Content 1 of 7

Taxonomic history

Liasis albertisii Peters & Doria, 1878

The first record of White-lipped pythons as Liasis albertisii was published in 1878 by the German Wilhelm Carl Hartwich Peters (1815-1883) and the Italian Giacomo Doria (1840-1913). Because of the morphological similarities, the two naturalists placed the new species into the genus Liasis Gray, 1842. The species was named in honor of Luigi Maria d’Albertis (1841-1901), an Italian ornithologist, who had undertaken expeditions to New Guinea along with the Italian botanist Odoardo Becari (1843-1920), thereby collecting a couple of specimens of this new species for museums in Europe.

Peters and Doria examined two of these specimens (syntypes: , one from Kapoar (=Fak Fak, Onin peninsula) and the other one from around Andai (=Manokwari on the bird head peninsula). Their scientific description was published in Latin and Italian language. The translation of the Latin part reads as follows:

„The body scales are smooth and regular and comprise 49 dorsal scale rows. One finds 283 ventral scale rows, a single anal scale and 69 subcaudal scales. The dorsal color of the body is yellowish-brown, the head is black with irisisdence glance. The belly is yellowish-white with black markings on the labialia. This taxon was first found in April 1872 by L.M D’Albertis in Kapoar, on the Onin peninsula. Another specimen was found by Dr. Beccari in June 1875 near Andai (near Dorei).“

Figure 1: Plate by Peters & Doria (1878) showing Liasis albertisii

Content 1 of 7