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Rhinophis dorsimaculatus DERANIYAGALA, 1941

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Higher TaxaUropeltidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Polkadot Earth Snake 
SynonymRhinophis dorsimaculatus DERANIYAGALA 1941
Rhinophis dorsimaculatus — SMITH 1943: 526
Rhinophis dorsimaculatus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 136
Rhinophis dorsimaculatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 650 
DistributionSri Lanka

Type locality: Coastal village of Marichchukate, North Western Province, Ceylon.  
Reproductionviviparous 
TypesHolotype: lost, was NMSL (also as CNM 86) (now lost, fide Gans, 1966: 14 and Gower et al. 2016). Deraniyagala (1941) mentioned a second specimen. However, he did not explicitly designate it as a type or report a specimen number. Gans 1966 called this second specimen a paratype but it is also lost now (Gans 1966: 14). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The species is readily distinguished from congeners by having 227 or more ventral scales; a large, dorsally carinate rostral shield; posterior margins of paired anals that are largely separated by the posteriormost ventral scale; and a distinctive colour pattern with bilaterally asymmetrical dark blotches within a broad, pale middorsal stripe and regularly punctate flanks (Gower & Wickramasinghe 2016). 
CommentOnly known from the 2 types and about 10 additional specimens. 
References
  • Deraniyagala. PAUL E. PIERIS 1941. A new fossorial snake (Rhinophis dorsimaculatus) from Ceylon. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 42 4: 800-802. - get paper here
  • GOWER, DAVID J.; L. J. MENDIS WICKRAMASINGHE 2016. Recharacterization of Rhinophis dorsimaculatus Deraniyagala, 1941 (Serpentes: Uropeltidae), including description of new material. Zootaxa 4158 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 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.
  • 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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