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Rhamnophis batesii (BOULENGER, 1908)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Spotted Dagger-tooth Tree Snake 
SynonymThrasops batesii BOULENGER 1908: 93
Rhamnophis batesii — SCHMIDT 1923: 83
Thrasops batesi — TRAPE & ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995: 40
Rhamnophis batesii — BROADLEY 1998
Thrasops batesi — LEGRAND 2002
Rhamnophis batesii — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
Thrasops batesii — CHIRIO & LEBRETON 2007
Rhamnophis batesii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 646
Thrasops batesii — CHIPPAUX & JACKSON 2019: 371 
DistributionCameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, W/C Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Congo (Brazzaville), Central African Republic

Type locality: “Akok, Kribi River district, and Ja River district”, Akok and Efulen, Cameroon.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.4.63-65 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: Dorsal scales in 13 rows at midbody, vertebral row enlarged; ventrals 163-19; cloacal entire; subcaudals 92-119; two labials in contact with lowest postocular.

DESCRIPTION: Supralabials (rarely 6 or 8); the fourth & fifth (rarely third & fourth or fifth & sixth) entering orbit; infralabials 8 or 9, the first 44 in contact with anterior sublinguals; preocular 1 (rarely 2); postoculars 3 (rarely 2 or 4), 2 labials in contact with the lowest; a single temporal, 4 occipitals (sometimes 3). Dorsals smooth in 13-13-11 or 13-13-9 rows, vertebral row enlarged; ventrals 163-19 cloacal entire; subcaudals 92-123 pairs. 
CommentCOLORATION in LIFE. Dorsum pale violet-brown, many scales black at the base and along lower edge, giving a plaited effect to the supracaudals. Chin and throat cream, rest of venter pale green, with black labial sutures and numerous black spots or blotches on the venter.

HABITAT: Rain forest between 400 and 1000 metres, fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018) 
EtymologyNamed after George Latimer Bates (1863-1940), an American ornithologist and botanist who traveled in West Africa (1895-1931). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Boulenger, GEORGE A. 1908. Description of three new snakes from Africa. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (8) 2: 93-94 - get paper here
  • BROADLEY, D. G. & V. WALLACH 2002. Review of the Dispholidini, with the description of a new genus and species from Tanzania (Serpentes, Colubridae). Bull. nat.Hist. Mus. Lond (Zool.), 68(2): 57-74. - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • 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, 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
  • 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
  • Legrand, Gonwouo Nono 2002. REPTILES OF MOUNT CAMEROON WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO SPECIES IN INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE. Thesis, University of Yaounde, Cameroon, 73 pp.
  • Pauwels, O.S.G. & Vande Weghe, J.P. 2008. Les reptiles du Gabon. Smithsonian Institution, Washington: 272 pp. - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K. P. 1923. Contributions to the herpetology of the Belgian Congo based on the collection of the American Museum Congo Expedition, 1909-1915. Part II. Snakes, with field notes by Herbert Lang and James P. Chapin. Bull. Amer. Mus. nat. Hist. 49 (1): 1-146 - 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
  • Trape, J.F. & R. ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995. Les serpents du Congo: liste commentée et clé de détermination. Journal of African Zoology 109 (1): 31-50
  • 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.
  • Witte, G. F. de 1933. Reptiles récoltés au Conge Belge par le Dr. H. Schouteden et par M. G.-F. Witte. Ann. Mus. Conge belge Zool. Ser. 1 Tome III: 53-100.
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