|Title||Nomenclatural problems relating to Atractus trilineatus Wagler, 1828|
The Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie material of Brachyorrhos albus (L., 1758), which had been on loan to Dr. S. B. McDowell, New York, was returned to us with the remark that reg.no. RMNH 48 from Java certainly did not belong to that species. Dr. McDowell suggested it might be an Atractus, and following his suggestion I examined this specimen. It soon became evident that Dr.
McDowell had been right and that the specimen did belong to Atractus trilineatus Wagler, a species only known from Trinidad, eastern Venezuela and western Guyana (Hoogmoed, 1979: 275).
The specimen concerned (RMNH 48) belongs to the oldest part of the collection of the RMNH. It turned out to have been investigated by many ancient authors and it was discovered that it is a type specimen of several nominal species. Before trying to reconstruct the history of this specimen it seems useful to give a short description. It is a female with a total length of 205 mm, the snout-vent length is 194 mm, the tail length 11 mm. Ventrals 142, anal undivided, 11 subcaudals in two rows. Upper labials eight, of which the fourth and the fifth touch the eye, two postoculars, no preocular, temporals 1 + 2, lower labials eight, of which four are in contact with the chinshields. The specimen is very bleached, retaining traces of the original colouration on the head, tail and several sections of the body. Especially on the tail the three tell-tale dark brown longitudinal lines are well visible.
The snake is stored in a bottle bearing two labels. The oldest of these, attached to the outside of the bottle, reads as follows: "Rabdosoma lineatum D & B/Calamaria brachyorrhos/Kuhlii Boie/...8 + 13; .... + 0...../Java".
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