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An r or two. The curious case of the much misspelled genus Rhagerhis.

Ton Steehouder, Weelde, Belgium


ton.steehouder@skynet.be

Introduction
The Moila snake was first described by Reuss (1834) as Coluber moilensis. Gervais assi ned it in 18!" to the enus Coelopeltis# and used the na$e Coelopeltis productus. %eters created in 18&' a new enus for this snake# Rhagerhis. This eneric na$e was afterwards abandoned# and the Moila snake was assi ned to the enera Malpolon# and Rhamphiophis. (n ')11# *+h$e , -e %ury described the history of the eneric allocation of the Moila snake# and reinstated the eneric na$e %eters used in 18&'. Rhagerhis. /fter readin the detailed article of *+h$e , -e %ury# ( was 0u11led by the s0ellin of the na$e Rhagerhis# as ( had also seen the eneric na$e Rhagerrhis. *oth na$es were identical in derivation# and the snakes they were assi ned to# were closely related. ( then looked u0 all the relevant literature ( could find# with the hel0 of the *iodiversity 2erita e 3ibrary site at htt0.44biodiversitylibrary.or 4# askin $yself the 5uestion: have there been two generic names in use with the same derivation, almost identical in spelling, or was it a case of misspelling6 The followin is what ( found.

The history of Rhagerhis and Rhagerhis


18&' Peters describes 7Rhagerhis nov. en.8. (18&3) 2e ads the followin drawin s.

The le end of this drawin s $entions 79oelo0eltis 0roductus. Gerv.8 ( 5uote fro$ 0. '"4:'"! (bold added by $e). ;Rhagerhis nov. en. 1) <ordere =berkiefer1>hne fast leich lan # a$ hinteren ?nde des @iefers# durch einen Awischenrau$ von den vorher ehenden etrennt# ein oder 1wei lan e Burchen1>hne. @o0f $erklich breiter als der 2als# $it abschCssi er# vors0rin ender# 1u es0it1ter Dchnau1e. /u en sehr ros1# $it runder oder etwas l>n licher %u0ille. Nasenschild einfach, sehr lang, mit sehr leiner Nasen!ffnung, welche "orn "on einer

#ogenf!rmigen mit ihrer $on"e%it&t nach "orn gerichteten in den o#eren und unteren Rand des Schildes auslaufenden 'ertiefung, hinten "on einer geraden Spalte #egren(t wird. ?in kleines kur1es BrenaleE ein %raeorbitale# ' %ostorbitalia. Rostralschild $it seine$ hinteren Finkel 1wischen die (nternasalia eindrin end. Awei %raefrontalia# ein lan es Brontale $ediu$. Du0raorbitalia vors0rin end. @+r0er sehr estreckt# an den *auchseiten ab erundet# Dchu00en latt# $ehr oder weni er deutlich der 3>n e nach vertieft. /nale etheilt. Dubcaudalia in do00elter Reihe. -iese Gattun 1ei t eine roGe Hbereinsti$$un $it Coelopeltis (lacertina)# von der sie aber durch einen an1 anderen @o0fbau unterschieden ist# in welcher *e1iehun sie sich viel$ehr den Rhamphiophis n>hert# welche sich durch den Man el der A>hne auf de$ vorderen ?nde des sehr verkCr1ten =berkiefers und die un efurchten @+r0erschu00en von ihr entfernen. *eide Gattun en dCrften indessen# eben so wie aphrometopon (Chorisodon) nur als aberrante Bor$en oder Inter attun en von Coelopeltis 1u betrachten sein.J The footnote eK0lains the derivation of this eneric na$e.

