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Stegonotus cucullatus (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Bird's Head Peninsula groundsnake, Slatey-grey snake
G: Schiefernatter 
SynonymLycodon cucullatum DUMÉRIL, DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 376
Lycodon magnus MEYER 1874: 136
Stegonotus cucullatus — BOULENGER 1893: 365
Stegonotus magnus — LIDTH DE JEUDE 1911: 273
Stegonotus cucullatus — COGGER 1983: 213
Stegonotus cucullatus — COGGER 2000: 627
Stegonotus cucullatus — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Stegonotus cucullatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 685
Stegonotus cucullatus — KAISER et al. 2018: 12 
DistributionIndonesia (West Papua, Manokwari)

Type locality: “Hâvre Dorey, à la Nouvelle Guinée” [Doreri Bay, West Papua Province, West New Guinea]; corrected to Manokwari area on the Bird’s Head Peninsula of West Papua, Indonesian New Guinea, by Kaiser et al. 2018.  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 3412, from Hâvre Dorey, Nouvelle Guinée [Doreri Bay, West Papua, Indonesia]. Collected by Prosper Garnot and René-Primevère Lesson between 26 July and 9 August 1824.
Syntypes: MTD (= MTKD) 573 and unnamed additional specimens, from Supiori I. (as Mysore), Papua Province, Indonesia. Collected by Adolf B. Meyer between 25 March and 5 April 1873. Kaiser et al. 2018 designated MTD (= MTKD) as the lectotype so that any neotype designation would only need to take the characteristics of a single specimen into account [Lycodon magnus] 
DiagnosisKaiser et al. 2018 “expect members of this species to generally possess values of D = 17-17-15, SLE = 4+5, SL = 8, IL = 9, and ILG = 5, with relatively high ventral and subcaudal scale counts (V > 200, SC > 90). However, we caution our readers that values outside of these parameters may, but probably rarely, occur in conspecifics. The male value of SCR = 0.30 in the holotype is relatively high for the genus.”

Comparison: For a comprehensive comparison of species, especially to the new species Stegonotus ayamaru, see that entry and Kaiser et al. 2019. 
CommentSynonymy after COGGER 1983 and Kaiser et al. 2018, who removed Stegonotus reticulatus BOULENGER 1895 as well as Lydodon keyensis DORIA 1874 from the synonymy of S. cucullatus. Many reports of S. cucullatus in the literature actually refer to S. australis after this species was revalidated by Kaiser et al. 2018.

Behavior: nocturnal

Distribution: records from Australia or Papua New Guinea are in error fide Kaiser et al. 2018.

Photos: many photos supposedly showing S. cucullatus show actually other species after Kaiser et al. 2018 revised the genus.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyAfter the Latin “cucullatus”, a literal translation of the French “capuchon” for (cape or hood), likely chosen in reference to the dark brown dorsal coloration contrasted by the yellowish-white venter. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • DUBEY, SYLVAIN; GREGORY P. BROWN, THOMAS MADSEN and RICHARD SHINE 2008. Characterization of tri- and tetranucleotide microsatellite loci for the slatey-grey snake (Stegonotus cucullatus, Colubridae). Molecular Ecology Resources 8: 431–433 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M.C., G. BIBRON & A.H.A. DUMÉRIL 1854. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. Vol. 7 (partie 1). Paris, xvi + 780 S. - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1872. Seventh account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 9: 13-37 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - 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
  • Lang, Ruud de 2013. The snakes of the Moluccas (Maluku), Indonesia. Edition Chimaira, 417 pp. - get paper here
  • Lidth DE JEUDE, T.W. VAN 1911. Reptilien (Schlangen). Nova Guinea. Résultats de l’expedition scientifique néerlandaise à la Nouvelle Guinée en 1907 sous les auspices de Dr. H.A. Lorenz 9. Leiden (E. J. Brill), pp. 265-287
  • McDowell, Samuel B. 1972. The species of Stegonotus (Serpentes, Colubridae) in Papua, New Guinea. Zoologische Mededelingen 47: 6-26 - get paper here
  • Meyer, A.B. 1874. Eine Mittheilung von Hern. Dr. Adolf Berhard Meyer über die von ihm auf Neu-Guinea und den Inseln Jobi, Mysore und Mafoor im Jahre 1873 gesammelten Amphibien. Monatsber. K. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1874: 128-140 - get paper here
  • O'Shea,M. 1996. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Independent Publishing, Port Moresby, xii + 239 pp. - get paper here
  • Parkin, T., Jolly, C. J., de Laive, A., & von Takach, B. 2020. Snakes on an urban plain: Temporal patterns of snake activity and human–snake conflict in Darwin, Australia. Austral Ecology - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. 2009. Snakes of Darwin. Poster, University of Sydney
  • Trembath, Dane and Ray Lloyd. 2005. Geographic Distribution: Stegonotus cucullatus (Slatey Grey Snake). Herpetological Review 36 (2):204. - 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.
  • Werner, F. 1899. Ueber Reptilien und Batrachier aus Togoland, Kamerun und Deutsch-Neu-Guinea grösstentheils aus dem k. Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 49: 132-157 - get paper here
  • Wilson, David N., Ian J. Morris and Dean C. Metcalfe. 2014. Stegonotus cucullatus (slatey-grey snake) mortality. Herpetological Review 45 (4): 713-714 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
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