ABSTRACT

We review the taxonomic status of Oligodon waandersi sensu lato after examining all the name-bearing types (including synonyms) and morphological evidence. Oligodon waandersi sensu stricto is widely distributed (up to 1200 m above sea level) throughout the southern, some parts of the central, and the northern slopes of Central Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, whereas a similar species, O. propinquus, is only known from its holotype and considered to have originated from Java. Here, we demonstrate that O. propinquus is a close match with the northern population (North and Gorontalo) of O. waandersi and morphologically distinct; hence, we consider the type locality of O. propinquus as North Sulawesi, not Java. Oligodon taeniurus, long considered a junior synonym of O. waandersi, is a distinct species, but here we synonymize it with the morphologically closely matched O. propinquus, which has priority over O. taeniurus. Oligodon waandersi in Southeast Sulawesi (including some populations of Buton Islet) is morphologically distinct from O. waandersi sensu stricto in South Sulawesi; hence, it requires a new name. The new species is distinguished from congeners by having the following combination of characters: maximum snout–vent length of 340 mm, a single postocular, a single cloacal plate, a completely divided nasal, ventrals 150–169, subcaudals 18–26, temporals 1+2, six supralabials with third and fourth in contact with eye, dorsal scale rows 15-15-15, hemipenes not forked and covered with spines, maxillary teeth 6–7, shorter tail (6.8–11.2% of total length), brownish dorsum with few dark-edged spots on the vertebral line anteriorly, reddish brown vertebral line on the posterior body and tail, mostly a blackish brown blotch below the eye, and whitish collar band interrupted middorsally. We provide a complete redescription for O. waandersi and O. propinquus based on respective holotypes deposited at the Natural History Museum London and the Zoologisches Museum Hamburg.

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