=n 0. '"!:'"& he describes ;Rhagerhis (Coelopeltis! producta Gerv.J ( 5uote a ain. ;'L. Rhagerhis (9oelo0eltis) 0roducta Gerv. (Bi . 3.) Coelopeltis productus Gervais (/cad. des Dciences et 3ettres de Mont0ellier. (((. 0. !1'. Taf. <. Bi . !). =ben br>unlich elb $it abwechselnden Reihen dunkler Blecken# auf der Dchl>fe ein roGer dunkler Bleck# ein kleinerer nahe dahinter a$ MackenE unten weiG. Rostralschild 0yra$idal# unten tief aus eh+hlt# oben $it eine$ stu$0fen Finkel 1wischen die (nternasalia eindrin end. (nternasalia vierseiti E durch den kCr1esten Rand stehen sie $it einander in <erbindun # durch den n>chst roGen vorderen $it de$ RostraleE die beiden l>n sten R>nder# der NuGere an das Masale und der hintere an das %raefrontale ren1ende# stoGen in eine$ s0it1en Finkel 1usa$$en. -ie %raefrontalia sind etwas r+Ger und fCnfseiti E nach auGen drin en sie in die Brenal e end herab und stehen durch ihren kCr1esten Rand $it de$ Brenale in <erbindun E ihr hinterer und ihr innerer Rand sind leich lan E der hintere NuGere Rand# welcher an das Du0raorbitale und das /nteorbitale st+Gt# ist etwas l>n er# aber kCr1er als der l>n ste vordere Rand# welcher auGen $it de$ oberen Theile des hinteren Randes vo$ Masale in <erbindun tritt. -as Brontale ist so lan oder kau$ lan er als die Du0raorbitalia# an den l>n sten Deitenr>ndern concav# vorn stu$0f:# hinten s0it1winkeli E es lie t nicht vertieft# inde$ die (nterorbital e end an1 flach erscheint. -ie %arietalia drin en $it eine$ s0it1en Finkel 1wischen Brontale und Du0raorbitalia ein# und stehen durch ihren vorderen bo enf+r$i en concaven Rand $it de$ Du0raorbitale und de$ oberen %ostorbitale in <erbindun . -as Masale ist sehr lan und ents0richt in seiner Bor$ an1 de$ Masale und de$ ersten Brenale von Coelopeltis (lacertina) 1usa$$en eno$$en. -as Brenale ist klein# an1 wie das 1weite Brenale bei Coelopeltis lacertina estaltet# etwas h+her als lan # enau betrachtet fCnfseiti und steht $it de$ Masale# de$ /nteorbitale# de$ %raefrontale# de$ 1weiten und

dritten Du0ralabiale in <erbindun . -as /nteorbitale ist auf der /ufsenfl>che concav# h+her als lan # aber auf den vorderen Theil der =rbita beschr>nkt und steht nicht $it de$ Brontale $ediu$ in <erbindun . %ostorbitalia sind von derselben Gestalt# wie bei Coelopeltis lacertina vorhanden. Awei lan e Te$0oralschilder stehen $it den %ostorbitalia in <erbindun # dahinter lie en $ehrere kleinere in vier 3>n sreihen. /cht Du0ralabialia# von denen das vierte und fCnfte in den =rbitalrand tretenE 11 %aar (nfralabialia E das erste %aar st>Gt hinter de$ sehr kleinen Mentale 1usa$$enE vo$ '. bis &. neh$en sie rasch an Gr+Ge 1u und die fol enden fCnf sind sehr klein. Awei %aar Dub$entalschilder# von denen das vordere u$ ein -rittel kCr1er als das hintere ist. =berkiefer1>hne Oederseits 1) P 1# Gau$en1>hne &# %try oidal1>hne 1)# Interkiefer1>hne 1&. @+r0erschu00en in sieb1ehn 3>n sreihen# $ehr oder weni er deutlich der 3>n e nach vertieft $it einfachen ?nd ruben. 1&L /bdo$inalia# ein etheiltes /nale und &' %aar Dubcaudalschilder. -ie Barbe der Fein eisteKe$0lare ist oben braun elb $it & bis 8 abwechselnd stehenden Reihen von schwar1braunen BleckenE einen Bleck von >hnlicher Barbe sieht $an auf de$ oberen und unteren =rbitalrande. ?in rofser schwar1brauner Bleck stei t von der Dchl>fen e end bis 1u$ Mundwinkel herab und wird durch einen sch$alen helleren Awischenrau$ von eine$ >hnlichen aber weni er breiten dunkeln Mackenfleck etrennt. ?s lie t aus der Da$$lun der Reisenden nur ein ein1i es ?Ke$0lar vo$ DennQr vor. -as Museu$ besit1t Oedoch andere ?Ke$0lare derselben /rt# welche die 2rn. ?hrenber und 2e$0rich hei$ ebracht haben und welche frCher als Coluber ruber 3inne be1eichnet waren# in de$ "omenclator Rept. et #mph. Mus. $oolog. %erol von 18!& da e en als &amenis florulentus auf efChrt sind.J 18&3 Troschel )*+, discusses the her0etolo ical achieve$ents of the year 18&' and writes. ;%eters hat *erliner Monatsberichte 0. '"' drei neue afrikanische Dchlan en attun en e rCndetJ. 2e then $entions on 0. &3&. ;Rhagerhis# e rCndet auf 9oelo0eltis 0roducta# unterscheidet sich von 9oelo0eltis durch an1 anderen @o0fbau# in welcher *e1iehun sie sich den Rha$0hio0his n>hert# die sich durch den Man el der A>hne auf de$ vorderen ?nde des sehr verkCr1ten =berkiefers und die un efurchten @+r0erschu00en von ihr entfernen.J -.nther 0ublishes the usual list of s0eci$ens added to the collection. ;The followin s0ecies of =0hidians have been added to the 9ollection of the *ritish Museu$ since the 0ublication of the last 0a0er on the sa$e subOect in this Rournal (Bebruary 18&!# 0. 8L).J =n 0a e '! we find the followin 0hrase.

