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Ptyas doriae (BOULENGER, 1888)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Doria's Green Snake
E: Hampton's Green Snake [hamptoni]
Chinese: 纯绿翠青蛇 
SynonymCyclophiops doriae BOULENGER 1888: 599
Ablabes doriae — BOULENGER 1890
Ablabes hamptoni BOULENGER 1900
Liopeltis hamptoni — WALL 1924: 865
Liopeltis doriae — WALL 1924
Eurypholis doriae — POPE 1935: 281
Opheodrys hamptoni — SMITH 1943: 180
Entechinus doriae — CUNDALL 1981
Liopeltis doriae — WELCH 1988
Entechinus doriae — WELCH 1988
Entechinus doriae — MCDOWELL & JENNER 1988
Entechinus hamptoni — MCDOWELL & JENNER 1988
Cyclophiops hamptoni — TORIBA 1989
Cyclophiops doriae — ZHAO & ADLER 1993
Ophiodrys doriae — DAS 1996: 58
Opheodrys doriae — SHARMA 2004
Cyclophiops doriae — ZHAO 2006: 189
Cyclophiops doriae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 202
Cyclophiops hamptoni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 202
Ptyas hamptoni — FIGUEROA et al. 2016
Ptyas doriae — FIGUEROA et al. 2016
Cyclophiops doriae — WANG et al. 2022 
DistributionChina (Yunnan), Myanmar (= Burma) (Kachin Hills), India (Assam)

Type locality: “Kakhien Hills”

hamptoni: Myanmar (= Burma); Type locality: Mogok, Burma  
TypesLectotype: MSNG 30384; syntype: BMNH (?, type listed as missing 1928 in catalogue).
Holotype: BMNH 1900.9.20.15; BMNH 1946. 1.5.32 fide Meetei et al. 2018 [hamptoni] 
DiagnosisRedescription: (Table 1, Figure 1, 2, 3 in Meetei et al. 2018) A small to medium sized snake with a maximum SVL of 843 mm (in the holotype of P. hamptoni); body slender; tail long (TAL/total length 0.21–0.24), head more or less distinct from neck; HW greater than HH; snout moderately elongated (ESD/HLB 0.37–0.39), obtusely pointed; from the prefrontal region the forehead slopes down steeply towards snout tip; eye moderately large (ED/HLB 0.23–0.28), with round pupil; rostral wider than high and contacts 6 scales, namely 1st SL, internasals and anterior nasals; suture between internasals smaller than that between prefrontals; lateral extensions of prefrontals descend onto upper parts of loreal region; loreal present or absent—for example, in ZSI 20503, 20504 and Regd. No. 40107 loreal is absent whereas a small loreal is present between posterior nasal, 2nd SL, pre-ocular and the prefrontal in NHML 1946.1.5.32, MCZ R 44714, VR/ERS/ZSI 501(A) and 501(J); amongst the specimens without a loreal, preocular contacts posterior nasal in two (ZSI 20503 and 20504) specimens whereas in Regd. No. 40107 the lateral extension of the prefrontal contacts the 2nd SL (however, an incomplete suture is present on the downward lateral extension of the prefrontal)—the pattern indicates that in the former loreal had fused with the pre-ocular while in the latter a fusion occurred between loreal and prefrontal; frontal pentagonal, longer than its distance from rostral, and contacts prefrontals, supraoculars and parietals; both the parietals and the suture between them are longer than the frontal; nasal divided and posterior nasal larger than its anterior counterpart; 1preocular; a very small pre- subocular either present or absent; postoculars 2 or 3 (Regd. No. 40107); TEMP (R/L) 1+2/1+2, lower posterior TEMP sometimes prevented from touching anterior TEMP by 7th SL (ZSI 11939, 20503, VR/ERS/ZSI 501(A), MCZ R 44714); SL (R/L) 6/6 (MCZ R 44714) or 7/7 (other specimens), 1st and 2nd SL touch nasals; in most of the specimens 4th and 5th SL contact eye while in ZSI 20503 and MCZ R 44714, 3rd also in contact with eye; 7th SL large, followed by a moderately large scale (regarded by some authors as the 8th SL located behind the corner of the mouth, so not considered here to be a supralabial); mental triangular; IL (R/L) 6/6 or 7/7, 1st to 4th IL contacts anterior genial while posterior genial is usually contacted by 4th and 5th IL except in ZSI 20503 where 5th IL is just separated from posterior genial; anterior genial 1.6–2.2 times longer than the posterior genial; dorsal scales smooth, DSCH:M:V 15:15:15; VEN 173–194, in ZSI 20503 178th VEN is divided; Anal 1; SC 74–80 pairs.
Dentition was studied in ZSI 11939; this specimen possesses 26 or 27 recurved teeth on an elongated narrow maxilla; the number of maxillary teeth reported in the literature is 25–33 (Boulenger 1900; Wall 1924b; Smith 1943).
Hemipenis was studied in ZSI 11939. The following description of hemipenis is from an in situ preparation as an everted preparation was not available and the description follows the terminology of Dowling & Savage (1960); the hemipenis extends upto 14th SC in situ; apart from the base of the organ which is devoid of ornamentation, the basal 2/3 part is covered with large spines; at about 2/3 length of the hemipenis, an abrupt transition from spinous to a calyculate area occurs; calyces away from distal end are large and formed of thick ridges, therefore appearing somewhat like flounces; the ridges of calyces are papillate; calyces become very small and closely set towards the end of distal part.
In life, the head and dorsum are uniformly verdant green which extends to the outer edges of VEN while the venter is white to whitish cream. In preservative, the dorsum becomes turquoise. One specimen, Regd. No. 40107, has a hitherto unreported colour pattern (Figure 3). The specimen has 4 black lateral stripes on a green (bluish-grey in preservative) dorsum. These stripes start at the midbody and while the lower one terminates at vent, the upper stripe runs for about half the length of tail. The lower stripes occupy 2nd and 3rd dorsal scale rows while the upper stripes run along 5th and 6th scales rows. This particular specimen, collected from Manipur by the first author, agrees with other specimens in every other aspect including lepidosis. (from Meetei et al. 2018 who did not provide a diagnosis).

