Hemipenis Morphology of Coronella bella Stanley, 1917 with Comments on Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Issues of Ratsnakes (Squamata: Colubridae: Colubrinae: Elaphe auct.)

Klaus-Dieter Schulz, Wolfgang Böhme, Frank Tillack


The hitherto unknown everted hemipenis of Coronella bella Stanley, 1917, currently Elaphe bella (see, e.g., Schulz et al., 2000; Nguyen et al., 2009), is described and figured for the first time. It is compared with the everted hemipenes of the related genera Rhadinophis Vogt, 1922, Euprepiophis Fitzinger, 1843, and Oreocryptophis Utiger, Schätti and Helfenberger, 2002 within the former collective genus Elaphe auct. (Schulz, 1996). The molecular phylogenetic position of this species basal to Oreocryptophis and Euprepiophis (Burbrink and Lawson, 2007) is mirrored by its hemipenial characters. The new generic name Maculophis assigned to E. bella by the latter authors lacks a diagnosis, has not explicitly been stated as intentionally new and is therefore unavailable. It is therefore replaced by Archelaphe gen. nov. proposed here. We discuss also the status of Rhadinophis Vogt, 1922 and Rhynchophis Mocquard, 1897. Moreover, we correct some wrong endings of species names in regard to the gender of the respective genera, and we point on several superfluous colubrine genus-group and species-group synonyms unintentionally created by erroneous spelling.


Squamata; Colubridae; Colubrinae; Archelaphe gen. nov.; Coronella; Elaphe; Euprepiophis; Maculophis nom. nud.; Oligodon; Oreocryptophis; Rhadinophis; Rhynchophis; Wallophis; SE Asia; hemipenis morphology; nomenclature

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30906/1026-2296-2011-18-4-273–283


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