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Stegonotus aruensis (DORIA, 1875)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Aru Islands groundsnake 
SynonymLycodon aruensis DORIA 1875: 352
Stegonotus aruensis — KAISER et al. 2018: 31 
DistributionIndonesia (Aru islands)

Type locality: “Wokan (Isole Aru)” [Wokam, Tanahbesar Island, Maluku Province, Indonesia]  
TypesHolotype. MSNG 30186, most likely an adult male, collected by Odoardo Beccari between 8 February and 6 July 1872. 
DiagnosisComparison: For a comprehensive comparison of species, especially to the new species Stegonotus ayamaru, see that entry and Kaiser et al. 2019.

Stegonotus aruensis (Doria, 1874) (n = 1♀ 2♂) has a lower ventral scale count in females of V♀ = 191 (206) and a significantly lower (t = 3.96, p < 0.01) ventral scale count in males of V♂ = 179–190 (197–207). The subcaudal count of SC♀ = 78 (61) in females is higher, and this difference is statistically significant (t = 7.26, p < 0.001) in males, where SC♂ = 102–103 (71–75). Values for SCR♂ = 0.35–0.36 (0.26–0.27) and SCR♀ = 0.29 (0.23) are also higher in S. aruensis. Additional differences include (1) the rostral of S. aruensis is not visible on the dorsal surface of the head (gull wing +); (2) SSR = 3⁄4 (1⁄3–1⁄2); (3) PF angle ≥ 90° (< 90°); and (4) four gulars (five) separate the posterior genials from the first ventral. The closest known locality for S. aruensis is in the Aru Islands, Maluku Province, Indonesia, ca. 800 km by air from the type locality of S. nancuro (Kaiser et al. 2021). 
CommentSynonymy: Listed as a synonym of S. modestus by Wallach et al. 2014, but Kaiser et al. 2018 removed Lycodon aruensis from the synonymy of S. modestus. 
EtymologyThe species was named for the Aru Islands, Maluku Province, Indonesia, where the holotype was collected. 
  • Doria, G. 1875. Enumerazione dei rettili raccolti dal Dott. O. Beccari in Amboina alle Isole Aru ed alle Isole Kei durante gli anni 1872-73. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova 6: 325-357 [1874] - get paper here
  • Kaiser, Christine M.; Hinrich Kaiser & Mark O'Shea 2018. The taxonomic history of Indo-Papuan groundsnakes, genus Stegonotus Duméril et al., 1854 (Colubridae), with some taxonomic revisions and the designation of a neotype for S. parvus (Meyer, 1874). Zootaxa 4512 (1): 001–073 - get paper here
  • KAISER, CHRISTINE M.; MARK O’SHEA, HINRICH KAISER 2019. A new species of Indo-Papuan groundsnake, genus Stegonotus Duméril et al., 1854 (Serpentes, Colubridae), from the Bird’s Head Peninsula of West Papua, Indonesia, with comments on differentiating morphological characters. Zootaxa 4590 (2): 201-230 - get paper here
  • KAISER, H., KAISER, C. M., MECKE, S., & O’SHEA, M. A. R. K. 2021. A new species of Stegonotus (Serpentes: Colubridae) from the remnant coastal forests of southern Timor-Leste. Zootaxa, 5027(4): 489-514 - get paper here
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