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Platyceps ladacensis (ANDERSON, 1871)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Braid Snake, Jan’s Cliff Racer
G: Jans Pfeilnatter 
SynonymZamenis ladacensis ANDERSON 1871: 16
Zamenis ladacensis — BOETTGER 1892
Coluber rhodorhachis ladacensis — NILSON & ANDREN 1981: 140
Coluber rhodorhachis ladacensis — KHAN 2002 (pers. comm.)
Coluber ladacensis — WHITAKER & CAPTAIN 2004
Platyceps rhodorhachis ladacensis — RASTEGAR-POUYANI et al. 2008
Platyceps ladacensis — PERRY 2012
Platyceps rhodorhachis ladacensis — SCHÄTTI et al. 2014: 338 
DistributionIran, east to Afghanistan, north to S Turkmenistan, S Uzbekistan, W Tajikistan, Pakistan (KHAN 2004), India  
TypesHolotype: ZSI 7323; PERRY 2012 stated that the type was “lost”. 
CommentSee also P. rhodorhachis.

Distribution: BOETTGER 1892 reported this species from Aden (Yemen) which may be a misidentification.

Synonymy: ladacensis has been considered a color pattern variation of rhodorachis ever since J. Anderson (1895) recognized that this species had already been described by Jan in 1865 (fide RASTEGAR-POUYANI et al. 2008). Listed as synonym of Platyceps rhodorhachis by WALLACH et al. 2014: 566.

Anderson (1871) described this taxon as “pale olive brown, marked on the anterior half of the body by broad brown dorsal bands only a little darker than the general colour of the snake, distinct near the anterior part of the body, but obscure behind.” The ventrals were described as “pale yellow,” and dorsal scales had two apical pores. The type specimen had 102 pairs of subcaudal scales. 
  • Anderson, J. 1871. A list of the reptilian accession to the Indian Museum, Calcutta, from 1865 to 1870, with a description of some new species. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Calcutta, 40, part 11(1): 12-39. - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1892. Mitteilung über eine Reptiliensendung von Aden in Süd-Arabien. Ber. Tät. Offenb. Ver. Nat., Offenbach, 29 - 32: 61-63 - get paper here
  • Nilson,G. & Andren,C. 1981. Die Herpetofauna des Kavir-Schutzgebietes, Kavir-Wüste, Iran. Salamandra 17 (3-4): 130-146 - get paper here
  • Perry, Gad 2012. On the Appropriate Names for Snakes Usually Identified as Coluber rhodorachis (Jan, 1865) or Why Ecologists Should Approach the Forest of Taxonomy with Great Care. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 19 (2): 90–100 - get paper here
  • RASTEGAR-POUYANI, NASRULLAH; HAJI GHOLI KAMI, MEHDI RAJABZADEH, SOHEILA SHAFIEI AND STEVEN CLEMENT ANDERSON 2008. Annotated Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 4 (1): 7-30
  • Schätti, Beat; Frank Tillack & Christoph Kucharzewski 2014. Platyceps rhodorachis (Jan, 1863) – a study of the racer genus Platyceps Blyth, 1860 east of the Tigris (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae). Vertebrate Zoology 64 (3): 297-405 - get paper here
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
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