• The first female specimen of the poorly known Arfak Stout-tailed Snake, Calamophis sharonbrooksae Murphy, 2012, from the Vogelkop Peninsula of West New Guinea, with comments on the taxonomic history of primitive homalopsids

      O'Shea, Mark (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC), 2016-06-01)
      The recent resurrection of Calamophis Meyer, 1874, type species C. jobiensis, from the synonymy of Brachyorrhos Kuhl in Schlegel, 1826, and the description of three new species of Calamophis, have changed concepts of homalopsid diversity in the Vogelkop Peninsula of West New Guinea. Both Brachyorrhos and Calamophis are now accepted to comprise four species each and are considered representatives of a unique fangless, nonvenomous, terrestrial to semi-fossorial, homalopsid lineage. With the original and only specimen of C. jobiensis lost, the genus Calamophis is now characterized by only six specimens (4 ♂♂, 2 ♀♀), comprising holotypes and paratypes of the remaining three species; in each case the species is defined only by specimens of a single sex. We here present the description of the first female specimen of C. sharonbrooksae, the largest specimen of the genus discovered so far, which exhibits a slightly longer body (96% of SVL vs. 91%) and a higher ventral scale count (158 vs. 149 or 150) than the two males, combined with a significantly shorter tail (4.4% of total length vs. 8.6%) and a lower subcaudal scale count (12 pairs vs. 17 or 19 pairs). This is the first time both sexes of a Calamophis species have been available for comparison. The specimen is also the first mainland Papuan Calamophis documented outside the administrative boundaries of the Manokwari Residency, suggesting a wider distribution for the genus than previously thought.