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Pseudoboodon abyssinicus MOCQUARD, 1906

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Higher TaxaLamprophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Ethiopian (or Abyssinian) House Snake 
SynonymLamprophis abyssinicus MOCQUARD 1906: 249
Pseudoboodon abyssinicus — BOULENGER 1915
Pseudoboodon abyssinicus — WERNER 1929
Pseudoboodon abyssinicus — PARKER 1949
Lamprophis abyssinicus — LARGEN & RASMUSSEN 1993
Lamprophis abyssinicus — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 466
Lamprophis abyssinicus — KELLY et al. 2011
Boaedon abyssinicus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 94
Pseudoboodon abyssinicus — TIUTENKO et al. 2022
Lamprophis abyssinicus — SPAWLS et al. 2023 

Type locality: “Akai, en Abyssinie”  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1905.0188, a 483 mm female (M. de Rothchild) 
DiagnosisOriginal description (translated from French): “Head rather elongated, a little broader than neck; snout narrow, blunt at the tip. Body notably compressed, ventrally rounded. Tail very short. Rostral much broader than high, visible from above; internasals subtriangular, truncated anteriorly, shorter than prefrontals, which are as long as broad; frontal 1 2/3 longer than its breadth; significantly longer than the distance from it to the snout tip, hardly shorter than the parietals, ending anteriorly with sharp angle, broader than supraoculars; nasal divided, rather elongated, anteriorly a little higher; loreal longer than high; one preocular does not enter the dorsal surface of the head and is well separated from the frontal; two equal postoculars; the eye diameter is half as long as the snout; pupil a little elongated vertically; temporals 1+2, the anterior is the largest, contacting the lower postocular with its anterior border; 8 upper labials, 3rd, 4th and 5th bordering the eye, the 7th is the longest; mental triangular, much broader than long; 4 lower labials in contact with chinshield of the first pair, which is longer than of the second pair, the latter are in contact at the median line. Body scales in 21 longitudinal rows, smooth, without apical pits; 174 ventrals; anal entire; 36 divided sub-caudals”. (Mocquard (1906, in Tiutenko et al. 2022) 
CommentSee comment in Largen & Rasmussen (1993).

May belong to the genus Boaedon as redefined by KELLY et al. 2011. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. In English, and generally outside of Ethiopia, the country was historically known as Abyssinia. 
  • Kelly, Christopher M.R.; William R. Branch, Donald G. Broadley, Nigel P. Barker, Martin H. Villet 2011. Molecular systematics of the African snake family Lamprophiidae Fitzinger, 1843 (Serpentes: Elapoidea), with particular focus on the genera Lamprophis Fitzinger 1843 and Mehelya Csiki 1903. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 58(3): 415-426 - get paper here
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Largen,M.J. & Rasmussen,J.B. 1993. Catalogue of the snakes of Ethiopia (Reptilia Serpentes), including identification keys. Tropical Zoology 6: 313-434 - get paper here
  • Mocquard 1906. Description de quelques reptiles et d’un batracien d’espèces nouvelles. Bull. Mus. natn. Hist. nat. Paris 12: 247-253 - get paper here
  • Stephen Spawls; Tomáš Mazuch& Abubakr Mohammad 2023. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of North-east Africa. Bloomsbury, 640 pp. - get paper here
  • Tiutenko, A., Koch, C., Pabijan, M., & Zinenko, O. 2022. Generic affinities of African house snakes revised: a new genus for Boodon erlangeri (Serpentes: Elapoidea: Lamprophiidae: Lamprophiinae). SALAMANDRA, 58(4), 235-262 - 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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