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Platyceps karelini (BRANDT, 1838)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesPlatyceps karelini chesneii (MARTIN 1838)
Platyceps karelini karelini (BRANDT 1838)
Platyceps karelini mintonorum (MERTENS 1969) 
Common NamesE: Spotted Desert Racer 
SynonymColuber (Tyria) karelini BRANDT 1838
Zamenis karelinii — MOJSISOVICS 1889
Zamenis karelini — BOULENGER 1890: 326
Zamenis karelini — BOULENGER 1893: 401
Zamenis karelini — WALL 1911
Coluber karelini — SMITH 1943: 169
Coluber karelini — LEVITON 1959: 454
Coluber karelini — MINTON 1966
Eremiophis karelini
Haemorrhois karelini
Coluber karelini —SCHÄTTI & WILSON 1986
Coluber karelini — DAS 1996: 55
Coluber karelini — SZCZERBAK 2003
Platyceps karelini — NAGY et al. 2004
Coluber karelinii — ANANJEVA et al. 2006
Platyceps karelinii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 565

Platyceps karelini chesneii (MARTIN 1838)
Coluber chesneii MARTIN 1838
Platyceps karelini chesneii — SCHÄTTI et al. 2012
Platyceps karelini chesnei — SINDACO et al. 2013

Platyceps karelini mintonorum (MERTENS 1969)
Coluber karelini mintonorum MERTENS 1969: 56
Platyceps mintonorum — SCHÄTTI et al. 2014 
DistributionPakistan, Iran (Kavir desert), Afghanistan,
S Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan

mintonorum: Pakistan, Iran; Type locality: “Zangi-Nawar, 27 km südwestlich Nushki. Distr. Chagai. West-Pakistan”

karelini: Iran, Turkmenistan; Type locality: W Turkmenistan  
TypesSyntypes: ZISP (ZIL) 1695-1700 (orig. AIS 1695-1700), largest specimen is 807 mm (M. Karéline, 1837).
Holotype: SMF 62942 [mintonorum]
Holotype: BMNH (?), collected by Euphrates Expedition [chesneii] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (mintonorum): “Eine mittelgroße, bis 1,5 m lange Natter aus der Verwandtschaft von Coluber karelini, mit zugespitzter Schnauze und einem ziemlich vorspringenden Rostrale, dem meist bis zum Auge reichenden 5. Supralabiale, aber mit 227—239 (statt 192—220) Ventralia und 114—123 (statt 85—117) Subcaudalia sowie einer wenig markanten Fleckenzeichnung auf dem Rücken.” (MERTENS 1969) 
CommentSubspecies fide SCHÄTTI & WILSON 1986 and KHAN (2002, pers. comm.). Platyceps karelini rogersi (ANDERSON 1893) has been considered as a valid species recently although there are no reliable diagnostic characters to distinguish rogersi from ventromaculatus (Gray, 1834) according to DISI et al. (2001) and SCHÄTTI (2006). Khan (2006) regards mintonorum as a color variation of P. karelini and not meriting subspecific status.

Distribution: Not mentioned for Arabia by Egan 2007. Not in India fide I. Das (pers. comm., 22 Dec 2011); not in Iraq fide Habeeb & Rastegar-Pouyani 2016.See map in SCHÄTTI et al. 2014: 375. For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013.

Hybridization: Schätti et al. 2012 describe hybrids between P. karelini and P. rhodorachis. Schätti et al. 2014 also describe hybrids between Platyceps k. karelini × P. mintonorum from Afghanistan. 
EtymologyNamed after Madge and Sherman A. Minton (1919-1999), a physician by training. 
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