SOUTH-WEST WOMA PYTHON
ASPIDITES RAMSAYI PANOPTES SUBSP. NOV.
HOLOTYPE: A specimen at the Western Australian Museum, number 43459
from Burracoppin, WA Lat: 31° 24' Long:118° 29'.
PARATYPE: A specimen at the Western Australian Museum, number 17662
from Merredin, WA. Lat: 31° 31' Long:118° 14'
DIAGNOSIS: This race of Womas has a lower average ventral and subcaudal
count than the main race (Barker and Barker 1984). Unlike the nominate
form, A. r. panoptes does not usually retain the juvenile darkening
over the eyes in adults. This latter trait is a trait shared with A.
r. richardjonesii, also of WA, (see below). This is the south-western
Woma. It is separated from all other Womas by distribution (Smith 1981).
The population is believed to be isolated from the main centralian population
by a belt of heavy soils between Karalee and Zanthus, WA (Smith, 1981).
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, this author accepts Smith's
proposition. This south-western population appears to be in terminal decline
(Brian Bush, pers. comm.). The probable causes include introduced predators
such as foxes and cats, habitat destruction and perhaps other unknown causes.
ETYMOLOGY: The subspecies was named panoptes due to popularity
of the scientific name for a species of monitor lizard among some Australians.
Therefore I have bowed to their wishes and legitimately named another reptile
by this name. ICZN rules allow species from different family and genus
to carry the same species name.
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).
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