18&&

18&8 18&8

Two thin s are clear fro$ this 5uote. 1. 2e $iss0elled the eneric na$e %eters ave to the snake. '. 2e has the intention that 7Rha errhis $ulti$aculata8 belon s to the sa$e enus. (t could be concluded that GCnther at that $o$ent considered the eneric na$es Rhagerhis and Rhagerrhis as identical. There was no need to define a new enus# because there was no new enus. /ul. 'ictor $arus und $.0.A. -erstaec er. 2andbuch der Aoolo ie. =n 0. 1'& they write about the fa$ily %sa$$o0hidae# enus %sa$$o0his and enus 9oelo0eltis# and $ention as related for$s a$on others ;R2/G?RR2(D %et.J -.nther )*+* 0ublishes in 7DiKth /ccount of Mew D0ecies of Dnakes in the

9ollection of the *ritisch Museu$J a ;3ist of the new D0ecies 0rocured and described since Ruly 18&&.J (n this list we find ;Rha errhis un uiculata# 'thr. Aan1ibar. -r. @irk.J# followed by ;Stritaeniata# 'thr. ?ast /frica. Mr. Farwick.J =n 0. 4'':4'3 he describes Rhagerrhis unguiculata. . ;Dcales short# rounded# without a0ical roove# in seventeen seriesE ventrals 1"& E anal bifidE subcaudals 1)). *ody $oderately slenderE head short# hi h# with the u00er 0rofile conveK# ter$inatin in a broad rostral shield# which is bent downwards and 0rovided with a shar0 ed e like a nailE anterior frontals $uch broader than lon E 0osterior frontals not twice as lar e as anterior# broader than lon . <ertical siK: sided# with the anterior and 0osterior an les e5ually obtuse# and as broad behind as in front E occi0itals short# shorter than the vertical# rounded behind. Mostril in a sin le shield# the 0osterior ed e of which is rather irre ularE loreal as hi h as lon E two 0raeoculars# the u00er of which contributes to the canthus rostralis# eKtendin to the u00er side of the head# but not by so$e distance reachin the verticalE two 0ostocularsE ei ht u00er labials# the fifth only enterin the orbit E te$0oral shields s$all# irre ular. The $edian lower labial shield is eKtre$ely narrow E the chin:shields of nearly the sa$e len th# the anterior in contact with four or five labials. Greyish olive E $any of the scales# es0ecially on the hinder 0art of the trunk# with a dark or blackish dot# a blackish streak throu h the eyeE lower 0arts nearly unifor$ whitish. / sin le s0eci$en has been sent by -r. @irk fro$ Aan1ibar. (t is 1! inches lon E len th of the head &T lines# of the tail 4 inches.J The te%t in red indicates that -.nther considers this species 1rhagerrhis2 in the same sense as Peters 3)*+45 mentioned in his description of Rhagerhis producta, and that -.nther uses the name Rhagerrhis as indicating the same genus as Peters did. =n 0. 4'3:4'4 he describes Rhagerrhis tritaeniata. ( 5uote. ;( have been in so$e doubt as re ards the syste$atic 0osition of this snake. /lthou h it evidently belon s to the rou0 of %sa$$o0hids# it does not 0erfectly a ree with any of the enera. 2avin the coloration of a true (sammophis# it differs fro$ the s0ecies of this enus in its dentition# in which character it a rees with Rhagerrhis E but the rostral shield is not so $uch 0roduced :: scarcely $ore than in Coelopeltis# fro$ which it differs in the structure of the scales. 2ead rather short# scarcely distinct fro$ neck E body and tail $oderately slender. ?ye of $oderate si1e E rostral shield as hi h as lon # eKtendin to the u00er surface of the head# sli htly advancin between the anterior frontals E anterior frontals not very $uch s$aller than 0osterior E vertical narrow# rather lon er than the snout# and cons0icuously lon er than the occi0itals# which are obli5uely truncated behind E two nasals E loreal s5uare E 0raeorbital sin le# sli htly concave# not 5uite reachin the vertical E two 0ostoculars E ei ht u00er labial shields# the fourth and fifth enterin the orbit E te$0orals ' P 3 P 4E two 0airs of chin:shields# nearly e5ual in len th. Dcales s$ooth# $uch i$bricate# in seventeen rows# with a s$all a0ical roove. <entrals 1&1 E anal bifid E subcaudals &1. *rownish olive# with three dark:brown bands ed ed with black. The $edian band occu0ies the vertebral series and the halves of the adOoinin series of scales# a white line runnin alon its $iddle E this band co$$ences i$$ediately behind the occi0itals# and ter$inates in the anterior 0art of the tail. The lateral band runs alon the third and fourth outer series and the halves of the adOoinin series of scales# co$$encin on the nasal shield# crossin the eye and

