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Psammophis (Dromophis) lineatus (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

 

Identification The Lined olympic snake can be identified by the three yellow or green stripes down its length and its mostly aquatic and diurnal lifestyle. It grows to an average length of 80 cm and a maximum length of 1 meter. (1)

See also http://www.bio-ken.com/index.php/reptiles-and-amphibians/snakes/item/striped-swamp-snake?category_id=30

Trape & Mane (2000):

Loveridge 1955:

Broadley 1959: "Data of unique specimen. Midbody scale rows 17; ventrals 149); anal divided; subcandals ?; upper labials 8, the fourth and fifth entering the orbit; first four lower labials in contact with the anterior sublinguals; preocular l; postoculars 2; temporals 1+2."

Broadley 1959: "Colouration. Head dark brown above, two light hair-lines crossing back of head; pre- and postoculars yellow; upper labials and chin greenish white. Body grey-brown above; the vertebral scale row lighter, the next three rows edged with black, then a faint lighter stripe merging into grey-brown below; the outer row of scales edged with the black above and yellowish-white below. Ventrals yellowish-white, a black transverse marking at the end of each ventral for the anterior two-thirds of the body. Subcaudals bluish-white.
Size. (NM/M.529) 705+ (600+105+) mm. from Nampini."

 

Etymology Named after Latin “linea”, meaning stripe or line. 'Lined', 'striped'.
Common Names Gestreepte moerasslang [Afrikaans] (1); Lined olympic snake (1); Olympic lined snake; Gestreifte Sumpfschlange (4)
Synonym Kelly (2008): "The two species of Dromophis occupy divergent positions deeply nested within Psammophis, and we therefore relegate Dromophis to the synonymy of Psammophis." This was confirmed in Vidal e.a. 2008.

List (4):
Dryophylax lineatus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1124
Dromophis lineatus BOULENGER 1895: 33
Dromophis lineatus - SCHMIDT 1923: 110
Dromophis lineatus - AUERBACH 1987: 165
Dromophis lineatus - BROADLEY 1998
Dromophis lineatus - TRAPE & MANÉ 2000
Dromophis lineatus - BROADLEY & COTTERILL 2004
Psammophis lineatus - KELLY et al. 2008
Dromophis lineatus - LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 544 

Distribution

Map from The Reptile Database.

"This snake species is restricted to the Caprivi strip, South Africa, where it inhabits waterside vegetation" (1).

"This swamp-dwelling species reaches its southern limit in the Kazungula area. It has been recorded from
Kalabo." (3) See map:

Food Eats frogs, rodents (e.g. rats and mice) and possibly other snakes (1)
Broadley 1959: "This snake was swallowing a rat when it was shot by Mr. M. P. Stuart Irwin on the bank of the Zambezi."
Habitat Waterside vegetation (1)
"Found in close association with marshlands and swamps." (4)

Sierra Leone: "Nine specimens from seven localities (Bonthe, Kahala, Kpuabu. Magburaka, Makeni, Newton. Njala), mostly in the northern part of the country. The stomach of one contained another snake, too far digested to identify" (Menzies 1966).
 

Broadley 1959:
"Diet. This snake was swallowing a rat when it was shot by Mr. M. P. Stuart Irwin on the bank of the Zarnbezi.
Distribution. This is the most southernly specimen yet recorded. Mr. Irwin suggests that the distribution of this species may, like that of some bird species, be linked with the Papyrus swamps, which do not extend downstream below Nampini. Extralimitally this snake may occur in the swamps of the Chobe River, the border of Bechuanaland and the Caprivi Strip."

Longevity Likely to have an average lifespan of 10 years. (1)
ILO "Extrabuccal infralabial secretion outlets (ILOs), periodically absent and heretofore non-described, have been found in nineteen species representing three of the eight psammophine snake genera." Among these is Dromophis. "The newly found infralabial outlets, however, serve for direct chemical marking of conspecifics. This direct marking seems to substitute for a function of both the special nasal gland and the cloacal scent glands during social activity of the snakes in trees or shrubs." (2)
Predators, parasites and disease Eaten by other snakes (particularly vine snakes), birds of prey (particularly secretary birds and snake eagles) (1)
Reproduction Oviparous (egg-laying), usually lays between 6 and 9 eggs in summer. (1)
   
