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Stegonotus modestus (SCHLEGEL, 1837)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Moluccan groundsnake, Maluku ground snake 
SynonymLycodon modestus SCHLEGEL 1837: 119
Lycodon modestum — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 379
Ablabes greineri BLEEKER 1860: 43
Coronella Rosenbergii BLEEKER 1860: 37
Coluber holochrous GÜNTHER 1863: 59
Lycodon modestus — BOULENGER 1893: 366
Stegonotus modestus — WERNER 1899
Stegonotus modestus — MCDOWELL 1972
Stegonotus modestus — O’SHEA 1996
Stegonotus lenhoseri HOSER 2012
Stegonotus modestus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 686
Stegonotus modestus — KAISER et al. 2018: 9 
DistributionIndonesia (Ambon, Buru, Seram, and surrounding smaller islands)

Type locality: Ambon, Maluku Province, Indonesia

rosenbergii: Indonesia (Seram, formerly Ceram); Type locality: “Paulohi,” Seram Island, Maluku Province, Indonesia

holochrous: Indonesia (Seram); Type locality: “North Ceram,” Seram Island, Maluku Province, Indonesia.

Lycodon aruensis: Type locality: Wokan, Aru Island  
TypesHolotype: RMNH 324, adult male. Collected by Salomon Müller between 5 September and 7 October 1828.
Holotype. BMNH 1946.1.13.74 (formerly, adult male. Most likely collected by Pieter Bleeker between 2 and 9 October 1855. [greineri]
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.11.40, adult male. [holochrous]
Holotype. RMNH RENA 4066, adult male. Collected by Hermann von Rosenberg during the second half of 1859. [rosenbergii] 
DiagnosisComparison: For a comprehensive comparison of species, especially to the new species Stegonotus ayamaru, see that entry and Kaiser et al. 2019. 
CommentSynonymy: partly after H. Kaiser et al. 2018 who removed Lycodon lividum DUMÉRIL et al. 1854: 381 from the synonymy of S. modestus.

Type species: Coluber holochrous is the type species of the genus Lielaphis (described as a subgenus of Colubri).

Behavior: nocturnal 
EtymologyFrom the Latin “modestus” meaning moderate, perhaps indicating that this was a relatively nondescript form of what was then considered the genus Lycodon [modestus].

Named in honor of the physician C.G.C.F. Greiner, who served in the East Indies as part of the Dutch military. [greineri]

From the Greek “holo” and “chro[m]us” [all one color] in reference to the uniform brownish grey color of the specimen upon arrival in London. [holochrous]

Named in honor of the German naturalist Hermann von Rosenberg (1817-1888), who collected the type specimen. [rosenbergii] 
  • Bleeker, P. 1860. Over de Reptiliën-Fauna van Amboina. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 22: 39-43 - get paper here
  • Bleeker, P. 1860. Over de reptilïen-fauna van van [sic] Ceram. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 22: 35–38. - 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
  • Clegg, Jonathan R. and Merlijn Jocque 2015. The Collection of Snakes Made by Benoît Mys and Jan Swerts in Northern Papua New Guinea in 1982–85. Journal of Herpetology 50 (3): 476-485 [2016] - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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. 1863. Contribution to the herpetology of Ceram. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 12: 397-399 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R.T. 2012. Three new species of Stegonotus from New Guinea (Serpentes: Colubridae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 12:18–22. - get paper here
  • Iskandar, Djoko T. and Walter R. Erdelen 2006. Conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Indonesia: issues and problems. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 4 (1): 60-87 - 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.; JACK LAPIN, MARK O’SHEA & HINRICH KAISER 2020. Carefully examining Bornean Stegonotus (Serpentes, Colubridae): the montane groundsnake population in Sabah is a new and distinct species. Zootaxa 4894 (1): 053–068 - 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.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • 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
  • Longman, H.A. 1913. Herpetological Notes. Part I. Systematic. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum Brisbane, 2: 39-45
  • McDowell, Samuel B. 1972. The species of Stegonotus (Serpentes, Colubridae) in Papua, New Guinea. Zoologische Mededelingen 47: 6-26 - 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
  • Schlegel, H. 1837. Essai sur la physionomie des serpens. Partie Descriptive. La Haye (J. Kips, J. HZ. et W. P. van Stockum), 606 S. + xvi - 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
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