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Spalerosophis microlepis JAN, 1865

IUCN Red List - Spalerosophis microlepis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Zebra Snake, Jan’s diadem snake 
SynonymSpalerosophis microlepis JAN 1865
Loxodon microlepis — SORDELLI in JAN & SORDELLI 1867: pl. 20.III
Toxodon microlepis — SORDELLI in JAN & SORDELLI 1867: 2
Zamenis microlepis — BOULENGER 1892: 633
Zamenis microlepis — BOULENGER 1893: 413
Zamenis microlepis — WALL 1908: 799
Spalerosophis microlepis — SCHMIDT 1939
Spalerosophis microlepis — FRYNTA et al. 1997
Spalerosophis microlepis — SCHÄTTI et al. 2009
Spalerosophis microlepis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 683 
DistributionIran (Larestan, Fars)

Type locality: Laristan [= Lorestan] and Shiraz (restricted to Laristan by SCHMIDT 1939).  
TypesLectotype: lost, was MRSN (given as IMZT 4024 = MZUT R1843; lost fide SCHÄTTI et al. 2009) 
CommentType species: Spalerosophis microlepis JAN 1865 is the type species of the genus Spalerosophis JAN 1865.

Synonymy: Spalerosophis JAN, 1865, earlier considered a synonym of Coluber(e. g. SMITH 1943) was subsequently resurrected on the basis of fragmentation of certain head shields, particularly prefrontals, circumoculars, loreals and temporals (SCHMIDT 1930; MARX 1959; ANDERSON 1963; MINTON 1966; MERTENS 1969; DAS 1997; BAIG 2001; WHITAKER & CAPTAIN 2004). GASPERETTI (1988) discussed the taxonomic validity of Spalerosophisin detail. The genus is also characterized by an undivided anal, ocular ring separating the supralabials from the eye, also in some species the presence of frontonasal(s) (scales between prefrontals and nasals; some authorsconsidered them as prefrontals and mentioned higher number of prefrontals for the genus) and 25-33 (MARX 1959) longitudinal scale rows at mid-body (except S. microlepis where there are 41-43).

Distribution: For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013. 
  • Baig, Khalid J. and Rafaqat Masroor 2008. The snakes of the genus Spalerosophis Jan, 1865 in Indo-Pakistan and Iran (Squamata: Serpentes: Colubridae). Herpetozoa 20 (3/4): 109-115 [2007] - get paper here
  • Blanford, W.T. 1874. Descriptions of new Reptilia and Amphibia from Persia and Baluchistan. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (4) 14: 31-35 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Fathnia, B.; N. Rastegar Pouyani; H. Darvishnia; M. Rajabzadeh 2010. The snake fauna of Ilam Province, southwestern Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics 6 (1) - get paper here
  • Frynta,D. et al. 1997. Results of the Czech biological expedition to Iran. Part 1. Notes on the distribution of amphibians and reptiles. Acta Soc. Zool. Bohem. 61: 3-17
  • Hosseinzadeh, M. S., P. Ghezellou & S. M. Kazemi 2017. Predicting the potential distribution of the endemic snake Spalerosophis microlepis (Serpentes: Colubridae), in the Zagros Mountains, western Iran. Salamandra 53 (2): 294-298 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1865. Prime linee dúna fauna della Persia occidentale, 342-357. In: F. de Filippi, Note di un Viaggio in Persia nel 1862. G. Daelli & C. Editori, Milan, xi + 369 p.
  • Lanza, B. 1964. Il genere Sphalerosophis e descrizione di una nuova specie (Reptilia, Serpentes). Monit. zool. ital. 72: 47-64.
  • Latifi, M. 1991. The snakes of Iran. [English Translation]. Athens, Ohio, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Contrib. Herpetol., 7: i-viii + 1-159 - get paper here
  • Marx, H. 1959. Review of the colubrid snake genus Spalerosophis. Fieldiana Zoology 39: 347-361. - 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
  • Schätti, B.; Tillack, F. & Helfenberger, N. 2009. A contribution to Spalerosophis microlepis JAN 1865, with a short review of the genus and a key to the species (Squamata: Serpentes: Colubridae). Herpetozoa 22 (3/4): 115-135 - 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
  • Wall,F. 1908. Notes on a collection of snakes from Persia. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 18: 795-805 - 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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