Acrantophis madagascariensis

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Acrantophis madagascariensis
Madagascar ground boa (Acrantophis madagascariensis) Lokobe.jpg
in Lokobe Strict Reserve, Madagascar
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Boidae
Genus: Acrantophis
Species:
A. madagascariensis
Binomial name
Acrantophis madagascariensis
Synonyms
  • Pelophilus Madagascariense A.M.C. Duméril & Bibron, 1844
  • Boa madagascariensis
    Boulenger, 1893
  • Acrantophis madagascariensis madagascariensis Stull, 1935
  • Acrantophis madagascariensis
    Guibé, 1949
  • Boa madagascariensis
    Kluge, 1991[2]
  • Acrantophis madagascariensis
    Glaw & Vences, 1994
  • Boa madagascariensis
    — McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré, 1999
  • Acrantophis madagascariensis
    — Vences et al., 2001[3]

Acrantophis madagascariensis is a species of boid snake in the subfamily Sanziniinae that is endemic to the island of Madagascar.[4] Its common names include Malagasy ground boa and Madagascar boa.[1]

Description[edit]

This species is included in the Boidae family of snakes, subfamily Sanziniinae. No subspecies are currently recognized by ITIS.[5]

Adult females can be up to 10 feet (3.05 metres), males are typically smaller, the average size of the population is 8 feet (2.44 m) in length.[6] This is the largest snake species found on the island of Madagascar. Acrantophis madagascariensis, like others in the family, dispatch their prey by constriction.

The color pattern consists of a pale reddish-brown ground color mixed with gray, overlaid with a pattern dorsal rhombs outlined with black or brown. Sometimes this creates a vague zigzag impression. The sides are patterned a series of black ovoid markings with reddish blotches, often bordered or centered with white.[6]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Endemic to Madagascar.[2] Occurs in the central, northern and western parts of the island.[6] The type locality given is "Madagascar."[2]

Acrantophis madagascariensis (1).jpg

The species usually occurs in sparse, open woodland[6] such as the Madagascar dry deciduous forests.

Conservation status[edit]

Acrantophis madagascariensis is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 2011. Previously it was classified as Vulnerable (VU) with the following criteria: A1cd (v2.3, 1994).[1] This means that a population reduction of at least 20% has been observed, estimated, inferred or suspected over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, based on a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and/or quality of habitat, and based on actual or potential levels of exploitation.[1] The species was last assessed in 2011.[1]

It is also listed as CITES Appendix I, which identifies it as threatened with extinction and recommends a prohibition in international trade except for scientific research.[7]

Threats[edit]

Current threats include deforestation, human population growth, agricultural and industrial development, and collection for the illegal pet trade.[6]

Behavior[edit]

Shelters in mammal burrows, fallen trees, debris piles and similar sites that offer some protection. Brumation takes place during the cool and dry winter months, usually May though July.[6]

Feeding[edit]

The diet consists of small mammals and birds.

Reproduction[edit]

Mating takes place after emerging from brumation. Females may be courted by and copulate with more than one male. Ovoviviparous, females give birth to 4-6 large young after a long gestation period of 4–6 months. Neonates are 19-24 inches (48–61 cm) in length and are already capable of feeding on small rodents and birds.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Raxworthy, C.J.; Randriamahazo, H.; Rakotondrazafy, N.A. & Rakotondravony, H. (2011). "Acrantophis madagascariensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  2. ^ a b c McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  3. ^ The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  4. ^ Glaw, Frank; Vences, Miguel (2007). A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar (3rd ed.). Cologne, Germany: Vences & Glaw Verlags. ISBN 978-3929449037.
  5. ^ "Acrantophis madagascariensis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  7. ^ Acrantophis madagascariensis at CITES and United Nations Environment Programme / World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Accessed 10 July 2008.

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA. 1893. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families ... , Boidæ, ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I-XXVIII. (Boa madagascariensis, p. 120).
  • Duméril A-M-C, Bibron G. 1844. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire naturelle complète des Reptiles. Tome sixième. Paris: Roret. xii + 609 pp. (Pelophilus madagascariensis, pp. 524–527). (in French).
  • Kluge AG. 1991. "Boine Snake Phylogeny and Research Cycles". Misc. Pub. Museum of Zoology, Univ. of Michigan (178). 1-58. PDF at University of Michigan Library. Accessed 11 July 2008.
  • Vences M, Glaw F. 2003. "Phylogeography, systematics and conservation status of boid snakes from Madagascar (Sanzinia and Acrantophis)". Salamandra, Reinbach 39 (3/4): 181-206. PDF at Miguel Vences. Accessed 29 August 2008.

External links[edit]

Media related to Acrantophis madagascariensis at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Acrantophis madagascariensis at Wikispecies