Naja nubiae WÜSTER & BROADLEY, 2003
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Naja nubiae?
|Higher Taxa||Elapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Nubian Spitting Cobra|
G: Nubische Speikobra
|Synonym||Naja nubiae WÜSTER & BROADLEY 2003|
Vipera (Naia) haje ST. HILAIRE 1827: 157 (not LINNAEUS) (part)
Naja nigricollis — ANDERSON 1896: 109 (not REINHARDT)
Naja nigricollis — ANDERSON 1904: 5
Naja nigricollis — WERNER 1908: 1883
Naja nigricollis — BOULENGER 1915: 656 (part)
Naja nigricollis — WERNER 1919: 507
Naja nigricollis — WERNER 1927: 77
Naja nigricollis — SCORTECCI 1928: 306
Naja nigricollis — SCORTECCI 1930: 204
Naia nigricollis var. mossambica — BOULENGER 1896: 379 (not PETERS) (part.)
Naja nigricollis nigricollis — LOVERIDGE 1945: 3 (not REINHARDT)
Naja nigricollis nigricollis — MARX 1968: 40
Naja nigricollis pallida — EISELT 1962: 294 (not BOULENGER)
Naja mossambica pallida (not BOULENGER) BROADLEY 1968: 11 (part)
Naja mossambica pallida — HARDING & WELCH 1980: 12 (part)
Naja mossambica pallida — MEIRTE 1992: 58 (part)
Naja pallida — BRANCH 1979: 215 (part) (not BOULENGER)
Naja pallida — HUGHES 1983: 332, 352 (part)
Naja pallida — LARGEN & RASMUSSEN 1993: 382 (part)
Naja pallida — LARGEN 1997: 93
Naja pallida — SPAWLS & BRANCH 1995: 76 (part)
Naja pallida — GOLAY 1985: 47 (part)
Naja pallida — OSMAN & EL SIR 1988: 77
Naja pallida — BROADLEY et al. 1993: 190 (part)
Naja pallida — DAVID & INEICH 1999: 165 (part)
Naja (Afronaja) nubiae — WALLACH et al. 2009
Afronaja nubiae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 11
|Distribution||Egypt, Sudan (Jumhūriyyat), Chad, Niger and Eritrea|
Type locality: Kom Ombo (=Kawn Umbû), Aswan Governorate, Egypt (24°28’ N, 32°57’ E).
|Types||Holotype: YPM R 3916, Peabody Museum, Yale University. Paratypes: ZFMK 32391, BMNH, MHNG, MNHN, NHRM.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: The new species can be differentiated from Naja pallida, with which it was until now confused, through its throat and neck pattern: N. pallida normally has a single, broad dark band across the throat; this encircles the body and crosses the neck. There is no other pattern on the body or throat, except in a small minority (c.5%)of specimens, which have a more or less obvious second dark band across the throat, but not across the neck. In N. nubiae, there are two bands across the neck: a nape band situated immediately behind the parietal scales, and the main band further back. The nape band may or may not cross the throat. The second, main neck band invariably crosses the throat, usually in a more posterior position than the throat band of N. pallida. A further dark ventral band is present in N. nubiae,but may be faint in older specimens. There is a distinct light throat area before the main throat band, and practically all specimens feature a small dark spot on each side of the throat, at the junction of the ventrals and the dorsals. This resembles the lateral throat spots seen in most Asiatic species. Additionally the bases of the scales are strongly blackened in N. nubiae, but not in N. pallida. Most N. nubiae have seven supralabials, even when two preoculars are present, whereas in most N. pallida, specimens with two preoculars have only six supralabials.|
The populations concerned had previously been assigned to N. pallida. The new species differs from N. pallida principally in having more than one dark band across the neck and under the throat, as well as a pair of spots under the throat. Naja mossambica is more closely related to N. nigricollis than to N. pallida and the new species.
Naja mossambica is very similar to N. nubiae in overall appearance and coloration, However, the dark throat pattern is more irregular, and the throat bands do not cross the neck of the snake. Also, N. mossambica has lower ventral scale counts (177–205; Broadley, 1983) than Naja nubiae (207–226), and never has more than six supralabials. In N. mossambica,most supralabials and head scales are more or less distinctly edged with black, whereas this is only the case for the ‘tear drop’ marking on the posterior edge of the fourth supralabial, below the eye, in N. nubiae and N. pallida.
Naja katiensis is easily distinguished by the absence of a small fifth supralabial (cuneate) and its much lower scale counts for ventrals (165–186) and subcaudals (47–55; Broadley, 1968).
Naja nigricollis differs in dorsal coloration (mostly dark, or patterned or variegated), in having a broad dark band across the throat, and a mostly dark venter. Additionally, this species also usually has 23 or fewer dorsal scale rows at midbody, vs the usual 25 in Naja nubiae. The southern taxon woodi is uniformly black as an adult, and grey with a black head as a juvenile, and the taxon nigricincta is boldly barred in black and white or red.
In Naja haje and N. annulifera, the supralabials are separated from the eyes by a series of subocular scales, and these cobras do not spit. The other non-spitting species of African cobra (N. nivea, N. melanoleuca) differ in having an enlarged sixth supralabial, which contacts the postoculars, a single anterior temporal, versus two or three in spitting cobras, and 21 or fewer dorsal scale rows (vs 25 in N. nubiae). [from WÜSTER & BROADLEY 2003].
Distribution: For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013.
|Etymology||Named after the region of Nubia, home of the first black African civilization, which occupied the Nile Valley between Aswan and Khartoum, in present day southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Most museum specimens of this species originate from this region.|
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