Stegonotus australis (GÜNTHER, 1872)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Stegonotus australis?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Australian groundsnake|
|Synonym||Zamenophis australis GÜNTHER 1872: 21|
Lycodon darnleyensis MACLEAY 1877: 38
Herbertophis plumbeus MACLEAY 1884: 434
Stegonotus plumbeus — BOULENGER 1893: 368
Stegonotus australis — KAISER et al. 2018: 27
Type locality: “Cape York” [Queensland, Australia].
|Types||Holotype. BMNH 19184.108.40.206, formerly BMNH 220.127.116.11, an adult male. Collected by Edmund Thomas Higgins in the 1860s.|
Holotype: AMS R31894, from Darnley Is., Torres Strait, Qld. Collected during the Chevert Expedition between 31 July and 12 August 1975. [Lycodon darnleyensis].
Holotype: AMS R31895, from Ripple Creek, Herbert River, Qld. Collected by John Archibald Boyd in 1884. [Herbertophis plumbeus].
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: (1) the length of the internasal suture is half of internasal width (the rostral invades the internasal area and nearly separates the internasals, with the length of the internasal suture only one tenth of internasal width); (2) the suture formed by the prefrontals and the frontal lies posterior to or is level with the anterior edge of the eyes (anterior to eyes); (3) the posterior edge of the prefrontals is bent forward laterally, forming an angle of 100° (hardly bent, 165°); (4) the line drawn through the two posterolateral vertices of the frontal lies well posterior to the eyes (intersects the eyes); (5) the chin area is separated from true ventral scales (gastrosteges) by three scales in the ventral midline (two scales); (6) nine supralabials (eight); and (7) ten infralabials (nine).|
Comparison: For a comprehensive comparison of species, especially to the new species Stegonotus ayamaru, see that entry and Kaiser et al. 2019.
|Comment||Synonymy after Kaiser et al. 2018. Boulenger (1893) synonymized Lycodon darnleyensis with S. cucullatus, but indicated some doubt regarding his decision by including a question mark before the species name. Listed as a synonym of S. cucullatus by Wallach et al. 2014.|
Distribution: S. cucullatus reported from Australia are actually S. australis fide Kaiser et al. 2018.
Type species: Zamenophis australis is the type species of the genus Zamenophis Günther, 1872: 21.
|Etymology||The species name could either reference the country of its discovery (Australia) or its geographic position as the southernmost species of Stegonotus (australis = Latin, southern).|
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