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Resurrection of Boiga ranawanei Samarawickrama, Samarawickrama, Wijesena et Orlov, 2005, with Expanded Descriptions and Species Distribution Modelling of Some Indian Taxa of the B. ceylonensis Group (Reptilia: Colubridae)

S. R. Ganesh, V. A. M. P. K. Samarawickrama, Aishwarya J. Urs, Achyuthan N. Srikanthan, Omkar Dilip Adhikari

Abstract


We resurrect the nominal taxon Boiga ranawanei Samarawickrama, Samarawickrama, Wijesena et Orlov, 2005 as a valid species endemic to Sri Lanka. We uphold the view that B. ranawanei is conspecific with what was previously considered as the Sri Lankan population of ‘B. beddomei’. The revised concept of B. beddomei as a species endemic to the Western Ghats of India and altogether absent from Sri Lanka necessitated the Sri Lankan ‘B. beddomei’ population be conferred with the available nomen B. ranawanei. We also report on further specimens of the two Indian species closely associated with B. ranawaneiB. beddomei that was associated in a nomenclatural sense and B. flaviviridis that is associated in a taxonomic sense. Here, we expand the descriptions of B. beddomei and especially that of B. flaviviridis based on many more additional specimens from several localities across Peninsular India. We again update the key to this group with the inclusion of B. ranawanei. We perform Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) to elaborate on the recorded and simulated distribution range envelopes of the Indian taxa (B. flaviviridis, B. beddomei, B. nuchalis, B. thackerayi) in the B. ceylonesis group. Thus we explain the geographical discontinuity among these taxa to further corroborate our findings on their taxonomic statuses.

Keywords


Boiga; distribution; head scalation; India; Kandy; MaxEnt; nomenclature; Sri Lanka; validity

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2022-29-6-341-354

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