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Psammophis sudanensis WERNER, 1919

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Higher TaxaPsammophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Northern stripe-bellied sand snake
F: Psammophis soudanien
G: Sudanesische Sandrennnatter 
SynonymPsammophis subtaeniatus sudanensis WERNER 1919: 504
Psammophis subtaeniatus sudanensis — LOVERIDGE 1955
Psammophis subtaeniatus sudanensis — ROBERTSON et al. 1961
Psammophis subtaeniatus sudanensis — BROADLEY 1966
Psammophis subtaeniatus sudanensis — PITMAN 1974
Psammophis cf. rukwae — BÖHME 1978: 402, fig. 17 (left) (not BROADLEY)
Psammophis cf. rukwae — JOGER 1982: 332, fig. 8
Psammophis leucogaster — SPAWLS 1983: 11
Psammophis rukwae — BÖHME 1986: 172 (part) (not Broadley)
Psammophis rukwae — BÖHME & SCHNEIDER 1987: 259
Psammophis subtaeniatus subsp. — BÖHME 1987: 85 (Darfur)
Psammophis subtaeniatus orientalis — BRANDSTÄTTER 1995: 194 (part) (not BROADLEY)
Psammophis sudanensis — LEBRETON 1999
Psammophis sudanensis — SPAWLS et al. 2001
Psammophis sudanensis — TRAPE & MANÉ 2002
Psammophis sudanensis — TRAPE & MANÉ 2005
Psammophis sudanensis — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
Psammophis sudanensis leucogaster — TRAPE & MANÉ 2006: 156
Psammophis sudanensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 581
Psammophis sudanensis — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 437
Psammophis sudanensis — TRAPE et al. 2019: 70 
DistributionCentral African Republic, Uganda, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria, Burkina Faso

Type locality: Kadugli, Sudan (Jumhūriyyat), Republic of South Sudan (RSS)  
TypesLectotype: NMW 19086, a male (F. Werner, 28 March 1914), designated by Tiedemann et al. (1994: 73). 
DiagnosisDescription. (114 specimens examined) Nostril pierced between 2 nasals; preocular 1, in short contact with or separated from frontal; postoculars 2 (very rarely 1 or 3); temporals basically 2+2+3, but with frequent fusions; supralabials 8 (very rarely 7 or 9), the 4th & 5th (rarely 3rd & 4th or 4th, 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 150–180; cloacal divided (entire in type of leucogaster); subcaudals 93–122. Dorsum dark brown, top of head with a black-bordered pale median stripe extending far back on the frontal before forking (Fig. 18), transverse pale markings on back of head; labials immaculate white or speckled with black; vertebral stripe ill-defined in the east, strongly marked in the west, broadening on the nape; pale dorsolateral stripes on scale rows 4 and 5; lower half of outer scale row and ends of ventrals whitish, often separated by a pair of well defined black ventral lines (occasionally ill-defined or absent in West and Central Africa) from a yellow mid-ventral band (Trape et al. 2019: 71). 
CommentProbably mildly venomous.

Hybridization: Psammophis sudanensis and P. sibilans appear to hybridize (BROADLEY 1966).

Distribution: not in Benin fide TRAPE & BALDÉ 2014: 320. Not in Tanzania (Hughes 2018) despite being reported from there by Loveridge (1940: 50).

Relationships. The sequences of P. sudanensis from Tanzania and Kenya of Kelly et al. (2008) belong to clade distinct from P. (rukwae) leucogaster, suggesting that they may belong to a cryptic species. However, the pattern of a Kenyan specimen illustrated by Spawls et al. (2002) is similar to those of our specimens from West Africa and Chad. Some rare specimens from Chad are uniformly beige dorsally (e.g. IRD 2871.N and 2884.N) (Trape et al. 2019). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Behangana, Mathias; Richard Magala, Raymond Katumba, David Ochanda, Stephen Kigoolo, Samuel Mutebi, Daniele Dendi,, Luca Luiselli, and Daniel F. Hughes 2020. Herpetofaunal diversity and community structure in the Murchison Falls-Albert Delta Ramsar site, Uganda: Herpetofaunal diversity. European Journal of Ecology, 6(2)
  • Broadley, D.G. 1966. A review of the African stripe-bellied sand snakes of the genus Psammophis. Arnoldia (Rhodesia) 2 (36): 1-9
  • Chippaux, Jean-Philippe & Kate Jackson 2019. Snakes of Central and Western Africa. Johns Hopkins University Press, 448 pp. [detaileld review in HR 51 (1): 161] - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Chirio, Laurent and Ivan Ineich 2006. Biogeography of the reptiles of the Central African Republic. African Journal of Herpetology 55(1):23-59. - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 2013. Snakes of Bénin, West Africa. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 144: 101-159
  • HUGHES, B. 2018. THE SNAKES OF DODOMA. African Herp News (67): 8 - get paper here
  • LeBreton, Matthew 1999. A working checklist of the herpetofauna of Cameroon. Netherlands Committee for IUCN, 160 pp.
  • Loveridge, A. 1956. On snakes collected in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by J.S. Owen, Esq. Sudan Notes Rec. 36: 37-56 [1955]
  • Loveridge, A. 1957. On a third collection of reptiles taken in Tanganyika by C.J.P. Ionides, Esq. Tanganyika Notes and Records 43: 1-19
  • 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 J-F and Mané Y. 2015. The snakes of Niger. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 9(2) [Special Section]: 39–55 (e110) - get paper here
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mané, Y. 2002. Les serpents du Sénégal: liste commentée des espèces. Bull. Soc. Pathol. Exot. 95 (3): 148-150
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mané, Y. 2006. Guide des serpents d’Afrique occidentale. Savane et désert. [Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger]. IRD Editions, Paris, 226 pp. - get paper here
  • TRAPE, Jean-François 2005. Note sur quelques serpents méconnus du Burkina Faso de la collection de Benigno Roman. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 116: 39-49 - get paper here
  • TRAPE, JEAN-FRANÇOIS & CELLOU BALDÉ 2014. A checklist of the snake fauna of Guinea, with taxonomic changes in the genera Philothamnus and Dipsadoboa (Colubridae) and a comparison with the snake fauna of some other West African countries. Zootaxa 3900 (3): 301–338 - 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
  • Ullenbruch, K.; Grell, O.; Böhme, W. 2010. Reptiles from southern Benin, West Africa, with the description of a new Hemidactylus (Gekkonidae), and a country-wide checklist. Bonn Zool. Bull. 57 (1): 31-54 - 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.
  • Werner,F. 1919. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der mit Unterstützung der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien aus der Erbschaft Treitl von F. Werner unternommenen zoologischen Expedition nach dem Anglo-Aegyptischen Sudan (Kordofan) 1914. IV. Bearbeitung de Denkschr. Akad. Wiss Wien, Math.-Naturw. Klasse 96: 437-509 - get paper here
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