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Apostolepis cearensis GOMES, 1915

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesCaatinga Blackhead, Gomes' Burrowing Snake 
SynonymApostolepis cearensis GOMES 1915: 122
Apostolepis sanctae-ritae WERNER 1924: 43
Apostolepis amarali WERNER 1925: 62
Apostolepis flavotorquata — AMARAL 1930:109 (Part)
Apostolepis flavotorquata — AMARAL 1936:148
Apostolepis flavotorquata — PETERS and OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970:22 (Part)
Apostolepis flavotorquata — LEMA 1978:29 (Part)
Apostolepis flavotorquata — TIEDEMANN and HÄUPL 1980:50.
Apostolepis cearensis — FERRAREZZI 1993:234 (Part)
Apostolepis cearensis — FERRAREZZI, Gonc¸alves, and SILVA 1996:133 (Part).
Apostolepis sanctaeritae — DE LEMA & FERNANDES 1997
Apostolepis sanctaeritae — DE LEMA 2002
Apostolepis cearensis — DE LEMA 2002
Apostolepis freitasi DE LEMA 2004
Apostolepis sanctaeritae — GRAZZIOTIN et al. 2012
Apostolepis cearensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 50 
DistributionNE Brazil (Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Piauí, Paraíba etc.)

Type locality: Ceará, Brazil

freitasi: central Bahia; Type locality: Tanque do Aragão, Bahia, Brazil

tertulianobeui: Minas Gerais

sanctaeritae: C Brazil (Goias); Type locality: Santa Rita, Brazil (probably Santa Rita do Araguaia, Goiás); restricted to Santa Rita, Ibipetuba, Bahia, Brasil at 11°S, 44,32°W, in the Cerrado ecoregion (Lema and Fernandes, 1997).  
TypesHolotype: IBSP 0882
Holotype: NMW 23452 [sanctaeritae] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Rostral somewhat pointed and prominent; nasal well separated from preocular; temporals usually 0+1, the 5th supralabial in contact with parietal (occasionally 0+0: 5th+6th in contact); ventrals 215-237 in males, 227-248 in females; subcaudals 27-32 in males and 23-31 in females; terminal caudal shield pointed and uniformly black; head black postero-laterally, with a large light area on snout (red in life, reaching frontal) and small to indistinct light supralabial spot; a broad white nuchal color (covering 4-5 scale rows) followed by a similar extensive black cervical color; dorsum uniform colored, without stripes; ventral surface uniform white, except by the heavily dark pigmented infralabial-gular region.
CommentSynonymy: after PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970 and FERRAREZZI et al. (2005). Apostolepis sanctaeritae has been removed from synonymy with Apostolepis flavotorquata by DE LEMA & FERNANDES (1997) but re-synonymized by FERRAREZZI et al. (2005). Previously this species has been synonymized with A. cearensis by FERRAREZZI (1993). Molecularly, sanctaeritae is distinct from cearensis and more closely related to assimilis than cearensis (Grazziotin et al. 2012).

NCBI taxonID: 1260220 [sanctaeritae] 
  • Barbosa, Vanessa do Nascimento; Amaral, Jéssica Monique da Silva; Alcantara, Edivania do Nascimento Pereira; dos Santos, Ednilza Maranhão 2018. Herpetofauna de uma área de caatinga em Taquaritinga do Norte, agreste de Pernambuco, Brasil. Cuad. herpetol. 32 (2): 109-115 - get paper here
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  • Lema, T. de 2004. New species of Apostolepis Cope, 1861 from Caatinga belonging to assimilis group (Serpentes, Elapomorphinae). Comunicações do Museu de Ciências e Tecnologia da PUCRS. Série zoologia, 17(1): 3-7.
  • Lema, T. de & Renner, M.F. 2005. CONTRIBUTION TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF Apostolepis cearensis Gomes, 1915 (SERPENTES: COLUBRIDAE: ELAPOMORPHINAE - WITH COMMENTS ON SIMILAR SPECIES FROM NORTHEASTERN BRAZIL. Comun. Mus. Cienc. Tecnol. PUCRS, Ser. Zool., Porto Alegre, 18 (2): 129-140
  • Lema, T. de & Renner, M.F. 2007. On the status of Apostolepis freitasi (Serpentes: Elapomorphinae) by examination of new specimens. Neotropical Biology and Conservation 2: 90-93
  • Lema, Th. de; Fernandes, Ronaldo 1997. O status de Apostolepis sanctaeritae Werner, 1924 e sua revalidacao (Serpentes: Colubridae: Elapomorphinae). Acta Biologica Leopoldensia 19 (1), 1997: 51-59
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