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Apographon orestes HARVEY & MUÑOZ, 2004

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymTomodon orestes HARVEY & MUÑOZ 2004
Tomodon orestes — WALLACH et al. 2014: 731
Apographon orestes — TREVINE et al. 2022 
DistributionBolivia (Tarija), Argentina (Salta, Jujuy)

Type locality: close to the Río Erquis, Reserva de Sama, Méndez province, Tarija, Bolivia, 2754 m elevation (21° 28’ 56’’ S, 64° 50’ 32’’ W).  
TypesHolotype: CBF 2316 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus Apographon). The following combination of characters distinguishes Apographon from all the other genera of the tribe: smooth dorsal scales in 17 rows at midbody; supralabials 7; preoculars 2; 31–38 pairs of paravertebral black ocelli along the body; slightly dark oral mucosa or oral palate black; hemipenis with long lobes, covered with spinulate calyces and long spines (Figure S7 in Trevine et al. 2022).

Synapomorphies (genus Apographon). Posterior darkening of ventral body background; equal length of the medial maxillary process in relation to the lateral maxillary process of the ectopterygoid bone; and anterior margin of supratemporal surpasses and extends anteriorly through the parietal bone (Appendices S4 and S5 in Trevine et al. 2022).

Diagnosis. A species of Tachymenini differing from all other species of the tribe by the following combination of characteristics: (1) pupil appearing round, (2) anterior dentary teeth not noticeably enlarged relative to posterior dentaryteeth, (3) dorsals 17 reducing to 15 one head-length anterior to vent, (4) loreal present, (5) supralabialsseven, 3 and 4 entering orbit, (6) infralabialseight, (7) one anterior temporal, (8) maxillaryteeth 10-12, last two enlarged and separated from rest by short diastema, (9) ventrals 146-154 in females and 155-162 in males, (10) subcaudals 36-38 in females and 44-45 in males, (11) dorsal pattern of dark brown, circular blotches on green background, (12) continuous light vertebral line not extending beyond neck region, brown blotches edged by light vertebral scales. (HARVEY & MUÑOZ 2004)

Comparisons. The new species is most likely to be confused with the superficially similar Tomodon ocellatus and Pseudotomodon trigonatus (Table 1). Tomodon orestes has more maxillary teeth than either of these species. From T. ocellatus (characteristicsin parentheses), the new species may also be distinguished by its higher number of ventrals (143-162 versus 137-143) and lower number of subcaudals (36-45 vs. 53-64). In T.ocellatus, a yellow vertebral stripe is continuous and distinct. Although lightly pigmented scales edge the circular blotches dorsallyin the new species, these light areas do not form a continuous and distinct vertebral stripe. From P.trigonatus,the new species differs in having seven (eight) supralabials with supralabials 3 and 4 (4 and 5) entering the orbit, in having one enlarged (two or more undifferentiated) temporal, and in lacking noticeably enlarged anterior dentary teeth (anterior dentary teeth noticeably enlarged). Throughout its range, T. orestes occurs in sympatry or parapatry with species of Thamnodynastes and Tachymenis. Like other Tomodon and unlike snakes in these former genera, the pupil of T. orestes appears round, although it may be very weakly elliptical. The pupils of Thamnodynastes and Tachymenis are narrow, vertical slits. In addition, species of Tachymenis have noticeably enlarged anterior dentary teeth; species of Thamnodynastes usually have higher numbers of mandibular teeth, have a more gracile habitus, have a longer tail, and have a narrow neck with a distinctly wider head. Like other Tomodon, the new species has a short tail and is robust with the head as wide as or only slightly wider than the neck. (HARVEY & MUÑOZ 2004)

Description of holotype: Harvey & Munoz 2004: 366. 
CommentType species: Tomodon orestes HARVEY & MUÑOZ 2004 is the type species of the genus Apographon TREVINE et al. 2022. 
EtymologyNamed after the Greek noun “orestes”, used in apposition, meaning an inhabitant of mountains.

The genus Apographon was named after the Greek “Apographos” (masculine noun, translated as “copy” or “transcript”), in reference to its resemblance with the genus Tomodon, where it was previously allocated. 
  • Akmentins, M.S. & Vaira, M. 2010. Reptilia, Squamata, Dipsadidae, Tomodon orestes Harvey and Muñoz, 2004: Distribution extension, new country record. Check List 6 (2):248-249 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Burgos Gallardo, Freddy; Stazzonelli Sadir, Juan Carlos; Baldo, Jorge 2014. Ampliación del rango de distribución de Tomodon orestes Harvey y Muñoz, 2004 (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) para el territorio argentino. Cuad. Herpetol. 28: - get paper here
  • Harvey, M.B. & Muñoz S., A. 2004. A new species of Tomodon (Serpentes: Colubridae) from high elevations in the Bolivian Andes. Herpetologica 60 (3): 364-372 - get paper here
  • Scrocchi, Gustavo J.; Stazzonelli, Juan Carlos; Cabrera, Paula 2019. Nuevas citas de Squamata (Gekkonidae, Phyllodactylidae y Dipsadidae) para la provincia de Tucumán, Argentina. Cuad. herpetol. 33 (2): - get paper here
  • Trevine, V. C., Grazziotin, F. G., Giraudo, A., Sallesbery‐Pinchera, N., Vianna, J. A., & Zaher, H. 2022. The systematics of Tachymenini (Serpentes, Dipsadidae): An updated classification based on molecular and morphological evidence. Zoologica Scripta - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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