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Apostolepis ambiniger (PETERS, 1869)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Paraguayan Blackhead
Portuguese: Falsa-Coral 
SynonymRhynchonyx ambiniger PETERS 1869: 438
Apostolepis ambinigra — BOULENGER 1896: 237 (unjustified emendation)
Apostolepis ambiniger — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 22
Apostolepis ambinigra — BAUER et al. 1995: 74
Apostolepis ambiniger — DE LEMA 2002
Apostolepis ambinigra — WALLACH et al. 2014: 50
Apostolepis ambiniger — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionW Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay

Type locality: “angeblich aus Paraguay”  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 6450 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of Apostolepis with the following characters: (1) 15/15/15 dorsal scales; (2) preocular present, contacting nasal; (3) loreal absent; (4) temporals 1+0 or absent; (5) supralabials six, 2nd–3rd entering orbit; (6) infralabials 6–7, 1st–4th in contact with first pair of chinshields; (7) ventrals 219–244 (219–244 in males, 230–242 in females); (8) subcaudals 21–33 (28–33 in males, 21–26 in females), cloacal plate divided; (9) dorsal ground coloration uniformly red or orange with black markings; (10) ventral pattern uniformly yellow or red; (11) first 3–6 vertebrals black, nuchal collars and dorsal stripes absent; (12) distal black caudal blotch overlapping last 9–15 vertebrals and 7–11 subcaudals; (13) terminal scale white or bicolored black dorsally, white ventrally; (14) supralabial blotch large or small, up to four supralabial scales wide; (15) white blotch on rostral vestigial or absent; (16) SVL 390–600 mm, tail length 33–60 mm, tail is 8–10% of total length and SVL is 90–92% of total length (Entiauspe-Neto et al. 2021). 
CommentSynonymy: Apostolepis tenuis RUTHVEN 1927 and Rhynchonyx ambiniger vittatus COPE 1887 have been considered as synonyms of ambinigra by PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970.

Distribution: see map in Entiauspe-Neto et al. 2021: 246 (Fig. 12). 
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Cacciali, Pier; Norman J. Scott, Aida Luz Aquino Ortíz, Lee A. Fitzgerald, and Paul Smith 2016. The Reptiles of Paraguay: Literature, Distribution, and an Annotated Taxonomic Checklist. SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MUSEUM OF SOUTHWESTERN BIOLOGY, NUMBER 11: 1–373 - get paper here
  • FRANÇA, DANIELLA. P. F.; FAUSTO E. BARBO, NELSON J. SILVA-JÚNIOR, HELDER L. R. SILVA, HUSSAM ZAHER 2018. A new species of Apostolepis (Serpentes, Dipsadidae, Elapomorphini) from the Cerrado of Central Brazil. Zootaxa 4521 (4): 438-552 - get paper here
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira 9 (2): 121 – 214 - get paper here
  • Lema, T. de 2016. DESCRIPTION OF NEW SPECIES OF Apostolepis (SERPENTES: DIPSADIDAE: XENODONTINAE: ELAPOMORPHINI) FROM SERRA DO RONCADOR, CENTRAL BRAZIL. Caderno de Pesquisa, série Biologia 28 (1): 1-12 - get paper here
  • Lema, T. de; M. F. Renner, Nascimento-Silva, C. 2005. CONTRIBUTION TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF Apostolepis ambiniger (PETERS, 1869) (SERPENTES: ELAPOMORPHINAE). Comun. Mus. Cienc. Tecnol. PUCRS, Ser. Zool., Porto Alegre, 18 (1): 21-36
  • Lema, Thales de 2001. Fossorial snake genus Apostolepis from South America (Serpentes: Colubridae: Elapomorphinae). Cuadernos de herpetología 15 (1): 29-43.
  • Lema, Thales de 2002. Redescription of Apostolepis sanctaeritae Werner 1924 (Serpentes, Colubridae), and a comparison with related species. Copeia 2002 (4): 1147-1151 - get paper here
  • Neto, Entiauspe; Omar M.; Claudia Koch, Michael B. Harvey, Guarino R. Colli, Thaís B. Guedes 2021. Redescription of Apostolepis ambiniger (Peters, 1869) (Serpentes: Dipsadidae: Elapomorphini). Vertebrate Zoology 71: 231–251 - get paper here
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo, Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins, Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, 2019. Atlas of Brazilian snakes: verified point-locality maps to mitigate the Wallacean shortfall in a megadiverse snake fauna. South American J. Herp. 14 (Special Issue 1):1-274 - get paper here
  • Nogueira, Cristiano; Fausto Erritto Barbo and Hebert Ferrarezzi 2012. Redescription of Apostolepis albicollaris Lema, 2002, with a Key for the Species Groups of the Genus Apostolepis (Serpentes: Dipsadidae: Elapomorphini). South American J. Herp. 7 (3): 213-225 - get paper here
  • Peters & Orejas-Miranda 1972. The taxonomic validity of Apostolepis tenuis Ruthven and Apostolepis vittata (Cope) (Serpentes: Colubridae). Copeia 1972 (3): 588-590 - get paper here
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1869. Über neue Gattungen und neue oder weniger bekannte Arten von Amphibien (Eremias, Dicrodon, Euprepes, Lygosoma, Typhlops, Eryx, Rhynchonyx, Elapomorphus, Achalinus, Coronella, Dromicus, Xenopholis, Anoplodipsas, Spilotes, Tropidonotus). Monatsber. k. preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1869: 432-447 - 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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