Friday, September 9, 2016

[Herpetology • 2015] Toxicocalamus ernstmayri • A New Species of New Guinea Worm-eating Snake, Genus Toxicocalamus (Serpentes: Elapidae), from the Star Mountains of Western Province, Papua New Guinea, with a Revised Dichotomous Key to the Genus


Toxicocalamus ernstmayri  
O'Shea, Parker & Kaiser, 2015  


  ABSTRACT

We describe a new species of New Guinea vermivorous snake (Toxicocalamus) from a single specimen collected at Wangbin in the Star Mountains, Western Province, Papua New Guinea. The new species is the largest known member of the genusand can be differentiated from all other Toxicocalamus by a combination of the following characters: large size(total length of the holotype 1,200 mm), dorsal headscutes in the typical ‘‘colubrid-elapid dorsal nine-scutearrangement’’; separate, single preocular and pairedpostoculars; single anterior temporal and single orpaired posterior temporals; six supralabials, with thirdand fourth supralabial contacting the orbit; dorsalscales in 15–15–15 rows; 203 ventral scales, 29subcaudal scales; and a divided anal plate. Its erstwhilestatus, misidentified as Micropechis ikaheka  in the collection of the Museum of Comparative Zoology,demonstrates the need for detailed examination of existing collections and is indicative of hidden diversity  yet to be identified, not only in the field but also on theshelves of museum collections. We also providea revised key to the genus Toxicocalamus
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Key words: Elapidae, Toxicocalamus, New species,Papua New Guinea, Description, Taxonomy, Vermivory



 Mark O'Shea, Fred Parker and Hinrich Kaiser. 2015. A New Species of New Guinea Worm-eating Snake, Genus Toxicocalamus (Serpentes: Elapidae), from the Star Mountains of Western Province, Papua New Guinea, with a Revised Dichotomous Key to the Genus. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. [Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool.]. 161(6): 241–264.  DOI:  10.3099/0027-4100-161.6.241


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