References
  • Fitzinger, L. 1843. Systema Reptilium, fasciculus primus, Amblyglossae. Braumüller et Seidel, Wien: 106 pp.
  • Duméril, A. M. C., BIBRON, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536
  • Duméril, A. M. C., BIBRON, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281
  • Günther, A. 1865. Fourth account of new Species of Snakes in the Collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 15: 89-98.
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1895. On some new or little-known reptiles obtained by W. H. Crosse Esq. on the Niger. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 16: 32-34 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp.
  • Boulenger, G. A. 1897. A list of reptiles and batrachians from the Congo Free State, with the description of two new snakes. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 19: 276-281 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K. P. 1923. Contributions to the herpetology of the Belgian Congo based on the collection of the American Museum Congo Expedition, 1909-1915. Part II. Snakes, with field notes by Herbert Lang and James P. Chapin. Bull. Amer. Mus. nat. Hist. 49 (1): 1-146
  • Loveridge, Arthur 1929. East African reptiles and amphibians in the United States National Museum. Bull. US Natl. Mus. (151): 1-135 - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1936. African reptiles and amphibians in the Field Museum of Natural History. Zool. Ser. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Chicago, 22 (1): 1-122 - get paper here
  • Loveridge, A. 1956. On snakes collected in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan by J.S. Owen, Esq. Sudan Notes Rec. 36: 37-56 [1955]
  • Broadley, D.G. 1959. The herpetology of Southern Rhodesia. Part I--the snakes Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 120 (1): 1-100 [reprint 1972] - get paper here
  • Perret 1961. Bull. Soc. neuchâtel. Sci. nat., 84: 133.
  • Joger, U. 1982. Zur Herpetofaunistik Kameruns (II). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 33 (2-4): 313-319 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1983. Dromophis Peters 1869 (Reptilia, Serpentes): proposed conservation under the plenary powers. Z.N.(S.) 2375 Bull. zool. Nomencl. 40 (3): 189-190
  • Hughes, B. 1983. African snake faunas. Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 34: 311-356 - get paper here
  • Auerbach,R.D. 1987. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Botswana. Mokwepa Consultants, Botswana, 295 pp.
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Chifundera, K. 1990. Snakes of Zaire and their bites. Afr. Stud. Monogr. (Kyoto) 10(3): 137-157.
  • Trape, J.F. & R. ROUX-ESTÈVE 1995. Les serpents du Congo: liste commentée et clé de détermination. Journal of African Zoology 109 (1): 31-50
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. The reptilian fauna of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). In: Schmidt, K.P. and Noble, G.K., Contributions to the Herpetology of the Belgian Congo... [reprint of the 1919 and 1923 papers]. SSAR Facsimile reprints in Herpetology, 780 pp.
  • Haagner,G.V.; Branch,W.R. & Haagner,A.J.F. 2000. Notes on a collection of reptiles from Zambia and adjacent areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Annals of the Eastern Cape Museum 1: 1 – 25
  • Broadley, D.G.; Doria, C.T. & Wigge, J. 2003. Snakes of Zambia. An Atlas and Field Guide. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 280 pp. [review in Sauria 26 (3): 21]
  • Trape, Jean-François; Mane, Youssouph 2000. Les serpents des environs de Dielmo (Sine-Saloum, Sénégal). Bull. Soc. Herp. France 95: 19-35 - get paper here
  • Broadley, Donald G. and F. P. D. Cotterill. 2004. The reptiles of southeast Katanga, an overlooked 'hot spot'. [Congo] African Journal of Herpetology 53 (1): 35-61. - get paper here
  • Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishing, Cape Town.
  • Hughes, Barry 2004. Misidentification of Dromophis lineatus (Dumèril & Bibron, 1854) as Psammophis sibilans (Linnè 1758) and the perpetuation of error. African Journal of Herpetology 53 (1): 63-76 - get paper here
  • Chirio, Laurent and Ivan Ineich 2006. Biogeography of the reptiles of the Central African Republic. African Journal of Herpetology 55(1):23-59.
  • Trape, J.-F. & Mane, Y. 2006. Guide des serpents d’Afrique occidentale. Savane et désert. [Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger]. IRD Editions, Paris, 226 pp.
  • Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
  • Adam H. Freedman, Wolfgang Buermann, Matthew Lebreton, Laurent Chirio and Thomas B. Smith. 2008. Modeling the Effects of Anthropogenic Habitat Change on Savanna Snake Invasions into African Rainforest. Conservation Biology, Volume 23, No. 1, 81–92

  • Kelly, Christopher M.R.;Nigel P. Barker, Martin H. Villet, Donald G. Broadley and William R. Branch 2008. The snake family Psammophiidae (Reptilia: Serpentes): Phylogenetics and species delimitation in the African sand snakes (Psammophis Boie, 1825) and allied genera. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 47 (3): 1045-1060 - get paper here
  • Chirio, L. 2009. Inventaire des reptiles de la région de la Réserve de Biosphère Transfrontalière du W (Niger/Bénin/Burkina Faso: Afrique de l’Ouest). [Herpetological survey of the W Transfrontier Biosphere Reserve area (Niger/Benin/Burkina Faso: West Africa] Bull. Soc. Herp. France (132): 13-41 - get paper here
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Ullenbruch, K.; Grell, O.; Böhme, W. 2010. Reptiles from southern Benin, West Africa, with the description of a new Hemidactylus (Gekkonidae), and a country-wide checklist. Bonn Zool. Bull. 57 (1): 31-54 - get paper here
  • Segniagbeto G. H., Trape J. F., David P., Ohler A., Dubois A. & Glitho I. A. 2011. The snake fauna of Togo: systematics, distribution and biogeography, with remarks on selected taxonomic problems. Zoosystema 33 (3): 325-360. DOI: 10.5252/z2011n3a4 - get paper here
  • Menzies, J.I. 1966. The snakes of Sierra Leone. Copeia 1966 (2): 169-179. - read paper here

 

   

Sources

(1) http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org

(2) De Haan 2003. Extrabuccal infralabial secretion outlets in Dromophis, Mimophis and Psammophis species (Serpentes, Colubridae, Psammophiini). A probable substitute for ‘self-rubbing’ and cloacal scent gland functions, and a cue for a taxonomic account. C. R. Biologies 326 (2003) 275–286

(3) http://www.zamsoc.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Wetlands-Phase-2-Volume-IIc-Chap-6-Herps-Part-2.pdf

(4) The Reptile Database