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Thamnosophis lateralis (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

IUCN Red List - Thamnosophis lateralis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaPseudoxyrhophiidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Lateral Water Snake 
SynonymLeptophis lateralis DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 544
Dromicus madagascariensis GÜNTHER 1872
Dromicus baroni BOULENGER 1888
Tropidonotus lateralis — BOULENGER 1893: 248
Natrix lateralis — BARBOUR 1918: 487
Liopholidophis lateralis — GUIBÉ 1954: 241
Liopholidophis lateralis — GLAW & VENCES 1994: 337
Liopholidophis lateralis — GLAW et al. 2001
Bibilava lateralis — GLAW et al. 2007
Thamnosophis lateralis — CADLE & INEICH 2008
Thamnosophis lateralis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 727
Bibilava lateralis — BORER 2019 
TypesLectotype: MNHN-RA 1999.8232 (formerly MNHN-RA 7312A); paralectotypes: MNHN-RA 7312 and MNHN-RA 1999.8233 (formerly MNHN-RA 7312B) 
DiagnosisDefinition and diagnosis of Bibilava: Bibilava is defined as follows (mensural and meristic data according to Cadle 1996; Glaw et al. 2005 and Table 2): pupil round; 8 upper labials (4 and 5 touching eye); usually 10 lower labials; one loreal; apical pits usually present; 19-19-17 rows of dorsal scales; 141–185 ventral scales; anal plate divided; 62–109 subcaudals; maximum total length 920 mm; maximum snout-vent length 712 mm; female superiority in body size; tail length/total length 0.21–0.34; not strongly dimorphic relative tail length; posterior maxillary teeth longest and ungrooved; mandibular teeth subequal. For further characters see Cadle (1996: 450–452). Bibilava can be distinguished from all other Malagasy colubrids as follows: from Langaha, Stenophis and Madagascarophis by a round pupil (vs. vertical); from Mimophis, Micropisthodon, Liopholidophis, Liophidium, Heteroliodon, Pararhadinaea and Exallodontophis by 19 rows of dorsal scales (vs. 17) and from Alluaudina, Leioheterodon, and most Pseudoxyrhopus by a lower number of dorsal scale rows (19 vs. 21–25); from the two Pseudoxyrhopus species with 19 dorsal scale rows (P. kely and P. imerinae) by a higher number of subcaudals (37–43 vs. 62–109); from Geodipsas, Compsophis, Brygophis, Alluaudina and Leioheterodon by a divided anal scale (vs. undivided); from Ithycyphus by a lower number of subcaudals (62–109 vs. 140–179). Bibilava is externally most similar to Dromicodryas, but differs from this genus by the following characters: last two or three posterior maxillary teeth abruptly enlarged (not enlarged in Dromicodryas); not enlarged anterior mandibular teeth (distinctly enlarged in Dromicodryas); presence of apical pits (absent in Dromicodryas); lower number of ventral scale rows (141–185 vs. 195–219). 
CommentType species: Leptophis lateralis DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854 is the type species of the genus Bibilava (GLAW et al. 2007) and the genus Thamnosophis JAN 1863 (WALL 1923). 
EtymologyBibilava is the Malagasy word for snake (biby = animal, lava = long) and is often used for the terrestrial snakes included in this genus which are common in open habitats and therefore regularly encountered by locals in Madagascar. The gender is defined as masculine. 
  • Andersson, Lars Gabriel 1910. Reptiles and batrachians from the north-west of Madagascar collected by V. Kaudern, 1906-1907. Arkiv för Zoologi 7 (7): 1-15. - get paper here
  • Barbour, Thomas 1918. Vertebrata from Madagascar. 2. Amphibia and Reptilia. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 61 (14): 479-489. - get paper here
  • Borer, M. 2019. Auf Schlangensuche in Madagaskar. Reptilia (Münster) 24 (138): 66-79 - 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
  • Cadle, J. E. 1996. Snakes of the genus Liopholidophis (Colubridae) from Eastern Madagascar: New species, revisionary notes, and an estimate of phylogeny. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 154 (5): 369-464. - get paper here
  • Cadle, John E. 2009. Sexual Dimorphism and Reproductive Biology in the Malagasy Snake Genus Liopholidophis (Lamprophiidae: Pseudoxyrhophiinae) Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 60 (15): 461–502
  • Cadle, John E.; Ineich, Ivan. 2008. Nomenclatural status of the Malagasy snake genus Bibilava Glaw, Nagy, Franzen, and Vences, 2007: Resurrection of Thamnosophis Jan and designation of a lectotype for Leptophis lateralis Dumeril, Bibron, and Dumeril (Serpentes: Colubridae). Herpetological Review 39 (3):285-288 - get paper here
  • Cocca, W., G. M. Rosa, F. Andreone, G. Aprea, P. E. Bergò, F. Mattioli, V. Mercurio, J. E. Randrianirina, D. Rosado, M. Vences & A. Crottini 2018. The herpetofauna (Amphibia, Crocodylia, Squamata, Testudines) of the Isalo Massif, Southwest Madagascar: combining morphological, molecular and museum data. Salamandra 54 (3): 178-200 plus Supplementary Material - get paper here
  • D'Cruze, Neil; Annette Olsonn, David Henson, Sunil Kumar, and David Emmett. 2009. The Amphibians and Reptiles of the Lower Onilahy River Valley, a Temporary Protected Area in Southwest Madagascar. Herp. Cons. Biol. 4: 62-79 - get paper here
  • D'Cruze, Neil; Jeremy Sabel, Katie Green, Jeffrey Dawson, Carlie Gardner, Janine Robinson, Georgina Starkie, Miguel Vences, and Frank Glaw. 2007. The First Comprehensive Survey of Amphibians and Reptiles at Montagne des Francais, Madagascar. Herp. Cons. Biol. 2 (2): 87-99 - get paper here
  • Domergue, C.A. 1972. Étude de trois serpents malgaches: Liopholidophis lateralis (D.&B.), Liopholidophis stumpffi (Boettger) et Liopholidophis thieli n. sp. Bull. Mus. natn. Hist. nat., Paris 103 (77): 1397-1412.
  • 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
  • D’Cruze, N.; Köhler, J.; Franzen, M & Glaw, F. 2008. A conservation assessment of the amphibians and reptiles of the Forêt d’Ambre Special Reserve, north Madagascar. MADAGASCAR CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT 3 (1): 44-54 - get paper here
  • Glaw ,F. & Vences, M. 1994. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln (ISBN 3-929449-01-3)
  • Glaw, F., M. Franzen & M. Vences 2005. A new species of colubrid snake (Liopholidophis) from northern Madagascar. Salamandra 41 (1-2): 83-90 - get paper here
  • Glaw, F.; Nagy, Z.T.; Franzen, M. & Vences, M. 2007. Molecular phylogeny and systematics of the pseudoxyrhophiine snake genus Liopholidophis (Reptilia, Colubridae): evolution of its exceptional sexual dimorphism and descriptions of new taxa. Zoologica Scripta 36: 291–300 - get paper here
  • Guibé, J. 1954. Étude de Liopholidophis lateralis (D. et B.) et description d'une expèce nouvelle (Reptilia). Mem. Inst. Sci. Madagascar ser. A., 12: 189-260
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  • 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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