E. 1910. Two new snakes from Lower Congo. Arkiv för Zoologi 7 (8): 1-8 - get paper here
  • Mocquard, F. 1887. Du genre Heterolepis et des espèces qui le composent, dont trois nouvelles. Bull. Soc. Philom. Paris (7) 11: 1-34 - get paper here
  • Necas, Petr; Modry, David 1997. A second record of the small-eyed file-snake, Mehelya stenophthalma (Mocquard, 1887) (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae) in Uganda. British Herpetological Society Bulletin (61): 21-23
  • Pauwels, O.S.G. & Vande Weghe, J.P. 2008. Les reptiles du Gabon. Smithsonian Institution, Washington: 272 pp. - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; Bhide, M.C.; Nkoghe, P.H. & Böhme, W. 2009. Aggressive Begegnung zwischen Mehelya stenophthalmus und Python sebae (Serpentes: Colubridae & Pythonidae) in Gabun. Elaphe 17 (3): 55-57 - get paper here
  • Pauwels, O.S.G.; William R. Branch and Marius Burger 2004. REPTILES OF LOANGO NATIONAL PARK, OGOOUÉ-MARITIME PROVINCE, SOUTH-WESTERN GABON. Hamadryad 29 (1): 115 – 127
  • Pitman,C.R.S. 1974. A guide to the snakes of Uganda. Codicote, Wheldon & Wesley, L., 290 pp.
  • Segniagbeto GLazcano. H., Trape J. F., David P., Ohler A., Dubois A. & Glitho I. A. 2011. The snake fauna of Togo: systematics, distribution and biogeography, with remarks on selected taxonomic problems. Zoosystema 33 (3): 325-360. DOI: 10.5252/z2011n3a4 - get paper here
  • Sinsin B, Bergmans W(eds) 1999. Rongeurs, ophidiens et relations avec l’environnement agricole du Bénin. Cotonou (Éd. Flamboyant), 199 pp.
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Sternfeld,R. 1910. Neue Beiträge zur Schlangenfauna Kameruns. Mitt. zool. Mus. Berlin 5: 61-65 - get paper here
  • Trape, J.F. & R. ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995. Les serpents du Congo: liste commentée et clé de détermination. Journal of African Zoology 109 (1): 31-50
  • TRAPE, JEAN-FRANÇOIS & CELLOU BALDÉ 2014. A checklist of the snake fauna of Guinea, with taxonomic changes in the genera Philothamnus and Dipsadoboa (Colubridae) and a comparison with the snake fauna of some other West African countries. Zootaxa 3900 (3): 301–338 - 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.
  • Witte, G. F. de 1933. Reptiles récoltés au Conge Belge par le Dr. H. Schouteden et par M. G.-F. Witte. Ann. Mus. Conge belge Zool. Ser. 1 Tome III: 53-100.
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