Vipera dinniki NIKOLSKY, 1913
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Vipera dinniki?
|Higher Taxa||Viperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Dinnik's Viper|
G: Westkaukasische-Kreuzotter, Dinnikis Kaukasusotter
Russian: Гадюка Динника
|Synonym||Vipera berus dinniki NIKOLSKY 1913|
Vipera kaznakovi dinniki NIKOLSKY 1913
Pelias chersea MENETRIES 1882
Vipera xanthina DINNIK 1902
Vipera kaznakovi NIKOLSKY 1909
Coluber berus dinniki — NIKOLSKY 1916
Vipera tigrina TZAREWSKY 1916
Vipera ursini renardi KRAMER 1916
Vipera ursini kaznakovi — KNOEPFFER & SOCHUREK 1955
Vipera kaznakovi orientalis VEDMEDERJA 1984
Vipera dinniki — VEDMEDERJA et al. 1986
Vipera dinniki — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Vipera dinniki — WELCH 1994: 121
Vipera (Pelias) dinniki — NILSON et al. 1999: 103
Vipera dinniki — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 404
Montivipera dinniki — WERNING & WOLF 2007
Vipera dinniki dinniki — SCHWEIGER 2009
Pelias dinniki — WALLACH et al. 2014: 543
Pelias dinniki — BEKOSHVILI & DORONIN 2015
Pelias dinniki — TUNIYEV 2016
Pelias dinniki— DUNAEV & ORLOVA 2017
Pelias tuniyevi — ANANJEVA et al. 2021
|Distribution||S Russia (the Caucasus), Republic of Georgia, Azerbaijan. Elevation up to 3000 m (up to 2500 m fide TUNIYEV et al. 2012)|
Type locality: Svanetia, Republic of Georgia
|Types||Lectotype: MNKhU (also as MNKNU) 26044 (designated by Vedmederja et al., 1986:58)|
Holotype: SNP No 937, adult male, SO, Znaur District, vicinity of Kharisdzhin V. (=Tormaneuli V.), 42.2504°N, 43.8398°E, 1010 m above sea level, 14.05.2014, collector G. Khasity (Fig. 7 in Ananjeva et al. 2021).
Paratypes. Twelve specimens: SNP 1054 (1 adult female and 1 juvenile male, 7 born in terrarium), Ge, Shida-Kartlis Territory, Khashuri District, Tashiskari V., 41.5704°N, 43.3010°E, 720 m asl, 09.2015, Coll. Z. Khachidze; 936 (adult male), SO, Kharisdzhin V., 23.04.2014, Coll. G. Khasity; 915 (adult male), SO, Tskhinval District, vicinity of Atsriskhevi V., 42.2970°N, 44.2238°E, 1325 m asl, 23.09.2012, Coll. E.E. Komarov; 1182 (adult female) (the same as holotype); 1140 (adult female), Ge, Tashiskari V., 22.10.2017, Coll. G.N. Iremashvili; 1086 (adult female), vicinity of Atsriskhevi V., 18.08.2016, Coll. V.V. Tikhonov; 951 (adult female), Kharisdzhin V., 14.05.2014, Coll. G. Khasity; 1935 (adult female), SO, Tskhinval District, vicinity of Uanat V. (=Vanati V.), 42.2867°N, 44.0535°E, 1013 m asl, 03.09.2018, Coll. Ch.B. Bukulov; 1095 (juvenile female), vicinity of Atsriskhevi V., 07.09.2016, Coll. V.V. Tikhonov; 1079 (juvenile female), vicinity of Atsriskhevi V., 18.08.2016, Coll. V.V. Tikhonov; 930 (juvenile female), SO, Dzau District, Gufta V. (=Didi Gupta V. – Patara Gupta V.): 42.3592°N, 43.8892°E, 1060 m asl, 05.08.2019, Coll. V.N. Gabaev (Fig. 8A–F) [tuniyevi]
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis (tuniyevi). Small-sized snake, males differ from all representatives of Pelias kaznakovi s.l. by minimal values of total length, length of pileus, width of head, numbers of ventral and subcaudal shields, and shields around eyes; females have minimal body length, length of pileus, width of head, number of shields around eyes and loreals, number of zigzag wings. The vipers of both sexes from the left-bank basin of the middle flow of the Kura River differ from all other compared vipers by small sizes and the minimum number of shields around the eyes. The dorsal surface of the males is beige-gray, yellowish-gray, rarely brownish-reddish, or yellow; the dorsal surface of the females is pinkish-gray, light brown, gray-yellow or melanistic. The majority of females has a weakly undulated zigzag pattern ranging in color from light- to dark-brown; the zigzag pattern of males is black or brown-black, with sharp wings and occasional interruptions. The throat in both sexes is light-colored, the belly is usually gray-spotted against a dark background; the lower part of the tail in both sexes is pinkish with varying numbers of dots in males and without dots in females (Ananjeva et al. 2021).|
Synonymy mainly after KHALIKOV & ANANJEVA (pers. comm.). Ananjeva et al. 2021 described Pelias tuniyevi which is closely related to Vipera dinniki and actually nests within dinniki in their tree. I. Freitas and U. Joger (pers. comm., 30 March 2021) agree that this population may not deserve species status, hence we list is as synonym of V. dinniki for the time being.
Phylogenetics: This species does not fall into the Montivipera clade as defined by GARRIGUES et al. 2005 but rather in the Pelias clade. Nor a Montivipera fide Wüster (pers. comm.).
|Etymology||named after Nikolai Y. Dinnik (23 June 1847-21 September 1917)-Russian scientist, researcher nature of the Caucasus, and geographer.|
Pelias tuniyevi was named after Boris Tuniyev, who made a significant contribution to the study of the Caucasian herpetofauna and the taxonomy of the shield-head viper snakes.
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