CANNIA AUSTRALIS NEWMANI SUBSP. NOV.
Australian Museum Specimen number R14374 - from Bathurst Island, NT. Lat 11.77 S Long 130.23 E
Scalation, smooth: 57 Single subcaudals then 2 divided (last two), (59 subcaudals total), 204 Ventrals, no hemipenes visible, 17 Mid Body rows, Anal divided, 71 cm Snout Vent, tail length is 14 cm, total length is 85 cm.
Colour: Generally brownish dorsally, with a creamish white belly. Refer to photos or the type specimen itself shown on the next page.
Cannia australis newmani sp. nov. is separated from Cannia australis burgessi, other Cannia australis (excluding Cannia australis aplini) and Pailsus species by its much broader parietal scales. The line separating each supraocular and frontal is more strongly curved in this subspecies than in Cannia australis, Cannia australis burgessi or Cannia australis aplini, (as described below).
Refer to the type specimen and/or view photos of Cannia newmani for further details.
Like other Cannia australis, this taxa is also separated from Pailsus by the lower average ventral count (refer to Wells and Wellington (1987)).
Like other Cannia australis, this subspecies is a 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, particularly near the head and neck.
This subspecies is currently known only from Bathurst Island, but almost certainly occurs on the immediately adjacent Melville Island, both in the Northern Territory.
Neither the Qld or Australian Museum had specimens from the latter location.
It 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.
Named after UK Herpetologist Chris Newman, an editor of the Reptilian Magazine and Ophidia Review 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. This is particularly pertinent, as at the current time (2001) there is a strong push by several special interest groups to outlaw the hobby of keeping reptiles in the UK.
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."
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