te$0le# and ter$inatin near the end of the tail. 3ower 0arts unifor$ whitish. This snake is 0robably fro$ Douth:eastern /frica# and was obtained of Mr. Farwick. (t is ') inches lon # the tail bein 4 inches# and the head & lines.J The te%t in red suggests again that -.nther considers Rhagerrhis as synonym to Rhagerhis. 18"8 6.ller )*7* describes in his 9atalo ue of the /$0hibians and Re0tiles in the Museu$ and Iniversity 9abinet of *asel# on 0. &1). 7Rha erhis.8 Dee.

18"L

Mote that MCller uses productus instead of producta which %eters (18&') used. Bar#o(a du Bocage )*78 $akes a list of the fauna of the %ortu uese 0ossessions in eatern /frica# en $entions on 0. L&. 7Rha errhis tritaeniatus. GCnther.8.

188'

Peters )**4. %eters describes ;%sa$$o0his tritaeniatus# (GCnther). ; on 0. 11L. 2e $entions the synony$. ;18&8. Rhagerrhis tritaeniata# GCnther. /nn. Ma . Mat. 2ist. 4 ser. 1. 0. 4'3. Taf. 1L. Bi . 2.J

2e does not co$$ent on the difference in s0ellin (r or rr). =n 0. 1'4 he describes Rhamphiophis rostratus# %eters# and $entions the synony$ Rhagerrhis unguiculata# GCnther. (n his lon descri0tion we can read the followin . ;-er @iefer au$ena00arat# so wie der an1e Dch>delbau sti$$en i$ an1en $it de$ von Ragerhis und Coelopeltis Cberein. ?i entC$lich ist nur die ausserordentliche ?ntwickelun des Awischenkiefers# die <erkCr1un des =berkiefers und die Inbewehrtheit des vorderen ?ndes des =berkiefers und des Gau$enbeins.J %eters does not elaborate on the s0ellin of the na$e Rhagerrhis he used in the list of synony$s. 6urray )**9a ives so$e additions to the knowled e of the vertebrate 1oolo y of %ersia# and describes on 0. 1)4. ;L. Rhagerrhis productus# %trs.J Boettger )**: describes the achieve$ents of her0etolo y in the year 1884 and writes on 0. '&8. ;R. /. Murray nennt als *ewohner %ersiens )tellio nuptus var. fusca *lfd. und Centrotrachelus #smussi Dtr. von *uschehr# *emidactylus Cocteaui -. *. von *eludschistan# *uschehr und TanOistan# 'ymnodactylus brevipes *lfd. und scaher RC00. von *uschehr und TanOistan# let1teren auch von Bao i$ Dchat:el:/rab in D. Meso0ota$ien und von *eludschistan# (risturus rupestris *lfd. und Rhagerrhis productus %ts. von *uschehr und TanOistan# Ceramodactylus +oriae *lfd. und affinis n. s0. von TanOistan# and %ufo viridis von *uschehr# der enau beschrieben wird. *ei Cenirutrachelus sind *e$erkun en Cber die 3ebensweise# bei *emidactylus scaber enaue *eschreibun und Tabelle der Interschiede der " n>chstverwandten /rten bei e eben. Rhagerrhis wird ebenfalls ein ehend beschrieben und in 3

1884 188!

188&

2ol1schn. ab ebildet. /nn. Ma . M. 2. (!) *d. 14 0. L"::1)&.J (n the %roceedin s of the Aoolo ical Dociety of 3ondon for 188& in Bebruary ;The Decretary Ui.e. %.3. Dclater# tsV read the followin re0ort on the additions to the DocietyWs Mena erie durin the $onth of Ranuary 188& . ; /nd then# as one of the $ost noticeable additions durin the $onth of Bebruary# he $entions Rhagerrhis multimaculata. ( 5uote. ;1. / Many:$arked Dnake (Rhagerrhis multimaculata)# 0resented by the Rev. G. 2. R. Bisk# 9.M.A.D.# and received Ranuary 1# 188&. /$on st several collections of the Dnakes of the 9a0e 9olony lately received fro$ our eKcellent corres0ondent is a sin le s$all eKa$0le# about a foot lon # of this s0ecies# as kindly deter$ined for us by .-r. GCnther. (t is the Coronella multimaculata of D$ith ((llust. Aool. of Douth /frica# 0l. &1)# but 0ro0erly referable to the enus Rhagerrhis of %eters (Monatsb. k. %reuss. /k. Fissen. *erlin# 18&'# 0. '"4).J It seems clear that Sclater uses the generic name Rhagerrhis as a full synonym for Rhagerhis. There is clearly at this time no difference #etween the genus Rhagerhis and Rhagerrhis, as intended #y the users of these names. -.nther )*** $entions in a 79ontribution to the @nowled e of Dnakes of Tro0ical /frica8 on 0. 3'" 7Rhagerrhis o,yrhynchus- and 7Rhagerrhis rubropunctatus8. Boettger )**8 describes in his list of her0etolo ical achieve$ents in 1888 for the /frican re ion (0. 18&). ;G. /. *oulen er ver1eichnet weiter von Maskat# /rabien# Uver l. *er. f. 188" 0a . 1"4V +ermochelys coriacea 3.# Rhagerrhis producta %ts. und eine neue .ry, (s. *oinae). /nn. Ma . M. 2.W (&) *d. ' 0a . !)8::!)L.J

