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Natriciteres sylvatica BROADLEY, 1966

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Forest Marsh Snake 
SynonymNatriciteres variegata sylvatica BROADLEY 1966: 5
Natriciteres variegata sylvatica — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 29
Natriciteres sylvatica — SPAWLS et al. 2001
Natriciteres sylvatica — BROADLEY et al. 2003
Natriciteres sylvatica — BRANCH et al. 2005
Natriciteres sylvatica — MENEGON et al. 2008
Natriciteres sylvatica — WALLACH et al. 2014: 475
Natriciteres sylvatica — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 540 
DistributionForested areas of S Tanzania, south through Mozambique, Malawi and E Zimbabwe to N Zululand (Republic of South Africa)

Type locality: Inyangani Tea Estates, Inynaga District, Zimbabwe.  
TypesHolotype: NMZB, previously UM 8354 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. An eastern race of Natriciteres variegata distinguished from the typical form by having 17 dorsal scale rows anteriorly, from bipostocularis by normally having three postoculars and from pembana by its higher ventral and subcaudal counts (from BROADLEY 1966).

Coloration. Dark olive brown above, with a faint indication of a pale nuchal
collar, upper labials yellow with black sutures; ventrum yellow with outer ends of ventrals and subcaudals dark grey. The wide range of coloration found in N. olivacea is also found in N. v. sylvatica, some specimens have a maroon dorsal stripe, others are chestnut with a darker dorsal stripe. Specimens from Rungwe Mountain, Tukuyu and Nkata Bay have head markings similar to those of typical N. variegata: the top of the head is heavily stippled with black, apart from pale patches on the forepart of the parietals, and there is a well-defined cream collar which is narrowly broken on the vertebral line (from BROADLEY 1966). 
CommentHabitat: at least partially coastal and thus considered (partially) “marine”. 
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Branch, W.R.; Rödel, M.-O. & Marais, J. 2005. Herpetological survey of the Niassa Game Reserve, northern Mozambique - Part I: Reptiles. Salamandra 41 (4): 195-214 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D. & Blaylock 2013. The Snakes of Zimbabwe and Botswana. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 387 pp. [book review in Sauria 35 (2): 59 and Copeia 2014: 388] - get paper here
  • 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
  • Conradie, Werner; Gabriela B. Bittencourt-Silva, Hanlie M. Engelbrecht, Simon P. Loader, Michele Menegon, Cristóvão Nanvonamuquitxo, Michael Scott, Krystal A. Tolley 2016. Exploration into the hidden world of Mozambique’s sky island forests: new discoveries of reptiles and amphibians. Zoosyst. Evol. 92 (2): 163–180, DOI 10.3897/zse.92.9948 - get paper here
  • Menegon, Michele; Nike Doggart, Nisha Owen 2008. The Nguru mountains of Tanzania, an outstanding hotspot of herpetofaunal diversity. Acta Herpetologica 3 (2): 107-127
  • 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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