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KEY To Spalerosophis sp. (Beat Schatti,Frank Tillack & Notker Helfenberger 2009)

Dorsal scales at midbody in 36-45 longitudinal rows, 13-17 supralabials, 10-15 perioculars, 6-10 temporals in first row

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- Dorsal scales at midbody in 25-33 (rarely 23) longitudinal rows, 10-14 supralabials, 6-14 perioculars (see remark above), 3-6 temporals in first row [diadema group]

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2 Rostral deeply wedged between the internasals, dorsals keeled (Northwest India, Pakistan) S. arenarius
  - Rostral not distinctly separating internasals anteriorly, dorsals smooth or keeled Go to 3

Dorsal color pattern of adults extremely variable (often straw yellow to orange, body usually with irregular black flecks and/or blotches as if snake had been spattered with tar, or with sooty blotches often fused along midline; sometimes completely melanistic), head black or with black mottling, dorsal scales keeled (North India, South Nepal?, Pakistan)

S. atriceps
  - Head markings and dorsal blotches dark brown to pale grey, buff, or khaki, and more or less regular, dorsal scales smooth or keeled (smooth or weekly keeled in area of sympatry with atriceps [Pakistan, possibly Northwest India]) Go to 4
4 Dorsal spots with a distinct dark border, largest comprising at least 40 scales, 31-33 longitudinal rows of dorsals at midbody (Maghreb) S. dolichospilus
  - Dorsal coloration not as described above, 25 (rarely 23) to 33 longitudinal rows of dorsals at midbody (29 or less in Northwest Africa)

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5 Subcaudals 80 or more (Iran to Central Asia and western Himalayas) S. d. diadema [auct.]
  - Subcaudals less than 80 (western Sahara to Southwest Iran [Khuzestan]) S. d. cliffordii [auct.]
6 36-39 midbody scale rows, internasals paired, frontal broken up, parietals largely fragmented, 7-10 temporals in first row, scales in second longitudinal dorsal row subequal, anal scute divided, with a median series of roundish spots or without dorsal markings (only known from Galgalo oasis, Horn of Africa) S. josephscorteccii
  - 41-45 midbody scale rows, at least 3 (lectotype) internasals (normally broken up into 4 or more scales), frontal usually entire, parietals mostly entire but reduced in size, 6-8 temporals in first row, scales in second longitudinal dorsal row of variable size, anal scute entire, with a median series of well-defined regular cross-bars distinctly separated by lighter interspaces (West Iran) S. microlepis
This site has information on the following genera of Ratsnakes ... Spilotes, Spalerosophis, Ptyas, Zamenis, Elaphe, Rhinechis, Senticolis, Pseudelaphe, Pantherophis, Bogertophis, Orthriophis, Gonyosoma, Oreocryptophis, Oocatochus, Euprepiophis, Coelognathus, Archelaphe