1888 188L

18L1

Sclater )*8) $entions in his 3ist of Dnakes in the (ndian Museu$ as nr. 133 a s0eci$en collected by R./. Murray in TanOistan# %ersia. 2e calls the s0eci$en 7Rha errhis 0roducta# (Gerv.)8. Dtrikin ly# he does not $ention the na$e %eters# and uses the double rr in the na$e# different fro$ %eters 18&'. (n the syste$atic indeK in the be innin of the book (0. vii) he refers to the ite$ on 0. '&# nr. 133# as 7Rha erhis8 with one r. Dee the followin screenshot.

18L4

18L!

2e also $entions after the na$e. 7Dclater# R./.D.*. lK# 0. '3".8 Fhere is he referrin to6 (n his introduction he states that for the snakes fro$ (ndia he uses the classification of *oulen er8s Re0tiles of *ritish (ndia (at the ti$e a recent 0ublication). ( have the i$0ression that all in all the difference in s0ellin of the na$e here see$s to be caused by carelessness. -.nther )*89 $akes a Re0ort on the 9ollection of Re0tiles and Bishes $ade by -r. R. F. Gre ory durin his ?K0edition to Mount @enia. 2e lists on 0. 8":88 two s0ecies. nr. '!. Rha errhis tritaeniata# Gthr.# and nr. '&. Rha errhis oKyrhynchus# Rnhrdt. Bocage describes the her0etolo y of /n ola and the 9on o. =n 0. 11) he lists Rha erhis tritaeniata (with one r). 2e writes.

Mind that he uses sin le:r instead of double:r (which was used by GCnther 18&8). =n 0. 111 he lists Rha erhis acuta (also with one r).

2e describes the corres0ondences and differences with R. tritaeniata. GCnther 1888 calls this snake# he states# (sammophis acutus# fro$ which it however differs in dentition. *oca e does not $ention Rhagerhis as used by %eters. %. 11'.

18L&

Boulenger )*8+ writes his 9atalo ue of the snakes in the *ritish Museu$. 2e lists on 0. 141 as nr. 1&" Coelopeltis# with as one of the synony$s ;Rha erhis# (eters, Mon. %erl. #c. 18&'# 0. '"4J. 9orrectly# with one r. =n 0. 143 he lists Coelopeltis moilensis# and $entions as synony$. ;Rha erhis# (eters, Mon. %erl. #c. 18&'# 0. '"!# 0l. ::# fi . 3E Murray, #nn. / Mag. ". *. (!) Kiv 1884# 0. 1)4.J 9orrectly# with one r. =n 0. 13L he $entions rimerorhinus tritaeniatus with the synony$ 7Rhagerrhis tritaeniata-. /nd on 0. 14&# he lists Rhamphiophis rubropunctatus# with the synony$ Rhagerrhis rubropunctatus# and Rhamphiophis o,yrhynchus with the synony$ Rhagerrhis o,yrhynchus. Then# on 0. 148# *oulen er lists Rha$0hio0his acutus with the synony$ ;Rha erhis acuta# %ocage, *erp. #ngola# 0. 111# 0l. K a# fi . ' (18L!).J Mind. with one r.

