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Natriciteres pembana (LOVERIDGE, 1935)

IUCN Red List - Natriciteres pembana - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Variable Marsh Snake 
SynonymNatrix olivacea pembana LOVERIDGE 1935: 8
Natriciteres variegata pembana — BROADLEY 1966
Natriciteres variegata pembana — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 29
Natriciteres pembana — SPAWLS et al. 2002
Natriciteres pembana — HAWLITSCHEK et al. 2012
Natriciteres pembana — WALLACH et al. 2014: 475
Natriciteres pembana — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 541 
Distributionendemic to Pemba island, Tanzania

Type locality: Chake Chake, Pemba island.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 19112, female 
DiagnosisDescription. Preoculars 1-2; postoculars 3; temporals 1+2; upper labials 8, the
fourth and fifth (rarely third, fourth and fifth) entering the orbit; lower labials 8, the first 4 in contact with the anterior sublinguals; dorsal scales smooth in 17 rows
anteriorly, reducing to 15 rows posteriorly by fusion of rows III+IV between ventrals 52-81 (15 reducing to 13 posteriorly in one specimen—Pakenham, 1947); ventrals
123 in males, 120-126 in females; anal divided; subcaudals 53-62 in males, 50-56 in females (from BROADLEY 1966).

Coloration: Olive brown above with a pair of pale nuchal spots and sometimes
dorso-lateral series of narrow pale vertical bars which fade out caudad; upper labials yellow with black sutures; ventrum yellow with the ends only narrowly bordered with olive (from BROADLEY 1966). 
CommentHabitat: at least partially coastal and thus considered (partially) “marine”. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Broadley, D.G. 1966. A review of the genus Natriciteres Loveridge (Serpentes: Colubridae). Arnoldia 2 (35): 1-11
  • Hawlitschek, O.; F. Glaw & D. Rödder 2012. Pemba – Herpetologische Fundgrube im Indischen Ozean. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (97): 97-109 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1935. Scientific results of an expedition to rain forest regions in Eastern Africa. I. New reptiles and amphibians from East Africa. Bull. Mus. comp. Zool. Harvard 79: 1- 19. - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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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