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Oligodon taeniatus (GÜNTHER, 1861)

IUCN Red List - Oligodon taeniatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Striped Kukri Snake
G: Gestreifte Kukrinatter 
SynonymSimotes taeniatus GÜNTHER 1861: 267
Simotes quadrilineatus JAN & SORDELLI 1865
Simotes quadrilineatus JAN 1866: 7 (fide SAINT-GIRONS 1972, DAVID et al. 2008)
Simotes taeniatus — MÜLLER 1880
Simotes taeniatus — BOULENGER 1894: 227
Simotes taeniatus var. mouhoti BOULENGER 1914: 70 (fide SMITH 1943)
Holarchus taeniatus taeniatus — COCHRAN 1930
Oligodon taeniatus — SMITH 1943: 208
Oligodon quadrilineatus — SMITH 1943: 210
Oligodon quadrilineatus — TAYLOR 1965
Oligodon taeniatus — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 372
Oligodon taeniatus — COX et al. 1998: 61
Oligodon quadrilineatus — ZUG et al. 1998
Oligodon quadrilineatus — CHAN-ARD et al. 1999: 176
Oligodon taeniatus — CHAN-ARD et al. 1999: 34
Oligodon taeniatus — GREEN et al. 2010
Oligodon quadrilineatus — DAS 2012
Oligodon taeniatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 503 
DistributionThailand, Laos, Cambodia, S Vietnam (Hoa Binh)

quadrilineatus: Myanmar etc.; Type locality: Bangkok, Thailand

Type locality: Cambodia  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.3.27 (male). Collected by Henri Mouhot.
Holotype: MNHN; note that the neotypes were designated erroneously by DAVID et al. 2008, see DAVID et al. 2011 [quadrilineatus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Oligodon characterized by: (1) a large size for the O. taeniatus-group, up to about 450 mm in total length; (2) deeply forked hemipenes, not spinose but fitted with two large papillae; (3) 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody, 15 before vent; (4) 14–17 maxillary teeth, the last two strongly enlarged; (5) head scalation complete, rarely including a presubocular; (6) 8 supralabials; (7) anal plate single; (8) the presence of two dark longitudinal paravertebral stripes edging a pale (yellow in life) vertebral stripe, and two narrower dorsolateral stripes; (9) five main, well defined blotches on upper head surface: one anterior transverse marking across the snout; one longitudinal blotch on the frontal; two temporal oblique bars, directed posteriorly downwards; and one large, arrow-shaped nuchal blotch; and (10) bases of the oblique central streaks often (about 50 % of the examined specimens) reach the ventral scales at least on one side. Oligodon taeniatus differs from all other species of the taeniatus-group by the combination of (1) 19 scale rows at midbody and (2) a pattern made of one vertebral stripe edged with two paravertebral stripes, plus one dorsolateral stripe on each side. This pattern is constant in all examined specimens.
CommentSimilar species: Note that specimens of this species may have been confused with O. mouhoti, O. deuvei, O. pseudotaeniatus, or O. theobaldi.

Distribution: records from Yunnan may be erroneous (JIANG et al 2012, Zhang et al. 2011) and actually represent O. cinereus. Not listed by Zhao 2006 for China.

Illustration: in CHAN-ARD et al. 2015, although the drawings of Oligodon joynsoni and O. taeniatus have been mixed up (fide PAUWELS & GRISMER 2015). 
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  • Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. & Nabhitabhata, J. 2015. A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
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  • Hawkeswood, T.J. & B. Sommung 2018. A further record of the Striped Kukri Snake, Oligodon taeniatus (Günther, 1861) (Reptilia: Colubridae) from Ubon Ratchathani Province, Thailand, with a review of literature on the biology and distribution of the species in Thailand. Calodema, 605: 1-6 - get paper here
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