Friday, November 30, 2012

[Herpetology • 2007] Revision of the Tropidolaemus wagleri-complex (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae). I. Definition of included taxa and redescription of Tropidolaemus wagleri (Boie, 1827)




In this first paper of a series of three, the taxonomy of the Asian pitvipers of the genus Tropidolaemus is re-evaluated on the basis of morphological analyses. Variation in morphological characters was investigated on the basis of specimens from the whole range of the pitviper currently known as Tropidolaemus wagleri (Boie, 1827). Our results, based on morphological univariate and multivariate analyses, define three clusters of populations that are morphologically diagnosable and which are here considered to represent distinct species following the Biological Species Concept and the Phylogenetic Species Concept. After a review of available names among the list of synonyms created during the confused taxonomical history of the genus Tropidolaemus, it appears that Tropidolaemus wagleri (Boie, 1827) is the valid name of the first cluster which includes populations inhabiting Southern Thailand, West Malaysia, Sumatra, Nias, Mentawei Archipelago and Bangka Island (but not Belitung). In order to stabilize the binomen, we select and describe a neotype for Tropidolaemus wagleri. A second cluster, for which the binomen Tropidolaemus subannulatus (Gray, 1842) is available, includes in this preliminary step populations from Borneo, Sulawesi, Sulu Archipelago and the Philippines. Its detailed taxonomy will be addressed in the second paper of the series. Lastly, the third cluster includes specimens from Mindanao Island, Philippines, recognized here as Tropidolaemus philippensis (Gray, 1842). 

Keywords: Indonesia, Thailand, West Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Philippines, Serpentes, Viperidae, Tropidolaemus,  Tropidolaemus wagleri,  Tropidolaemus subannulatus,  Tropidolaemus philippensis,  Tropidolaemus laticinctus, Tropidolaemus huttoni, taxonomy, neotype


To summarize, the available specific epithets currently available are as follows:

- Tropidolaemus wagleri (Boie, 1827): valid combination for western populations, namely Thailand, West Malaysia, Sumatra, Bangka and Mentawei Archipelago.

- Tropidolaemus subannulatus (Gray, 1842): valid combination for populations of the Philippine Islands and any, or all of the eastern populations which might be conspecific with Philippine populations, at the exception of Tropidolaemus philippensis and Tropidolaemus laticinctus Kuch, Gumprecht and Melaun, 2007.

Tropidolaemus wagleri (Boie, 1827)

- Tropidolaemus philippensis (Gray, 1842): valid combination for some populations of southern and western Mindanao Island, Philippines.

- Tropidolaemus celebensis (Gray, 1849): available name for any population inhabiting Sulawesi which would prove to be distinct from Tropidolaemus subannulatus as defined here and from Tropidolaemus laticinctus.

Tropidolaemus subannulatus (Gray, 1842)

- Tropidolaemus immaculatus (Peters, 1872): available name for any population inhabiting Borneo which would prove to be distinct from Tropidolaemus subannulatus as defined here.

- Tropidolaemus alboviridis (Taylor, 1917): available name for any population inhabiting Negros and adjacent islands, which would prove to be distinct from Tropidolaemus subannulatus as defined here.

- Tropidolaemus laticinctus Kuch, Gumprecht & Melaun, 2007: valid combination for some populations of Sulawesi, not conspecific with Tropidolaemus subannulatus as defined here.

Tropidolaemus laticinctus Kuch, Gumprecht & Melaun, 2007

Vogel, G.; David, P.; Lutz, M.; van Rooijen, J. & Vidal, N. 2007. Revision of the Tropidolaemus wagleri-complex (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae). I. Definition of included taxa and redescription of Tropidolaemus wagleri (Boie, 1827). Zootaxa. 1644: 1–40.

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