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Acanthophis cryptamydros Maddock, Ellis, Doughty, Smith & Wüster, 2015 is an invalid junior synonym of Acanthophis lancasteri Wells & Wellington, 1985 (Squamata, Elapidae)



Maddock et al. (2015) described a supposedly new species of death adder (Squamata, Elapidae) from northwestern Australia as Acanthophis cryptamydros. However, Maddock et al. (2015: 307) themselves admitted that this name was a junior synonym of Acanthophis lancasteri Wells & Wellington, 1985: “Since the only existing name applicable to this taxon, Acanthophis lancasteri Wells & Wellington, 1985, is a nomen nudum (Aplin & Donnellan 1999), we describe it as a new species below (...)”.

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Anonymous [International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature] (1999) International code of zoological nomenclature. Fourth edition. London (International Trust for zoological Nomenclature): i–xxix + 1–306.

Aplin, K. P. & Donnellan, S. C. (1999) An extended description of the Pilbara Death Adder, Acanthophis wellsi Hoser (Serpentes: Elapidae), with notes on the desert death adder, A. pyrrhus Boulenger, and identification of a possible hybrid zone. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 19: 277–298.

Maddock S. T., Ellis, R. J., Doughty, P., Smith, L. A. & Wüster, W. (2015) A new species of death adder (Acanthophis: Serpentes: Elapidae) from north-western Australia. Zootaxa, 4007 (3): 301–326.

Ramsay, E. P. (1877) Description of a supposed new species of Acanthophis from North Australia. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 2: 72–74.

Storr, G. M. (1981) The genus Acanthophis (Serpentes: Elapidae) in Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, 9: 203–210.

Wells, R. W. & Wellington, C. R. (1985) A classification of the Amphibia and Reptilia in Australia. Australian Journal of Herpetology, (Supplementary Series), 1: 1–61. <>



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