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CANNIA AUSTRALIS BURGESSI SUBSP. NOV.

Click here to view the image of <I>Cannia australis burgessi</I>.  This photo may be reproduced by anyone provided that at the same place the original photographer (Raymond Hoser) AND weblink to -smuggled.com- are also acknowledged and/or cited as the source.  These are conditions of reproduction.Holotype:

Australian Museum Specimen number R135292 from Gemco Mining Lease Area, Groote Eylandt, NT. Lat 14.00 S 136.40 E.

Collected on 18 September 1991. Male.

Click here to view the image of <I>Cannia australis burgessi</I>.  This photo may be reproduced by anyone provided that at the same place the original photographer (Raymond Hoser) AND weblink to -smuggled.com- are also acknowledged and/or cited as the source.  These are conditions of reproduction.Scalation: smooth, 210 ventrals, 68 subcaudals, all single except for numbers 64 and 67 which are paired. 126 cm Snout-vent, 151 cm total length (over five feet), 17 Mid body rows (mbr), divided anal. Other details can be gleaned from photos of this animal and/or inspection of the type.

Colour: Generally brownish dorsally, with a creamish white belly. Refer to photos or the type specimen itself, some of which are reproduced with this description.

Paratypes:

Click here to view the image of <I>Cannia australis burgessi</I>.  This photo may be reproduced by anyone provided that at the same place the original photographer (Raymond Hoser) AND weblink to -smuggled.com- are also acknowledged and/or cited as the source.  These are conditions of reproduction.Australian Museum Specimen number R77369 - from Angurugu Mission, Groote Eylandt, NT. Lat 14.00 S 136.40 E.

Scalation: smooth, 67 Subcaudals - last three paired, rest are single (64). 208 ventrals, 17 mid body rows, divided anal. 105 cm S-V, 127 cm total length. Other details can be gleaned from a photo of this animal and/or inspection of the paratype.

Colour: Generally brownish dorsally, with a creamish white belly. Refer to photos or the type specimen itself.

Australian Museum Specimen number R25776 - from Groote Eylandt, NT. Lat 14.00 S 136.40 E.

Scalation: smooth, 36 Subcaudals - (missing end of tail). 213 Ventrals, 17 mid body rows, divided anal. 100 cm S-V, 111 cm total length (note missing end of tail). This snake has a mangled head and a metal tag. It also has distinctive black markings on the head or neck. Other details can be gleaned from photo of this animal and/or inspection of the paratype.

Colour: Generally brownish dorsally, with a creamish white belly. Refer to photos or the type specimen itself.

Australian Museum Specimen number R73954 - from Groote Eylandt, NT. Lat 14.00 S 136.40 E.

Scalation: smooth, 65 all single subcaudals, excluding number 63 which is paired. 197 ventrals, 17 mid body rows, divided anal, No visible hemipenes. Other details can be gleaned from a photo of this animal and/or inspection of the paratype.

Colour: Generally brownish dorsally, with a creamish white belly. Refer to photos or the type specimen itself.

Australian Museum Specimen number R10232 - from Groote Eylandt, NT. Lat 14.00 S 136.40 E.

Scalation: smooth, 65 single subcaudals followed by a single divided one. Total length of 140 cm, snout vent length Refer to the photo of this specimen depicted on this page, and/or the type specimen itself for further details.

of 116 cm. Relatively unusual among the same of this subspecies to have a "U"-shaped rostral. 17 mid body rows, divided anal. No visible hemipenes. Other details can be gleaned from a photo of this animal and/or inspection of the paratype.

Colour: Generally brownish dorsally, with a creamish white belly. Refer to photos or the type specimen itself.

Australian Museum Specimen number R14798 - from Groote Eylandt, NT. Lat 14.00 S 136.40 E.

This is a poorly preserved specimen missing the end of itís tail. It has no visible hemipenes.

It measures about 150 cm in length. Similar in most respects to the other paratypes.

Other details can be gleaned from a photo of this animal and/or inspection of the paratype.

Colour: Generally brownish dorsally, with a creamish white belly. Refer to photos or the type specimen itself.

Diagnosis

Similar in most respects to Cannia australis from which it can be identified by the following suite of characters. An average lower count of divided subcaudals and a wider rather than horseshoe shaped rostral scale, although this latter trait is not universal as seen from the series of paratypes. This subspecies is also believed to be restricted to Groote Eylandt.

These snakes are separated from Pailsus (all forms) by their larger adult size and more stout build, as typified in the type specimen.

There are also differences in the head scalation, including the fact that the preocular in Cannia australis burgessi tends to of a more triangular shape (in an up/down direction) than seen in Pailsus. Also refer to head photos and/or a comparative inspection of types.

Like other Cannia australis, this taxa is separated from Pailsus by the lower average ventral count (refer to Wells and Wellington 1987, inadvertently corroborated by Hoser 1998b).

Most other scalation and morphological traits tend to fit within the ranges of both Pailsus and Cannia.

Like other Cannia australis, this subspecies is an elapid that is usually an even brownish colour dorsally and a creamish white ventrally. Occasionally there are dark markings between or on the edges of the scales.

Cannia australis newmani sp. nov. from Bathurst Island, is separated from Cannia australis burgessi and most other Cannia australis by its much broader parietal scales.

For further details, refer to the type specimen and/or view photos of it.

Biology

Cannia australis burgessi is believed to be a generalized predator feeding on a variety of vertebrates and as a preference is diurnal, though crepuscular or nocturnal in hot weather.

Otherwise this taxa is little known.

A specimen was kept by a reptile keeper in suburban Melbourne in late 1998 (not Valentic) and died within a few months in captivity. The cause of death was not determined and no autopsy was carried out.

The keeper was otherwise experienced with reptiles and generally had no problems maintaining his collection.

It is assumed that this taxa has similar ecology to other Cannia australis.

There are no known conservation threats and the taxa is believed to be common where it occurs.

Etymology

Named after UK Herpetologist Tom Burgess, publisher of the Reptilian Magazine as a tribute to his ongoing commitments to both the hobby of keeping reptiles in the UK and elsewhere and the scientific study of reptiles.

The above was from a paper published in mid 2001
"A current assessment of the status of the snakes of the genera Cannia and Pailsus, including descriptions of three new subspecies from the Northern Territory and Western Australia, Australia."

To download the original of this paper (over 25,000 words) - with photos exactly as it appeared in the journal Boydii

To download the original of this paper - with photos exactly as it appeared in the journal Boydii - as a 3.23 mb Adobe Acrobat pdf file

To download the original of this paper - as an MS Word for Windows file - in the same text as it appeared in the journal Boydii - (without the photos)

To download the listings of "Cannia australis" specimens held at the Qld and Australian Museum as of end March 2001 in MS Word table files, excel files and html files (six files in total) in a self executing (self opening) file folder (110 kb) - as provided by the relevant institutions (with thanks acknowledged here)

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