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Apostolepis assimilis (REINHARDT, 1861)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Common red Blackhead, Reinhardt's Burrowing Snake
Portuguese: Cobra-Coral, Coral, Coral-Cabeça-Preta-de-Rabo-Preto, Coral-Falsa, Falsa-Coral 
SynonymElapomorphus assimilis REINHARDT 1861: 235
Elapomorphus assimilis — JAN 1865
Elapomorphus assimilis — STRAUCH 1884: 586
Apostolepis assimilis — BOULENGER 1896: 234
Apostolepis assimilis — PETERS et al. 1970: 22
Apostolepis assimilis — CEI 1993
Apostolepis assimilis — DE LEMA 2002
Apostolepis tertulianobeui DE LEMA 2004
Apostolepis assimilis — BERNILS et al. 2007
Apostolepis parassimilis DE LEMA & RENNER 2011
Apostolepis tertulianobeui — COSTA & BÉRNILS 2015
Apostolepis assimilis — MARTINS & DE LEMA 2015
Apostolepis assimilis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 50
Apostolepis assimilis — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019
Apostolepis tertulianobeui — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019
Apostolepis assimilis — ENTIAUSPE-NETO et la. 2021 
DistributionC/SW Brazil (central Brazilian cerrados, Goias, Mato Grosso), Argentina (Chaco, uncertain), E Paraguay

Type locality: Minas Gerais, Brazil

tertulianobeui: Brazil (Minas Gerais, Bahia); Type locality: "Hinterland" Minas Gerais state, region Cerrado morphoclimatic domain

parassimilis: Brazil (Minas Gerais); Type locality: Minas Gerais State, in the municipality of Uberlândia  
TypesHolotype: ZMUC 63806
Holotype: MCP 8535 (originally IP 1934 = Instituto Pinheiros Produtos Terapêuticos S.A.), later transferred to the Museu de Ciências Naturais from Fundação Zoobotânica do Rio Grande do Sul (MCP hereafter) in Porto Alegre, Brazil [tertulianobeui]
Holotype: MCNRS 8535, young male; from IPSP (formerly IPSP.1934), with the pattern well visible; paratype: MNRJ 6524, young female, from Bahia State, with visible pattern and colors [parassimilis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Rostral short and rounded, not prominent; little visible from above;
ventrals 236-267 in males, 246-270 in females; subcaudals 31-39 in males, 25-31 in females, light snout blotch cream; white supralabial blotch usually covering at least two supralabials; a single white nuchal color 2-3 scales long, followed by a black cervical color 3-4, restricted dorsally. 
CommentSynonymy: partly that of CEI 1993.

Belongs to the assimilis species group of Apostololepis that can be distinguished within the genus Apostolepis. The group is characterized by a uniform red dorsal pattern, broad nucho-cervical collars, enlarged light snout blotch, dark ventral head, and entirely black terminal shield.

Distribution: see map in Entiauspe-Neto et al. 2020: 334 (Fig. 2). See map in Nogueira et al. 2019.

Synonymy: Apostolepis tertulianobeui was listed as synonym of Apostolepis assimilis by WALLACH et al. 2014: 50. Ferrarezzi et al. (2005) synonymized A. tertulianobeui with A. assimilis as follows: ‘In most relevant diagnostic features presented by Lema (2004b), the holotype of A. tertulianobeui does not differ from the range of variation we have observed in a large sample of A. assimilis [...]. Therefore, even though we did not examine the holotype of A. tertulianobeui, we have no doubt that this name must be relegated as a junior synonym of A. assimilis.’ (Ferrarezzi et al. 2005: 218). Two years later, Lema & Renner (2007:129–130) compared the holotype of A. tertulianobeui with over 100 specimens of A. assimilis and resurrected A. tertulianobeui from the synonymy of the last species [COSTA & BÉRNILS 2015]. The synonymy of Apostolepis tertulianobeui with assimils was confirmed by Entiauspe-Neto et al. 2021.

Types: The holotype of A. parassimilis is MCN 8535, the same onomatophore that based the description of A. tertulianobeui (although the provenance has been attributed by Lema & Renner 2012 to the municipality of Uberlândia, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil). Despite minor rephrasing and other writing details, the description of the holotype of A. parassimilis is virtually identical to that of A. tertulianobeui. The main difference is that Lema & Renner (2012) describe the snout of MCN 8535 as ‘not projecting’, in contrast to Lema’s (2004) description of the same specimen. Lema & Renner (2012) also make no reference to A. tertulianobeui; it is also worth noting that illustrations of the holotype of A. tertulianobeui and A. parassimilis are clearly based on different specimens. Actually, Figures 5–8 in Lema & Renner (2012) are based on MNRJ 6524, the paratype of A. parassimilis (Fig. 1E–H) [COSTA & BÉRNILS 2015]. 
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