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Vermicella intermedia KEOGH & SMITH, 1996

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymVermicella intermedia KEOGH & SMITH 1996: 688
Vermicella intermedia — COGGER 2000: 772
Vermicella intermedia — WILSON & SWAN 2010
Vermicella intermedia — WALLACH et al. 2014: 785 
DistributionAustralia (Northern Territory, Western Australia)  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: NTM R17146, Humpty Doo district, NT, collected G. Gow, 1985. Paratypes AMS (AM) R12846 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Vermicella intermedia can be differentiated from V. annulata, V. snelli, and V. vermiformis by the condition of the internasal scales (absent in V. intermedia and V. multifasciata) and band width (black and white bands are one to two scales thinner in V. intermedia) and from V. multifasciata by number of body bands (fewer in V. multifasciata) and band width (black and white bands on the ventral surface are approximately one scale wider in V. intermedia). Also, V. intermedia tends to be slightly thinner-bodied than V. annulata and slightly wider-bodied than V. multifasciata and V. snelli. See Figs 4-6 for interspecific comparisons in these characters (Keogh & Smith 1996).

Variation: Approximately half of V. intermedia specimens display body and tail bands which completely encircle the body (55.6% of 36 specimens), whereas the remaining specimens display a mottled black and white pattern on the ventral surface. Ventral scale number, subcaudal number, and tail length display sexual dimorphism (Table I). Females have significantly more ventral scales (P < 0.0001), fewer subcaudal scales (P < 0.0001), and shorter tails than do males (P < 0.0001)-see Table I. Females also have more total ventral scales (ventral plus subcaudal scales) than do males (one-factor ANOVA, F1,33 = 15.60, P= 0.0004). The total number of ventral scales and total number of body and tail bands is highly correlated (r= 0.093, F1,34 = 4.60, P =0.0393). The geographic range of this taxon is small and no clear patterns of geographic variation are evident (Keogh & Smith 1996). 
CommentVenomous! 
EtymologyThe specific name is in reference to the intermediate number of ventral scales, and number, bandwidth, and relative bodywidth when compared to the other species of Vermicella. 
References
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • DEREZ, CHANTELLE M.; KEVIN ARBUCKLE, ZHIQIANG RUAN, BING XIE, YU HUANG, LAUREN DIBBEN, QIONG SHI, FREEK J. VONK, BRYAN G. FRY 2018. A new species of bandy-bandy (Vermicella: Serpentes: Elapidae) from the Weipa region, Cape York, Australia. Zootaxa 4446 (1): 001–012 [erratum in Zootaxa 4461(4): 600] - get paper here
  • Keogh, J.S.; Smith, S.A. 1996. Taxonomy and natural history of the Australian bandy-bandy snakes (Elapidae: Vermicella) with a description of two new species. Journal of Zoology 240: 677-701 - get paper here
  • Somaweera, R. 2009. Snakes of Darwin. Poster, University of Sydney
  • 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.
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
 
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