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Rhynchocalamus satunini (NIKOLSKY, 1899)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Palestine Kukri Snake
G: Schwarzkopf-Zwergnatter, Schwarzkopfnatter 
SynonymContia satunini NIKOLSKY 1899: 449
Oligodon melanocephalus septentrionalis WERNER 1905
Contia satunini — WERNER 1917
Oligodon melanocephalus satunini — CHERNOV 1937
Rhynchocalamus satunini — REED & MARX 1959
Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus satunini — DAREVSKY 1970
Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus satunini — FRANZEN & BISCHOFF 1995
Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus satunini — ANANJEVA et al. 2006: 182
Rhynchocalamus satunini — ŠMÍD et al. 2015 
DistributionE Turkey, S Armenia, Iraq (Kurdistan), W Iran, Azerbaijan

Type locality: "Prov. Elizabetpol in Transcaucasia, prope [near] flum. Arax" [found by K. Satunin in August 1893 in the vicinity of Megri [=Meghri], on the Axes River; now in Armenia].  
TypesHolotype: ZISP 9343 
DiagnosisR. satunini differs from R. melanocephalus in having a greater number of upper labials (7 versus 6), greater number of lower labials (8 versus 7) and in not having the top of the head and nape uniformly black (Fig. 2; Reed and Marx 1959; Darevsky 1970; Franzen and Bischoff 1995). These results suggest that, as already proposed by Reed and Marx (1959) and Avci et al. (2015), R. satunini and R. melanocephalus should be considered as different species. 
CommentDistribution: not in Iraq fide Habeeb & Rastegar-Pouyani 2016; see map in ŠMÍD et al. 2015: 382. For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013. 
  • Al-Quran, S. 2009. The Herpetofauna of the Southern Jordan. American-Eurasian J. Agric. & Environ. Sci., 6 (4): 385-391 [this journal has a dubious record, see]
  • Ananjeva, NB, Orlov NL; Khalikov RG; Darevsky IS; Ryabov IS & Barabanov AV 2006. The Reptiles of North Eurasia. Taxonomic Diversity, Distribution, Conservation Status [this comprises the territory of the former Soviet Union and Mongolia]. Pensoft Series Faunistica 47, 250 pp.
  • Arakelyan, Marine S.; Felix D. Danielyan, Claudia Corti, Roberto Sindaco, and Alan E. Leviton 2011. The Herpetofauna of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. SSAR, Salt Lake City, 154 pp. [ISBN: 978-0-916984-84-7.]
  • AVCI, A. & ILGAZ, Ç. & KUMLUTAS, Y. & OLGUN, K. & BARAN, I. 2007. Morphology and distribution of Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus saturimi (NIKOLSKY, 1899) in Turkey. Herpetozoa 20: 82–85 - get paper here
  • Avci, A., Dinçaslan, Y.E., Ilgaz, Ç. & Üzüm, N. 2008. Contributions to the distribution and morphology of Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus melanocephalus (Jan 1862) (Reptilia, Colubridae) in Turkey. North-Western Journal of Zoology 4 (1): 161-166 - get paper here
  • Avcı, Aziz; Çetin Ilgaz, Mahdi Rajabizadeh, Can Yılmaz, Nazan Üzüm, Dominique Adriaens, Yusuf Kumlutaş, Kurtuluş Olgun 2015. Molecular Phylogeny and Micro CT-Scanning Revealed Extreme Cryptic Biodiversity in Kukri Snake, Muhtarophis gen. nov., a New Genus for Rhynchocalamus barani (Serpentes: Colubridae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 22 (3): 159-174
  • Baha el Din, S. 2006. A guide to the reptiles and amphibians of Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, Cairo. xvi + 359 pp.
  • Bar, Aviad and Guy Haimovitch 2012. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Israel. Pazbar LTD, 246 pp. - get paper here
  • Berger-Dell'mour, H. 1986. Zur Herpetofauna des Golan [Syria]. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. in Wien (Ser. B) 87: 59-67. - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. [as O. Böttger] 1880. Die Reptilien und Amphibien von Syrien, Palaestina und Cypern. Ber. Senckenb. Naturforsch. Ges., Frankfurt/M., 1879-1880: 132-219 - get paper here
  • Corkill, N. L. and Cochrane, J. A. 1966. The snakes of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 62 (3): 475-506 (1965) - get paper here
  • Damhoureyeh, S.A.; Qarqaz, M.A.; Baker, M.A.; Himdan, N.; Eid, E. & Amr, Z.S. 2009. Reptiles and Amphibians in Dibbeen Nature Reserve, Jordan. Vertebrate Zoology 59 (2): 169 – 177
  • Darevsky, I. S. 1970. Systematic status of Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus satunini Nik. (Serpentes, Colubridae) previously included in the genus Oligodon. Zool. Zhurnal 49: 1685-1690.
