Liberian House snake

Snakes exotic to South Africa commonly known as non-venomous.

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Liberian House snake

Postby Psychogav » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:44 pm

I got sent these photos from someone in Liberia today asking what type of snake I thought it was. I figure it is obviously a housie of sorts but don't know if it can be a Lamprophis Capensis or not. Anyone know?
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby gaboon69 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:36 pm

What an interesting specimen. Thanks!
It can only be maculatus or lineatus. Given the locality I'd say poorly marked L. lineatus. The preocular stripe is too well defined for maculatus and I'm not even sure if maculatus occurs there. Maculatus you'll find towards East-Africa I think. Leka one.
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby jka » Sat Aug 29, 2009 7:16 pm

Looks like a fuliginosus to me.

I also think maculatus is more east dont ask me where though.
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby gaboon69 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:04 pm

Interesting JKA. Do you not think that the striping around the nose is too well defined for fuliginosus? If only we could get a clearer shot of the face.
The eyes seem slightly bulgy like lineatus which made me suspicious.
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby NyMpHoNuGGeT » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:16 pm

looks like a red tail boa (boa constrictor imperator)

:lol: :lol: :lol:
And my mom keeps wondering where her kittens are going?!!
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby jka » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:45 pm

You have a point gaboon69 but those pics are unclear. Also the classic lineatus stripe is missing. But maybe a faded specimen?
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby gaboon69 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:17 pm

It looks like an inland taipan actually, hehe.
Seriously, while having kept JKA's comment in mind I realised the man is very possibly right.
Here's why (May be new to some and old to others, but hang ten).
Notice the thickness of the lines around the internasals.
Although somewhat unclear, it does seem that the unknown liberian seems to have thinner, less well defined lines thus leaning towards fuliginosus.
Good one JKA.
Image

-Moved as it's not L. capensis- Wes
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby s'mee » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:39 am

Neither L maculatus nor L capensis are known from Liberia.

It is either L virgatus or L lineatus - midbody scale row counts would identify it to specific level - L virgatus usually has 23 scale rows while L lineatus has 25+ scale rows.

From what I can see, I would go with L virgatus.

And, just to be pedantic, it would then belong under the Non indigenous fangless forum... ;)
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby froot » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:42 am

And, just to be pedantic, it would then belong under the Non indigenous fangless forum...


Good point, moved.

Thanks for that S'mee.
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby gaboon69 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:43 pm

It is widely known that capensis does not occur that far north. If my mind serves me right then L. fuliginosus occurs roughly north of the Zambezi? Why have you decided to omit fuliginosus? I have limited info on virgatus, but a picture of a specimen shows very faint head markings. Hope to solve this enigma.
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby s'mee » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:12 pm

You are correct, L fuliginosus does occur in Liberia. The common name for West African L fuliginosus is black house snake, and this is why:
Image

They also typically lack the lines on the side of the head.

L lineatus and L virgatus look very similar to each other - the intensity of head markings is variable among individuals, but they both have two pale lines on the side of their head. I cannot find any of my photos of L virgatus right now, but this is an L lineatus from the Liberia/Guinea border region:
Image
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby Wolf777 » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:23 pm

Stunning snakes! I didn't know there were so many. Are they different species or subspecies?
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby fredsmith » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:33 pm

That West African L fuliginosus aka "black house snake" is something else!!
Wow.
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby s'mee » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:37 pm

Wolf777 wrote:Stunning snakes! I didn't know there were so many. Are they different species or subspecies?


They are all different species - and there are probably still a few more to be described...
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Re: Liberian House snake

Postby jka » Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:45 pm

What made me doubt it was lineatus is the fact that I don't really see the stripe down the body.
All the lineatus that I have seen had the line down his sides.

Could you comment on this s'mee?
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