HOLOTYPE: A juvenile female specimen from near Wau, PNG, Lat: 7° 20' Long: 146° 40'. number BBM 5452 in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu. The specimen was collected by A. C. Ziegler on 13 June 1967. Measurements were, snout-vent 540 mm, tail 95 mm, total length 635 mm. Scalation: Smooth with 274 ventrals and 68 subcaudals.
PARATYPES: A male specimen from near Wau, PNG, Lat: 7° 20' Long: 146° 40'. number BBM 3890 in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu. The snake was collected by O. R. Wilkes on or around 1 May 1966 at an elevation of about 1150 metres. The snake is skinned out except for the head and tail. Scalation: 263 ventrals and 62 subcaudals. A specimen from near Wau, PNG, Lat: 7° 20' Long: 146° 40'. number BBM 5137 in the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu. The snake was collected by H. Clissold on or around 24 August 1963 at an elevation of about 3500 feet in forest habitat. The snake is skinned out except for most of the skull. Scalation: 271 ventrals and 68 subcaudals.
DIAGNOSIS: Essentially similar in most respects to L. albertisi albertisi from which it can be usually differentiated by it's higher loreal count. L. albertisi albertisi usually has a single loreal in broad contact with the prefrontal. The three specimens listed above are typical for their subspecies in that they have two or three loreals on each side. Specimens of L. albertisi albertisi usually have a single pair of elongated prefrontal scutes with their median suture three or more times as long as the suture between the internasals. However in L. albertisi bennetti it is not unusual for there to be a pair of small lateral prefrontals, broadly separated from each other by the median prefrontals but in contact with the frontal posteriorly and with the more posterior loreal anteriorly. This is seen in specimens BBM 5452 (the holotype) and BBM 5137 (the second paratype). In L. albertisi albertisi it is usual for there to be a whitish spot behind the eye. However this is often, but not always absent from specimens of L. albertisi bennetti. The two forms are further separated by distribution, one being found in New Guinea around Wau and nearby areas, the other known from Irian Jaya. The exact status of the specimens from intermediate locations isn't known. Leiopython albertisi bennetti is separated from Leiopython albertisi barkeri by distribution, the latter being the only subspecies found Mussau.
ETYMOLOGY: I have once again taken the liberty of naming the subspecies after two people. This includes the UK herpetologist Daniel Bennett, who is perhaps best known for writing a series of books about Monitor lizards. I have also named the subspecies after former NPWS/NSW Wildlife Enforcement Officer Clive Bennett (who co-incidentally shares the same name) in recognition of his voluntary conservation work with birds of prey over many years. Bennett also played an essential role in having corruption within his department raised in the NSW Parliament, NSW ICAC and after failure by these two to investigate the evidence he presented, he passed this information to this author for inclusion in the book Smuggled-2:Wildlife Trafficking, Crime and Corruption in Australia which was published in 1996.
The above was from the paper - A revision of the Australiasian Pythons.
(Originally published in Ophidia Review 1(1) in "Autumn" 2000 - (Publication date: October 2000), pp. 7-27).
For the text of the full paper
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photos exactly as it appeared in the journal Ophidia Review - as an Adobe Acrobat pdf file
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