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Notes Complémentaires sur les Chéloniens et les Ophidiens du Congo Oriental [Supplementary Notes on the Chelonians and Ophidians of Eastern Congo]

Notes Complémentaires sur les Chéloniens et les Ophidiens du Congo Oriental [Supplementary Notes on the Chelonians and Ophidians of Eastern Congo]
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Notes Complémentaires sur les Chéloniens et les Ophidiens du Congo Oriental [Supplementary Notes on the Chelonians and Ophidians of Eastern Congo]Notes Complémentaires sur les Chéloniens et les Ophidiens du Congo Oriental [Supplementary Notes on the Chelonians and Ophidians of Eastern Congo]

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Language: French witn bilingual summary in English and French

The present work is a supplement to an ophidiological study of the same region (Laurent 1956, Ann. Mus. Congo, Sc. Zool., in-8°, 48) to which the reader is referred for the bibliography and keys.

A few new forms are described: Typhlops angolensis symoensi sbsp. n., Miodon gabonensis brachyurus sbsp. n., Philothamnus nitidus loveridgei sbsp. n., and Elapsoidea decosteri scalaris sbsp. n.

Others had not as yet been captured in Kivu or Ruanda-Urundi: Typhlops gracilis polli Laurent, Hormonotus modestus (Duméril & Bibron), Paranaja multifasciata multifasciata (Werner), Pseudohaje goldii (Boulenger), and Atractaspis reticulata brieni Laurent.

Some rare species have been found again: Typhlops angolensis polylepis Laurent, Mehelya capensis unicolor (Boulenger), Mehelya stenophthalmus (Mocquard), Grayia caesar (Günther), Duberria lutrix curry-lindahli Laurent, Miodon fulvicollis gracilis Witte & Laurent, Prosymna ambigua urrundiensis Laurent, and Atheris hispida Laurent.

Further, this study has proved the non existence of Typhlops congicus; the characters of this pretended species are really due to the impending moult and are present in T. angolensis as well as in T. boulengeri. Thus T. congicus lestradei Witte becomes synonymous with T. angolensis dubius Chabanaud. The correlation between altitude and the number of scale rows has also been examined in T. angolensis.

The autonomy of the genus Chlorophis is questioned again. The existence of subspecific relations between Philothamnus semivariegatus and P. nitidus, stated by Loveridge (1958) is based on the erroneous attribution of the oriental populations of P. nitidus to P. semivariegatus, whence the ignoring of a race described here. The break between Philothamnus and Chlorophis must probably occur precisely between semivariegatus and nitidus when previously the latter and others that appear closely related where included in the genus Philothamnus. P. semivariegatus is a savannal form, herpetophagous and not batrachophagous and which includes several geographic races difficult to recognise at the moment.

The validity of Dispholidus typus kivuensis Laurent as compared with populations of Ituri is confirmed by the new specimens observed. The variation of Dromophis lineatus in the Ruzizi plain suggests the existence of two races.

A peculiar observation is mentioned. In Atractaspis irregularis a statistically significant difference in the number of ventrals of the populations of the Ruzizi plain is noticed between samples taken in 1950-1951 and those taken in 1956-1957. The question arose whether this is a purely phenotypic fluctuation linked to climatic variations or to a genotypic variation. It is impossible to answer this question in our present state of knowledge.

The variability of a litter of 53 young Bilis arietans is examined and seems to correspond almost to that of an entire population.

Finally the study of a series of 11 Atheris hispida Laurent enables us to confirm the validity of this species and to know with a better approximation the limits of its variability.

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By: Raymond F Laurent(Author)
86 pages, 5 b/w illustrations, tables
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