Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca Hallowell, 1857

Wüster, Wolfgang, Chirio, Laurent, Trape, Jean-François, Ineich, Ivan, Jackson, Kate, Greenbaum, Eli, Barron, Cesar, Kusamba, Ch, 2018, Integration of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences and morphology reveals unexpected diversity in the forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) species complex in Central and West Africa (Serpentes, Zootaxa 4455 (1), pp. -1--1: -1

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Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca Hallowell, 1857


Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca Hallowell, 1857 

Naia haie var. melanoleuca Hallowell, 1857  , Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia: 61. Type locality: Gabon, syntypes ANSP 6875–76View Materials, 6878–79View Materials. 

Naja haje var. leucosticta Fischer, 1885  , Jahr. Hamburg. Wiss. Anst. 2: 115, pl. v, fig. 11. Type locality: Cameroon and Ogooué River, Gabon, syntypes ZMH 4280View Materials, 7048View Materials, 7299–7302View Materials  .

Naia melanoleuca  ; Boulenger, 1896: 376 (part, vars. A [a,b] & B [a,b])

Naja melanoleuca melanoleuca  ; Laurent, 1956: 290, pl. xxvi, fig. 2.

Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca  ; Wallach et al., 2009.

Boulengerina melanoleuca  ; Wallach et al., 2014: 122.

Aspidelaps bocagei Sauvage, 1884: 204  (type locality: Gabon and Majumba; holotype MNHN 1884.0015) has been listed as a synonym of N. melanoleuca  (e.g., Broadley, 1983; Wallach et al., 2014; Ceríaco et al., 2017), but is in fact a synonym of Naja annulata  , as is evident from Sauvage’s description, which notes approximately 20 dark double bands along the entire body length, and 21 mid-dorsal scale rows (see also Schmidt, 1923).

Diagnosis: DOrsum blAck, OftEN with 1–3 sEmidividEd yEllOw crOssbANds ON thE NEck, thE first mAy bE AN OcEllus; vENtEr yEllOw with 4 tO 6 blAck bANds iN thE first 100 vENtrAls, thErEAftEr uNifOrm blAck.

Variation: DOrsAl scAlE rOws ON NEck 19–27, At midbOdy 19 (vEry rArEly 17 Or 21); vENtrAls 209–230; subcAudAls 59–74 ( TAblE 8). SuprAlAbiAls 7, thE third ANd fOurth ENtEriNg thE Orbit; iNfrAlAbiAls 8, thE first fOur iN cONtAct with thE ANtEriOr subliNguAls, NO cuNEAtE; prEOculAr 1; pOstOculArs 3 (vEry rArEly 2 Or 4); tEmpOrAls 1+2 Or 1+3; NuchAls bOrdEriNg tEmpOrAls 5–9, usuAlly 7.

Colouration: HEAd brOwN, thE suprAlAbiAls bArrEd blAck ANd yEllOw, chiN yEllOw. BlAck AbOvE, sOmEtimEs A yEllOw mONOcEllAtE mArkiNg ON thE hOOd, Or 1–3 smAll yEllOw blOtchEs, thE dOrsAl scAlEs mAy bE tippEd with whitE iN juvENilEs ( Fig. 8 View Figure ). YEllOw Or whitE bElOw with 4 tO 6 blAck bANds ON thE first 100 vENtrAls, usuAlly uNifOrm blAck thErEAftEr.

Largest recorded: 2250+420 = 2670 mm, frOm MONiyA, IbAdAN, NigEriA ( ButlEr, 1982: 110).

Suggested common name: CENtrAl AfricAN fOrEst cObrA. 

Distribution: CENtErEd ON thE CONgO BAsiN, wEst tO sOuthwEstErN NigEriA ANd pOssibly sOuthErN BENiN, sOuth tO NOrthErN ANgOlA, NOt ExtENdiNg EAst Of thE AlbErtiNE Rift VAllEy, whErE it is rEplAcEd by N. subfulva  . ThE wEstErN rANgE limits ArE pOOrly uNdErstOOd. POpulAtiONs frOm sOuthEAstErN NigEriA ArE clEArly AssigNAblE tO this fOrm. A fEw spEcimENs frOm LAmtA, sOuthErN BENiN (IRD 12.B, IRD 54.B, IRD 60.B), ANd GhANA ( MNHNAbout MNHN 1983.0663–64; NO furthEr lOcAlity iNfOrmAtiON) AlsO AppEAr tO bE AssigNAblE tO N. melanoleuca  .


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle














Naja (Boulengerina) melanoleuca Hallowell, 1857

Wüster, Wolfgang, Chirio, Laurent, Trape, Jean-François, Ineich, Ivan, Jackson, Kate, Greenbaum, Eli, Barron, Cesar, Kusamba, Ch 2018


Naia melanoleuca

Boulenger, 1896 : 376


Naja melanoleuca melanoleuca

Laurent, 1956 : 290


Boulengerina melanoleuca

Wallach et al., 2014 : 122


Aspidelaps bocagei

Sauvage, 1884 : 204