18L& 1L1! 1L1L 1L'L

1L!" ')11

/nd finally# on 0. 148. Rhamphiophis multimaculatus# with the synony$ ;Rha errhis $ulti$aculata# '0nth. #nn. / Mag. ". *. (3) Kviii# 18&&# 0. '!.J Werner )*8+. 2e $entions in his re0ort on the her0etolo ical achieve$ents of 18L4 on 0a e 1)! a ;C. producta Gerv.J# and a$on the re0tiles described by GCnther in this 0eriod a ;Rhagerrhis tritaeniata Gthr.# 0. 88J. Boulenger )8): 0ublishes a list of the snakes of ?ast /frica# Morth of the Aa$besi and Douth of the Doudan and Do$aliland# and of Myassaland. 2e $entions on 0. &'L Rhagerrhis tritaeniata GCnth. as a synony$ of rimerorhinus tritaeniatus. Werner )8)8 describes Coelopeltis cordofanensis n. s0. and states. ;?s ist nun die Bra e# ob die aus Denaar von %eters erw>hnte Rhagerrhis producta diese /rt oder die vorlie ende @ordofan:art istXJ Mind the double rrY ;o"eridge )848 lists the Genus Tri$erorrhinus D$ith# the s0ecies Tri$erorrhinus tritaeniatus (GCnther)# and $entions as first synony$. ;Rhagerrhis tritaeniatus GCnther# 18&3# /nn. Ma . Mat. 2ist.# ser. 4# vol. 1# 0. 4'3# 0l. 1L# fi . 8J. This year is a $istake. the $entioned article by GCnther dates fro$ 18&8. ;o"eridge )8:7 lists %sa$$o0hylaK tritaeniatus tritaeniatus (GCnther) and refers to the synony$ ;Rhagerrhis tritaeniatus GCnther# /nn. Ma . Mat. 2ist.# (4) 1. 0. 4'3# 0l. KiK# fi . ((.J B!hme < =e Pury treat the 5uestion of the 0ro0er eneric deno$ination of the Moila snake# and in the end reinstate the eneric na$e Rhagerhis.

So what is the pro#lem>


%eters (18&') used the s0ellin Rhagerhis# with a sin le r. 2e eK0lains the choice of this na$e by ivin the derivation. rha Z and rh[s. (n the years followin we find that so$e authors use the na$e Rhagerhis and others the na$e Rhagerrhis# even with references to %eters 18&'. There is not a sin le clue that they see$ to 0oint at two different enera. To the contrary. GCnther (18&&) $iss0elled the eneric na$e %eters ave to the snake. 2e obviously had the intention that his 7Rhagerrhis multimaculata8 belon s to the sa$e enus. (t could be concluded that GCnther at that $o$ent considered the eneric na$es Rhagerhis and Rhagerrhis as identical. 2e defined a new s0ecies# but there was no need to define a new enus# because there was no new enus.

$an it #e e%plained>
(s there an eK0lanation for this erratic (6) doublin of the r in the years 7after %eters (18&')86 Dcientist in the 1Lth century and the early years of the ')th century as a rule had a classical education# with Greek and 3atin# thou h not everybody was very ood in it# of course. /nyway# they should have known the rule as eK0ressed by $odern Rohn Fells. ;(f the second 0art of a co$0ound word in Greek be an with r# the consonant was auto$atically doubled. That8s why we have one r in rheostat but two in diarrhoea. /nd one in rhi$ome but two in mycorrhi$a.J (Dee his blo on htt0.440honetic:blo .blo s0ot.be4')1)4)L4rh:and:rrh.ht$l). ( venture the assu$0tion that %eters in 18&' si$0ly i nored this doublin rule# 0robably by accident. -id GCnther in 18&& intentionally correct %eters $iss0ellin # or did he unintendedly correct hi$ by thinking that %eters would have used the correct for$ and citin hi$

incorrectly6 Fe8ll never know# as neither %eters nor GCnther ever wrote anythin about the 5uestion. Mobody ever see$ed to notice or bother# at least not to such an eKtent that so$eone felt a need to 0ublish anythin about it. Dince *+h$e and -e %ury returned to the eneric na$e that %eters introduced in 18&'# the 5uestion is. should they have chosen Rhagerrhis instead of Rhagerhis6 =n the basis of article 33 of the (nternational 9ode of Aoolo ical Mo$enclature (online. htt0.44www.nh$.ac.uk4hosted:sites4ic1n4code4indeK.Os06nfv\,article\33]'.') and article 1L (online. htt0.44www.nh$.ac.uk4hosted:sites4ic1n4code4indeK.Os06nfv\,article\1L]') ( would assu$e that there would have been no obOection to the e$endation of the incorrect s0ellin Rhagerhis to the correct s0ellin Rhagerrhis when *+h$e and -e %ury (')11) rena$ed the enus. *ut# as they chose the sin le:r# this na$e is valid and cannot be corrected any $ore (accordin to article 3'.!.1.1# htt0.44www.nh$.ac.uk4hosted:sites4ic1n4code4indeK.Os06 nfv\,article\3']'.' ) . Do it see$s we are stuck with a $iss0elled eneric na$e# unless so$ebody so$ewhere in the future assi ns the Moila snake to another enus.

