Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Brachyorrhos albus, Linnaeus 1758

Coluber albus Linnaeus 1758: 128. Holotype: NRM19. Type Locality: “Indiis” (Ambon, Indonesia).

Brachyorrhos albus – Kuhl in Schlegel, 1826: 236.

Calamaria brachyorrhos Müller, 1857: 39.

Distribution: Indonesian islands of Seram and its satellites (Ambon, Haruku, Nusa Laut, Saparua). Additionally, one specimen from Palau Bisa (MZB2609) is morphologically similar to this species, but needs molecular confirmation. Brachyorrhos albus has also been reported from the Banda Islands (Boettger, 1895) but specimens from this island group need to be examined to determine identity (Murphy et al. 2012a).

Diagnosis: A fangless homalopsid. Distinct preocular scale usually present; seven upper labials, fourth (rarely 3+4) in orbit, sixth is tallest; dorsal scales more lanceolate (elongated, taper posteriorly) than congeners; usually single temporal scale contacting postoculars in Ambon population; two primary temporals in some Seram individuals.

Probably terrestrial-fossorial. feeds on earthworms, viviparous.

Type specimen of Coluber albus


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