Liophidium pattoni Vieites, Ratsoavina, Randrianiaina, Nagy, Glaw & Vences, 2010
L. pattoni was described from the Makira reserve in northeastern Madagascar, but is known also occur further north and east of this location. It may be more widely distributed, but more research is needed. It is found between sea level and 1100 metres above sea level, in a variety of forest types.
Morphology & Colouration:
L. pattoni is a relatively small snake, reaching about 42cm.
L. pattoni has a unique colour pattern among Malagasy snakes, with a mostly black dorsum with four lines of pink scales which fade to white mid-way down the body (or disappear in some individuals). The underside is yellow with black markings on each scale, and bright pink on the underside of the tail.
Like all Malagasy Liophidium species, L. pattoni has 17 dorsal scales at midbody.
L. pattoni is a diurnal, terrestrial species. It has only been found in primary rainforest. Its diet contains lizards, but little else is known.
L. pattoni is currently listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, due to the declining quality of its native forests.
L. pattoni was known for many years before its description. It differs from all other species of Liophidium on the basis of its colouration, and also in scale counts (except L. torquatum, which has some overlapping scale counts, but is very differently coloured).
Photos are of the holotype, and are taken from Vieites et al. 2010.
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Vieites, D. R., F. M. Ratsoavina, R.-D. Randrianiaina, Z. T. Nagy, F. Glaw & M. Vences (2010) ‘A rhapsody of colours from Madagascar: discovery of a remarkable new snake of the genus Liophidium and its phylogenetic relationships' Salamandra 46(1):1-10