;itterature
3Reuss )*,95 /. Reuss. Aoolo ische Miscell. Re0tilien. =0hidien. Denckenber iana# Brankfurt a$ Main# 1. 1'":1&' 3-er"ais )*:75 %. Gervais. Dur 5uel5ues o0hidiens de l8/l ^rie. _ M^$oires de la Dection Dcientifi5ue# /cad^$ie des Dciences et 3ettres. Mont0ellier. 3. !11:!1' Peters )*+4 Bull title as iven on 0. '"1. 2r. F. %eters le te eine Mittheilun vor Cber die von de$ so frCh in /frika verstorbenen Breiherrn von *arni$ und -r. 2art$ann auf ihrer Reise durch /e y0ten# Mubien und de$ DennQr esa$$elten /$0hibien Monatsberichte der @+ni lichen %reuss. /kade$ie der Fissenschaften 1u *erlin aus de$ Rahre 18&'. *erlin )*+,. 0. '"1:'"L. ((n this article# not only a$0hibians are listed# but re0tiles too. The title is in that res0ect inco$0lete.) Troschel )*+, B.2. Troschel. *ericht Cber die 3eistun en in der 2er0etolo ie w>hrend des Rahres 18&'. /rchiv fCr Matur eschichte# heraus e . von -r. B.2. Troschel. 'L. Rahr an . Aweiter *and. *erlin# Micolaische <erla sbuchhandlun # 18&3. 0. &'): -.nther )*++ Bifth /ccount of new D0ecies of Dnakes in the 9ollection of the *ritish Museu$. *y /lbert GCnther# M./.# M.-.# %h.-. (%lates <. , <((.). The /nnals and Ma a1ine of Matural 2istory# includin Aoolo y# *otany# and Geolo y. <ol. `<(((. _ Third Deries. 3ondon# Taylor and Brancis# 18&&. 0. '4:'L

-.nther )*+* /lbert GCnther. DiKth /cccount of new D0ecies of Dnakes in the 9ollection of the *ritisch Museu$. *y /lbert GCnther# M./.# M.-.# %h.-.# B.R.D. U%lates `<((# `<((# `(`V. The /nnals and Ma a1ine of Matural 2istory# includin Aoolo y# *otany# and Geolo y. <ol. (. _ Bourth Deries. 3ondon# Taylor and Brancis# 18&8. 0. 413:4'L. $arus und -erstaec er )*+* Rul. <ictor 9arus und 9.?./. Gerstaecker. 2andbuch der Aoolo ie. ?rster *and# (. 2>lfte. Firbelthiere# bearbeitet von R. <ictor 9arus. 3ei01i # <erla von Filhel$ ?n el$ann# 18&8. 6.ller )*7* B. MCller. @atalo der i$ Museu$ und Iniversit>tskabinet 1u *asel auf estellten /$0hibien und Re0tilien# nebst /n$erkun en. <erhandlun en der Maturforschenden Gesellschaft in *asel. Dechster *and. *asel# Dchwei hauserische <erla s:*uchhandlun # 18"8. 0. !!L:")L. Bar#o(a du Bocage )*78 R.<. *arbo1a du *oca e. Dubsidios 0ara a Bauna das 0ossessaes 0ortu ue1as dW/frica occidental. Rornal de Dciencias $ethe$aticas# 0hysicas e naturaes. %ublicado sob aus0icious da /cade$ia Real das Dciencias de 3isboa. Mu$. ``<. Move$bro de 18"L. 0. 8!:L&. Peters )**4 Filhel$ 9.2. %eters. Maturwissenschaftliche Reise nach Mossa$bi5ue auf *efehl Deiner MaOest>t des @+ni s Briedrich Filhel$ (< in den Rahren 184' bis 1848 aus efChrt von ::. Aoolo ie. (((. /$0hibien# $it drei und dreissi Tafeln. *erlin 188'. 6urray )**9 Ra$es /. Murray. /ddition to the %resent @nowled e of the <ertebrate Aoolo y of %ersia. The /nnals and Ma a1ine of Matural 2istory# includin Aoolo y# *otany# and Geolo y. <ol. `(<. _ Bifth Deries. 3ondon# Taylor and Brancis# 1884. 0. L":1)!. Boettger )**: *ericht Cber die 3eistun en in der 2er0etolo ie w>hrend des Rahres 1884. <on -r. =skar *oett er in Brankfurt a$ Main. /rchiv fCr Matur eschichte. !1. Rahr an # 1. *and. *erlin 188!. 0. '!':3'". Sclater )**+ %roceedin s of the Aoolo ical Dociety of 3ondon for the year 188&. ;The Decretary Ui.e. %.3. Dclater# tsV read the followin re0ort on the additions to the DocietyWs Mena erie durin the $onth of Ranuary 188&J %roceedin s of the Aoolo ical Dociety of 3ondon for the year 188&. 3ondon 188&. -.nther )*** /. GCnther. 9ontribution to the @nowled e of Dnakes of Tro0ical /frica. *y /. GCnther# B.R.D.# @ee0er of the Aoolo ical -e0art$ent# *ritish Museu$. The /nnals and Ma a1ine of Matural 2istory# includin Aoolo y# *otany and Geolo y. <ol. Y# DiKth Deries. 3ondon# Taylor and Brancis# 1888. 0. 3'':33!.

