Tuesday, May 9, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Ahaetulla anomala Ahaetulla nasuta anomala (Annandale, 1906) (Squamata: Colubridae), Resurrected As A Valid Species with Marked Sexual Dichromatism

Ahaetulla anomala (Annandale, 1906) 

Mohapatra, Dutta, Kar, Das, Murthy & Deepak, 2017.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4263.2.6 

In this paper we resolve the taxonomic confusion related to Ahaetulla nasuta anomala (Annandale, 1906). On the basis of molecular and morphological data, we remove it from the synonymy of Ahaetulla nasuta (Lacépède, 1789) and reinstate it as a valid speciesAhaetulla anomala. This species is sexually dichromatic, males are green and females are brown in colour. Though the brown morph morphologically resembles Ahaetulla pulverulenta (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854) there are significant morphological and genetic differences between these two species. Additional information on taxonomy, natural history and distribution of the species is provided.

Keywords: Ahaetulla anomala, Bangladesh, India, morphology, phylogeny, sexual dichromatism, snake, taxonomy, Reptilia


Based on morphological characters and molecular results discussed above, we consider Dryophis mycterizans var. anomalus Annandale, 1906 to be a valid taxon which we regard to represent a distinct species in the genus Ahaetulla, as follows:

Ahaetulla anomala (Annandale, 1906) new comb.
Dryophis mycterizans var. anomalus Annandale (1906)
Dryophis mycterizans lepidorostralis Wall (1910a) [nomen nudum according to Wall, 1910b]
Passerita purpurascens—Anderson (1871) [in part]
Ahaetulla pulverulenta—Dasgupta & Raha (2004)
Ahaetulla pulverulenta—Denzau & Denzau (2010) 

Suggested common name: Variable coloured vine snake (English).

Distribution: This species is currently recorded from the following localities: India. West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha; Bangladesh (Sundarbans East Sanctuary).

 FIGURE 5. Ahaetulla anomala; A. brown morph (♀) and green morph (♂), B. pattern less green morph (♂) head close-up C. brown morph (♀) head close-up, D. sub-adult(♂), E. sub-adult(♀), F. adult (♂). Note: A–E Specimens from around North Orissa University Campus, Baripada, Odisha, India; F. Specimen from Kamalgazi, Kolkata. West Bengal, India. 

 Pratyush P. Mohapatra, Sushil K. Dutta, Niladri B. Kar, A. Das, B. H. C. K. Murthy & V. Deepak. 2017.  Ahaetulla nasuta anomala (Annandale, 1906) (Squamata: Colubridae), Resurrected As A Valid Species with Marked Sexual Dichromatism.   Zootaxa. 4263(2); 318-332.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4263.2.6


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