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Psammophis trinasalis WERNER, 1902

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Higher TaxaPsammophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Fork-marked Sand Snake 
SynonymPsammophis sibilans trinasalis WERNER 1902: 340
Psammophis moniliger var. furcatus PETERS 1867: 236
Psammophis furcatus — LOVERIDGE 1936: 38
Psammophis sibilans trinasalis — FITZSIMONS & BRAIN 1958
Psammophis leightoni trinasalis — MERTENS 1971
Psammophis leightoni trinasalis — AUERBACH 1987: 167
Psammophis leightoni trinasalis — BAUER et al. 1995: 73
Psammophis trinasalis — BROADLEY 2002
Psammophis trinasalis — SHINE et al. 2006
Psammophis trinasalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 581 
DistributionNamibia, Angola, Botswana, Republic of South Africa

Type locality: Windhoek, South West Africa.  
TypesLectotype: ZFMK 30503 (designated by P. VAN DEN ELZEN, 1980), Paralectotypes: NMW 19104 
DiagnosisDescription: (311 specimens examined). Nostril pierced between 3 nasals, upper posterior with a posterior prolongation; preocular 1 (rarely 2), in broad contact with frontal (very rarely separated); postoculars 2; temporals basically 2+2+3, but with frequent fusions; supralabials 8 (very rarely 7 or 9), fourth & fifth (very rarely third & fourth or fifth & sixth) entering orbit; infralabials 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 150-175; cloacal shield divided; subcaudals 84-128. Brandstätter (1995, Fig. 46, 47) has published SEM micrographs of a dorsal scale from NMZB 22482 from Botswana. The lectotype has been illustrated by Van den Elzen (1980) and another Namibian specimen by Buys & Buys (1983, pl. 88). Brown above, a fine yellow vertebral line bifurcates just behind the parietals and a pair of yellow streaks extend forward over the parietals and supraoculars; a median yellow streak passes along the prefrontal/internasal sutures. A yellow dorsolateral stripe covers scale row 4 and lower half of scale row 5, the upper half being black, this stripe extends forward across the temporal region to the postoculars. The flanks are paler than the back. The labials, lower half of outer dorsal scale row and ends of ventrals are white; there is a yellow median ventral band, this may be bordered by series of grey streaks and the chin and throat usually have a pattern of sparse grey or black blotches and streaks. Eastern specimens have a dark brown dorsum, whereas those from the arid western regions are light grey-brown above and many specimens from the Etosha National Park lack dorsal markings. 
CommentDistribution: see map in BROADLEY 2002: 89 (Fig. 3). Not in Angola fide Marques et al. 2018. 
  • Auerbach, R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Bates, M.F.; Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M.; Burger, M., Marais, J.; Alexander, G.J. & de Villliers, M.S. (eds.) 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, 512 pp.
  • Bauer, A.M., and Branch, W.R. 2003. The herpetofauna of the Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. Herpetological Natural History 8: 111-160 [2001]
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Bauer, Aaron M.; Branch, William R. & Haacke, Wulf D. 1993. The herpetofauna of the Kamanjab area and adjacent Damaraland, Namibia. Madoqua (Windhoek) 18 (2): 117-145.
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1902. Description of a new snake of the genus Psammophis, from Cape Colony. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1902: 126 - get paper here
  • Branch, William R.; Pedro Vaz Pinto, Ninda Baptista, and Werner Conradie 2019. The Reptiles of Angola: History, Diversity, Endemism and Hotspots. Chapter 13 in: B. J. Huntley et al. (eds.), Biodiversity of Angola. Springer Verlag, pp. 283-334 - get paper here
  • 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. 1975. A review of Psammophis leightoni and Psammophis notosticus in southem Africa (Serpentes: Colubridae). Arnoldia 7 (13): 1-17
  • 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
  • CONRADIE, W., DOUCETTE-RIISE, S., VANHOOYDONCK, B., ENGELBRECHT, H., MEASEY, G.J., & TOLLEY, K. 2011. Herpetological survey of Rooipoort Nature Reserve, Northern Cape, South Africa. African Herp News (53): 35-41 - get paper here
  • Conradie, Werner; Brian Reeves , Neil Brown, & Jan A. Venter 2016. Herpetofauna of the Oviston, Commando Drift and Tsolwana nature reserves in the arid interior of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Indago 32: 81-98 - get paper here
  • FitzSimons, V.F.M. 1974. A field guide to the snakes of Southern Africa. 2nd edition. COLLINS, 221 pp. [first ed. 1970]
  • Fitzsimons, V.F.M.; Brain, C.K. 1958. A Short account of the Reptiles of the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park. Koedoe, 1(1): 99-104 - get paper here
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Herrmann, H.-W.; W.R. Branch 2013. Fifty years of herpetological research in the Namib Desert and Namibia with an updated and annotated species checklist. Journal of Arid Environments 93: 94–115 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1936. African reptiles and amphibians in the Field Museum of Natural History. Zool. Ser. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Chicago, 22 (1): 1-122 - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1867. Über eine Sammlung von Flederthieren und Amphibien aus Otjimbingue in Südwestafrica, welche Hr. Missionär Hahn dem zoologischen Museum zugesandt hat. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1867 (April): 234-237 - get paper here
  • Schleicher, Alfred 2015. Reptilien Namibias. Namibia Scientific  Society, 276 pp.
  • Shine, Richard; William R. Branch, Jonathan K. Webb, Peter S. Harlow, and Terri Shine 2006. Sexual Dimorphism, Reproductive Biology, and Dietary Habits of Psammophiine Snakes (Colubridae) from Southern Africa. Copeia 2006 (4): 650-664 - 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. 1902. Über westafrikanische Reptilien. Verh. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien 52: 332-348
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