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Paroplocephalus atriceps (STORR, 1980)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Lake Cronin Snake 
SynonymBrachyaspis atriceps STORR 1980
Notechis atriceps — STORR 1982
Echiopsis atriceps — COGGER 1983
Denisonia atriceps — STORR 1984
Suta atriceps — HUTCHINSON 1990
Suta atriceps — GOLAY et al. 1993
Echiopsis atriceps — COGGER 2000: 649
Paroplocephalus atriceps — KEOGH et al. 2000
Paroplocephalus atriceps — WILSON & SWAN 2010: 494
Paroplocephalus atriceps — WALLACH et al. 2014: 538
Paroplocephalus atriceps — MIRTSCHIN et al. 2017 
DistributionAustralia (Western Australia)

Type locality: open eucalypt woodland on sandy loam at Lake Cronin, Western Australia, in 32°23'S, 119°45'E.  
TypesHolotype: WAM R67330 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small elapid snake with large black head; large, somewhat obtrusive eyes; narrow neck; 19 scale rows at midbody; anal and subcaudals single. Further distinguishable from B. curta (Schlegel) by head parallel-sided in plan (rather than widest at rear, from which it steadily narrows towards pointed snout), fewer temporals, longer tail, more numerous ventrals and subcaudals, and iris entirely golden orange (rather than uppermost sector only). Further distinguishable from Denisonia suta (Peters) by lack of pale stripe through eye, longer tail and more numerous subcaudals. 

Type species: Brachyaspis atriceps STORR 1980 is the type species of the genus Paroplocephalus KEOGH et al. 2000.

Habitat: arboreal (Bush 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after its color, Latin “ater, atra, atrum” = dark or black, and “-ceps”, a short form of “caput” = head. 
  • Bush, B. & Maryan, B. 2006. Snakes and Snake-like Reptiles of Southern Western Australia. Snakes Harmful & Harmless, Stoneville, Perth, Western Australia, 40 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Keogh,J.S., Scott,I.A. & Scanlon,J.D. 2000. Molecular phylogeny of viviparous Australian elapid snakes: affinities of Echiopsis atriceps (Storr, 1980) and Drysdalia coronata (Schlegel 1837) with description of a new genus. Journal of Zoology 252: 317-326 - get paper here
  • Mirtschin, P., Rasmussen, A.R. & Weinstein, S.A. 2017. Australia’s Dangerous snakes. CSIRO Publishing, 424 pp. - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Storr G M 1980. A new Brachyaspis (Serpentes: Elapidae) from Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 8 (3): 397-399 - 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.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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