  • Disi, A.M.; Modry, D.; Necas, P. & Rifai, L. 2001. Amphibians and reptiles of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 408 pp.
  • Egan, D. 2007. Snakes of Arabia. Motivate Publishing, Dubai, 208 pp.
  • Engelmann, W.E. et al. 1993. Lurche und Kriechtiere Europas. Neumann Verlag (Radebeul, Germany), 440 pp.
  • Esterbauer, H. 1985. Zur Herpetofauna Südwestsyriens. Herpetofauna 7 (38): 23-34 - get paper here
  • Franzen M; Bischoff W 1995. Erstnachweis von Rhynchocalamus melanocephalus melanocephalus für die Turkei. Salamandra 31 (2): 107-122 - get paper here
  • Gasperetti,J. 1988. Snakes of Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 9: 169-450
  • Günther,A. 1864. Report on a collection of reptiles and fishes from Palestine. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1864: 488-493 - get paper here
  • Hraoui-Bloquet, S.; Sadek, R.A.; Sindaco, R. & Venchi, A. 2002. The herpetofauna of Lebanon: new data on distribution. Zoology in the Middle East 27: 35-46 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1862. Enumerazione sistematico delle specie d'ofidi del gruppo Calamaridae. Arch. Zool., Anat. Fisiol., 2: 1-76. - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1865. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 13. Livraison. [Homalosoma mite]. J.B. Bailière et Fils, Paris - get paper here
  • Leviton,A.E.; Anderson,S.C.; Adler, K.; Minton,S.A. 1992. Handbook to Middle East Amphibians and Reptiles. SSAR, Oxford, Ohio (Contr. to Herpetol. No. 8), 1-252
  • Nikolsky, A. M. 1899. Contia statunini n. sp., and Agama ruderata Oliv., from Transcaucasia [in Russian]. Annuaire Musée Zoologique de l’Académie Impériale des Sciences de St.-Pétersbourg, 4: 449-451 - get paper here
  • Olgun, K.; Avci, A. Ilgaz, C.; Üzüm, N. & Yilmaz, C. 2007. A new species of Rhynchocalamus (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae) from Turkey. Zootaxa 1399: 57–68 - get paper here
  • Rajabizadeh, M. 2017. Snakes of Iran. [in Farsi] Tehran: Iranshenasi, 496 pp. - get paper here
  • RASTEGAR-POUYANI, NASRULLAH; HAJI GHOLI KAMI, MEHDI RAJABZADEH, SOHEILA SHAFIEI AND STEVEN CLEMENT ANDERSON 2008. Annotated Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 4 (1): 7-30
  • Reed, Charles A. & Marx, Hymen 1959. A herpetological collection from Northeastern Iraq. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 62 (1): 91-122 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl P. 1933. A new snake (Rhynchocalamus arabicus) from Arabia. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 20: 9-10 - get paper here
  • Schmidt,K.P. 1939. Reptiles and amphibians from Southwestern Asia. Publ. Field Mus. nat. Hist., zool. Ser., 24: 49-92 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R.; Alberto Venchi & Cristina Grieco 2013. The Reptiles of the Western Palearctic, Volume 2: Annotated Checklist and Distributional Atlas of the Snakes of Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, with an Update to Volume 1. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 543 pp. - get paper here
  • ŠMÍD, JIŘÍ; GABRIEL MARTÍNEZ, JURGEN GEBHART, JAVIER AZNAR, JAVIER GÁLLEGO, BAYRAM GÖÇMEN, PHILIP DE POUS, KARIN TAMAR & SALVADOR CARRANZA 2015. Phylogeny of the genus Rhynchocalamus (Reptilia; Colubridae) with a first record from the Sultanate of Oman. Zootaxa 4033 (3): 380–392 - get paper here
  • Tuniyev, B.S.; N.L. Orlov, N.B. Ananjeva and A.L. Aghasyan 2019. Snakes of the Caucasus: taxonomic diversity, distribution, conservation. St. Petersburg, Moscow. KMK Scientific Press. 2019. 276 pp. - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1917. Reptilien aus Persien (Provinz Fars). Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien, 67:191—220. - get paper here
  • Werner,Y.L. 1988. Herpetofaunal survey of Israel (1950-1985), with comments on Sinai and Jordan and on zoogeographical heterogeneity. in: Yom-Tov,Y. & Tchernov, E. (eds.) The zoogeography of Israel, Dr. W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht (Netherlands); ISBN 90-6193-650-0
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