Boettger )**8 =skar *oett er. *ericht Cber die 3eistun en in de ?erpetologie w>hrend des Rahres 1888. /rchiv fCr Matur eschichte. !!. Rahr an . ((. *and. *erlin# Micolaische <erla s: *uchhandlun # 188L. 0. 1&3:'"'. Sclater )*8) F.3. Dclater. 3ist of Dnakes in the (ndian Museu$. 9alcutta 18L1. -.nther )*89 /. GCnther# @ee0er of the Aoolo ical -e0art$ent# *ritish Museu$. Re0ort on the 9ollection of Re0tiles and Bishes $ade by -r. R. F. Gre ory durin his ?K0edition to Mount @enia. %roceedin s of the General Meetin s for Dcientific *usiness of the Aoolo ical Dociety of 3ondon for the year 18L4. 3ondon 18L4. 0. 83:L1. Bocage )*8: 2er0^tolo ie dW/n ola et du 9on o. =uvra e 0ubli^ sous les aus0ices du MinistZre de la $arine et des colonies 0ar R. <. *arbo1a du *oca e# 0rofesseur de 1oolo ie b lWccole 0olytechni5ue# directeur du Mus^u$ national de 3isbonne. 3isbonne 18L!. Boulenger )*8+ Geor e /lbert *oulen er. 9atalo ue of the Dnakes in the *ritish Museu$ (Matural 2istory). <ol. (((# containin the 9olubridae (=0isto ly0hae and %rotero ly0hae)# /$blyce0halidae and <i0eridae. 3ondon 18L&. Werner )*8+. Bran1 Ferner. *ericht Cber die 3eistun en in der 2er0etolo ie i$ Rahre 18L4. /rchiv fCr Matur eschichte# &'. Rahr an # ((. *and. *erlin 18L&. 0. 8!:181. Boulenger )8): G. /. *oulen er. 3ist of the Dnakes of ?ast /frica# Morth of the Aa$besi and Douth of the Doudan and Do$aliland# and of Myassaland. %roceedin s of the General Meetin s for Dcientific *usiness of the Aoolo ical Dociety of 3ondon. 1L1!# 00. 'LL:"1'. 3ondon# Messrs.3on $ans# Green# and 9o. 0. &11:&!8. Werner )8)8 B. Ferner. Fissenschaftliche ?r ebnisse der $it InterstCt1un der /kade$ie der Fissenschaften in Fien aus der ?rbschaft Treitl von B. Ferner unterno$$enen 1oolo ischen ?K0edition nach de$ an lo:N y0tischen Dudan (@ordofan) 1L14. (<. *earbeitun der Bische# /$0hibien und Re0tilien ($it ' Tafeln# 8 TeKtfi uren und 1 @arte). -enkschriften /kade$ie der Fissenschaften in Fien# Mathe$atisch:Maturwissenschaftliche @lasse. L&. *and. Fien 1L1L. 0. 43":!)L. ;o"eridge )848 /rthur 3overid e. ?ast /frican Re0tiles and /$0hibians in the Inited Dtates Mational Museu$. D$ithsonian (nstitution. Inited Dtates Mational Museu$# *ulletin 1!1. Fashin ton 1L'L.

;o"eridge )8:7 /rthur 3overid e. 9heck 3ist of the Re0tiles and /$0hibians of ?ast /frica (I andaE @enyaE Tan anyikaE Aan1ibar). *ulletin of the Museu$ of 9o$0arative Aoolo y at 2arvard 9olle e in 9a$brid e. <ol. 11". 9a$brid e# Mass.# 1L!". 0. 1!1:3&' P indeK. B!hme < =e Pury 4@)) Folf an *+h$e , Dt^0hanie de %ury. / note on the eneric allocation of Coluber moilensis Reuss# 1834 (Der0entes. %sa$$o0hiidae). Dala$andra 4"(')# ') May ')11. I$AN )888 (nternational 9o$$ission on Aoolo ical Mo$enclature. (MT?RM/T(=M/3 9=-? =B A==3=G(9/3 M=M?M93/TIR?. Bourth ?dition. 1LLL. =nline. htt0.44ic1n.or 4

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