Description (hamptoni): Uniform green above, the colour descending on to the outer margins of the ventral scales; upper lips and lower parts whitish. 
CommentType species: Cyclophiops doriae is the type species of the genus Cyclophiops Boulenger 1888.

Synonymy: partly after SMITH 1943; Figueroa et al. 2016: 21 and Li et al. 2020 synonymized Cyclophiops with Ptyas. Meetei et al. 2018 synonymized hamptoni with doriae.

Abundance: both P. doriae and P. hamptoni are very rare; P. hamptoni is known only from the type, which is a female. There seem to be no photos of live P. doriae. It is still possible they are different species.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after Marchese Giacomo Doria (1840-1913), Italian zoologist who collected in Persia (Iran) with de Filippi (1862-1863) and in Borneo with Beccari (1865-1866). He founded the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Turin (1867-1913), and was its first Director. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. [spelled as Boulanger] 1900. Description of a new Snake of the genus Ablabes from Burma. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 13: 553 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, GEORGE A. 1888. An account of the Reptilia obtained in Burma, north of Tenasserim, by M. L. Fea, of the Genova Civic Museum. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova, ser. 2, 6: 593-604 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1894. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, xi, 382 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1900. Description of a new snake of the genus Ablabes from Burma. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (7) 6: 409 - get paper here
  • Capocaccia, L. 1961. Catalogo dei tipi di Rettili del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova [MSNG]. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Giacomo Doria 72: 86-111
  • Dowling, H.G., & Jenner, J.V. 1988. Snakes of Burma: checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (76): 19 pp. - get paper here
  • Figueroa A, McKelvy AD, Grismer LL, Bell CD, Lailvaux SP 2016. A Species-Level Phylogeny of Extant Snakes with Description of a New Colubrid Subfamily and Genus. PLoS One 11 (9): e0161070.doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0161070 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Li, J-N., Liang, D., Wang, Y-Y., Guo, P., Huang, S., Zhang, P. 2020. A Large-scale Systematic Framework of Chinese Snakes Based on a Unified Multilocus Marker System. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Sclater,W.L. 1891. Notes on a collection of snakes in the Indian Museum, with descriptions of several new species. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal LX: 230-250 - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Toriba, M. 1989. A book review: Snake of the Orient, a Checklist, by Kenneth R. G. Welch, 1988, Krieger, Melbourune, Florida, vii+183pp. (in Japanese). Japanese Journal of Herpetology 13 (1): 21-25.
  • Wall,F. 1924. A Hand-list of the Snakes of the Indian Empire. Part 3. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 29: 864-878 - 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.
  • Wang K, Lyu ZT, Wang J, Qi S, Che J 2022. Updated Checklist and Zoogeographic Division of the Reptilian Fauna of Yunnan Province, China. Biodiversity Science 30 (4): 21326, 1–31 - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Zhao, E.M. 2006. The snakes of China [in Chinese]. Hefei, China, Anhui Sience & Technology Publ. House, Vol. I, 372 pp., Vol. II (color plates), 280 pp.
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