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Psammophis orientalis BROADLEY, 1977

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Higher TaxaPsammophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesEastern Stripe-bellied Sand Snake
F: Psammophis oriental
G: Östliche Sandrennnatter 
SynonymPsammophis subtaeniatus orientalis BROADLEY 1977
Psammophis subtaeniatus orientalis — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 27
Psammophis orientalis — SPAWLS et al. 2001
Psammophis orientalis — BROADLEY 2002
Psammophis orientalis — CIMATTI 2005
Psammophis orientalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 578
Psammophis orientalis — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 435
Psammophis orientalis— TRAPE et al. 2019: 70 
DistributionE Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, E Zimbabwe. May extend north to S Sudan and Ethiopia (fide BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991)

Type locality: Morogoro, Tanzania.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: MCZ 146965 
DiagnosisDescription (orientalis; 139 specimens examined): Nostril pierced between 2 nasals; preocular 1 (very rarely 2), in short contact with or separated from frontal; postoculars 2; temporals basically 2+2+3, but with frequent fusions; supralabials 8 (rarely 7 or 9), the fourth & fifth (rarely third & fourth, fourth, fifth & sixth or fifth & sixth) entering orbit; infralabials usually 10 (rarely 9 or 11), the first 4 (rarely 3 or 5) in contact with anterior sublinguals; dorsal scales in 17-17-13 rows; ventrals 146-170; cloacal shield divided; subcaudals 91-118. Dorsum dark brown, top of head uniform; each scale in vertebral row paler at base, an illdefined pale dorsolateral stripe on scale row 4 and adjacent halves of rows 3 and 5; a dark stripe across rostral, anterior nasal and upper portions of supralabials 1-4; labials white speckled with black; lower half of outer scale row and ends of ventrals white, separated by a pair of well defined black ventral lines from a yellow mid-ventral band. Some large specimens from Bazaruto Island (NMZB 12029), Benguerua Island (NMZB 11378) and Pomene (NMZB-UM 28275-6) show progressive dark grey infuscation of the upper and lower labials, chin, throat and outer edges of the ventrals. (Broadley 2002).

Description. (147 specimens examined) Nostril pierced between 2 nasals; preocular 1 (very rarely 2), in short contact with or separated from frontal; postoculars 2; temporals basically 2+2+3, but with frequent fusions; supralabials 8 (very rarely 7 or 9), the 4th & 5th (rarely 3rd & 4th, 4th, 5th & 6th or 5th & 6th) entering orbit; infralabials usually 10 (rarely 9 or 11), the first 4 (very rarely 3 or 5) in contact with anterior sublinguals; dorsal scales in 17-17-13 rows; ventrals 148–170; cloacal divided; subcaudals 95–117. Brandstätter (1995, figs 74–75) has published SEM micrographs of a dorsal scale of NMZB 23336 from Mutare, Zimbabwe.
Dorsum dark brown, top of head uniform; each scale in vertebral row paler at base, an ill-defined pale dorsolateral stripe on scale row 4 and 5; a dark stripe across rostral, anterior nasal and upper portions of supralabials 1–4; labials white speckled with black; lower half of outer scale row and ends of ventrals white, separated by a pair of well defined black ventral lines from a yellow mid-ventral band (Trape et al. 2019: 70). 
CommentDistribution: see map in BROADLEY 2002: 90 (Fig. 4).

Remarks. This form was originally assigned to P. subtaeniatus sudanensis (Loveridge, 1940; Broadley, 1966), but was later described from Morogoro, Tanzania, where it is sympatric with P. sudanensis.

Habitat. Dry savannas on the east coast from Kenya south to about Latitude 23°S in Mozambique, sometimes sympatric with P. subtaeniatus in southeastern Zimba- bwe. 
References
  • Bates, Michael F. 2018. Catalogue of reptiles from Mozambique in the collection of the National Museum, Bloemfontein, South Africa. Indago 34 (2): 135–147
  • 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. 1977. A review of the genus Psammophis in southern Africa (Serpentes: Colubridae). Arnoldia 8 (12): 1-29
  • Broadley, D.G. 2002. A review of the species of Psammophis Boie found south of Latitude 12° S (Serpentes: Psammophiinae). African Journal of Herpetology 51 (2): 83-119 - get paper here
  • Cimatti, E. 2005. Zanzibar - Zala Zoological Park. Reptilia (GB) (39): 62-68 - get paper here
  • 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
  • HUGHES, B. 2018. THE SNAKES OF DODOMA. African Herp News (67): 8 - get paper here
  • Jacobsen, Niels H.G.; Errol W. Pietersen & Darren W. Pietersen 2010. A preliminary herpetological survey of the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary on the San Sebastian Peninsula, Vilankulo, Mozambique. Herpetology Notes 3: 181-193
  • Malonza, Patrick K.; Victor D. Wasonga, Vincent Muchai , Damaris Rotich, Beryl A. Bwong; A.M. Bauer 2006. DIVERSITY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY OF HERPETOFAUNA OF THE TANA RIVER PRIMATE NATIONAL RESERVE, KENYA. Journal of East African Natural History 95(2): 95–109 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Trape, Jean-François; Pierre-André Crochet, Donald G. Broadley, Patricia Sourouille, Youssouph Mané, Marius Burger, Wolfgang Böhme, Mostafa Saleh, Anna Karan, Benedetto Lanza & Oleg Mediannikov 2019. On the Psammophis sibilans group (Serpentes, Lamprophiidae, Psammophiinae) north of 12°S, with the description of a new species from West Africa. Bonn zoological Bulletin 68 (1): 61–91 - 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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