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Anilius scytale (LINNAEUS, 1758)

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Higher TaxaAniliidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesAnilius scytale phelpsorum ROZE 1958
Anilius scytale scytale (LINNAEUS 1758) 
Common NamesE: Coral Cylinder Snakes
G: Korallen-Rollschlange
phelpsorum: Coral False Amazon
Portuguese: Cobra-Cega, Cobra-Coral, Cobra-Coral-Falsa, Cobra-de-Duas-Cabeças, Coral, Coral-D’Água, Coral-Falsa, Falsa-Coral 
SynonymAnguis Scytale LINNAEUS 1758: 228
Anguis Scytale — SHAW & NODDER 1789
Anilius scytale — OKEN 1816
Ilysia scytale — WAGLER 1828
Tortrix scytale — DE FILIPPI 1840
Tortrix scytale — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1844: 585
Tortrix scytale — JAN 1862: 249
Ilysia scytale — BOULENGER 1893: 133
Inilius scytale — BEEBE 1946: 11
Anilius scytale — DUELLMAN 1978: 224)
Anilius scytale — STARACE 1998: 84
Anilius scytale — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 157
Anilius scytale — WALLACH et al. 2014: 42

Anilius scytale scytale (LINNAEUS 1758)
Anguis annulata LAURENTI 1768: 69
Anguis fasciata LAURENTI 1768: 70
Anguis caerulea LAURENTI 1768: 71
Anguis corallina LAURENTI 1768: 71
Anguis atra LAURENTI 1768: 71
Anilius scytale scytale — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 19
Anilius scytale scytale — GASC & RODRIGUES 1980
Anilius scytale scytale — BOOS 2001

Anilius scytale phelpsorum ROZE 1958
Anilius scytale phelpsorum ROZE 1958: 258
Anilius scytale phelpsorum — GORZULA & SEÑARIS 1999
Anilius phelpsorum — NATERA-MUMAW et al. 2015 
DistributionAmazonian Brazil (Ceará, Goiás, Mato Grosso [HR 32: 277], Pará, Amazonas), Venezuela (Mérida [HR 33: 66]), Trinidad, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru.
Elevation 30-700 m (in Venezuela)

Type locality: “Indiis”

phelpsorum: Venezuela (Bolivar); Type locality: “La base del Auyantepui, Estado Bolívar, Venezuela”.  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 61047
Syntypes: RMS
Holotype: AMNH 61037 [phelpsorum] 
DiagnosisDescription (genus Ilysia): Teeth moderate, subcqual, 9 or 10 in each maxillary; small teeth in the praemaxillary. Head very small, not distinct from neck; eye extremely small, with round pupil, in an ocular shield; large symmetrical shields on the head; nostril in a single nasal, which forms a suture with its fellow behind the rostral; no loreal, prae-ocular, or postocular; no mental groove. Body cylindrical; scales smooth, in 19 or 21 rows; ventrals feebly enlarged. Tail extremely short and blunt (from Boulenger 1893: 133).

Description (species): A pair of very large praefrontals; frontal rather small, longer than broad, usually in contact with a nearly equally large occipital; supraocular and parietal subequal in size, and scarcely larger than the scales on the back of the head; five or six upper labials, third and fourth in contact with the ocular. Scales in 19 or 21 rows. Ventrals 210-244; anal entire; subcaudals 9-14. Red (yellowish in spirit), with more or less complete black annuli; the dorsal scales sometimes edged with brown (from Boulenger 1893: 133).

Diagnosis (phelpsorum): “La nueva subespecie se diferencia de la subespecie
típica por tener las bandas negras más anchas que las rojas y menor promedio del número de bandas negras dorsales (42 a 49).” (Roze 1958) 
CommentSynonymy: after PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970.

Type species: Anguis Scytale LINNAEUS 1758 is the type species of the genus Anilius OKEN 1816.

Distribution: Anilius scytale is not in Venezuela fide NATERA-MUMAW et al. 2015 (but A. phelpsorum is). See map in Nogueira et al. 2019. 
EtymologyNamed after Greek skutale = staff which can mean a serpent of uniform roundness and thickness; this also accounts for the English name Pipe Snakes.

The genus was named after Greek anileos = cruel; the species bears a distinct likeness to the poisonous Coral Snake, with rings of black and brilliant red, which evidently gave rise to the name, according to Gotch 1986. 
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