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Apostolepis flavotorquata (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Cerrado Blackhead, Central Burrowing Snake 
SynonymElapomorphus flavo-torquatus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 836
Apostolepis flavotorquata — COPE 1862
Elapomorphus flavotorquatus — JAN 1865
Elapomorphus flavotorquatus — STRAUCH 1884: 583
Apostolepis flavotorquata — PETERS et al. 1970: 22
Apostolepis flavotorquata — DE LEMA 2002
Apostolepis flavotorquata — MARTINS & DE LEMA 2015
Apostolepis flavotorquata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 51
Apostolepis flavotorquata — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionC Brazil (Goias, Tocantins, Bahia, Matto Grosso, Matto Grosso do Sul, Para, São Paulo)

Type locality: “Amérique Méridional”; Goias, Brazil (fide DE LEMA & RENNER 2005)  
Reproductionoviparous; very long eggs are put within ant nests, under fungi cultures 
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 3665 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Apostolepis is readily diagnosed based on the presence of fused prefrontal and internasal scales (Ferrarezzi 1993). 
CommentSynonymy that of PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970 (who also synonymized Elapomorphus nigrolineatus PETERS 1869: 439 with A. flavotorquata; however, Ferrarezzi, in his PhD thesis [1993] considered A. nigrolineata as a valid species). E. nigrolineatus is now considered a synonym of Apostolepis pymi by some authors).

Type species: Elapomorphus flavotorquatus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854 is the type species of the genus Apostolepis COPE 1862.

Habitat (genus): Fossorial, cryptozoic, with

Behavior (genus): nocturnal.

Diet (genus): Usually ophiophagous feeding on amphisbaenians, small colubrids and, perhaps, blindsnakes (Scolecophidia). Sometimes invertebrates and larvae found in the soil, earthworms.

See Entiauspe-Neto et al. 2020 for a comparison of A. thalesdelemai with A. longicaudata, A. quinquelineata, A. nelsonjorgei, A. niceforoi, A. nigrolineata, A. nigroterminata. 
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Entiauspe-Neto, Omar M, Claudia Koch, Russell J Gray, Arthur Tiutenko, Daniel Loebmann, and Thaís B Guedes. 2021. Taxonomic Status of Apostolepis Tertulianobeui Lema, 2004 Based on an Integrative Revision of Apostolepis Assimilis (Reinhardt, 1861) (Serpentes: Dipsadidae). Zoologischer Anzeiger 291: 123–38 - get paper here
  • Franca, F.G.R.; Daniel O. Mesquita, Cristiano C. Nogueira, and Alexandre F. B. Araújo 2008. Phylogeny and Ecology Determine Morphological Structure in a Snake Assemblage in the Central Brazilian Cerrado. Copeia 2008 (1): 23-38 - get paper here
  • Guedes, Thaís B.; Ricardo J. Sawaya, Alexander Zizka, Shawn Laffan, Søren Faurby, R. Alexander Pyron, Renato S. Bérnils, Martin Jansen, Paulo Passos, Ana L. C. Prudente, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, Henrique B. Braz, Cristiano de C. Nogueira, Alexandre 2017. Patterns, biases and prospects in the distribution and diversity of Neotropical snakes. Global Ecol Biogeogr 00:1–8 - get paper here
  • Hamdan, B. & R. M. Lira-da-Silva 2012. The snakes of Bahia State, northeastern Brazil: species richness, composition and biogeographical notes. Salamandra 48 (1): 31-50 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1865. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 14. Livraison. [Elapomorphus d’Orbignyi, Coronella getulus var. Sayi]. J.B. Bailière et Fils, Paris - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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
  • Lema, Thales De & Márcia Ferret Renner 2005. Contribuição ao conhecimento taxonômico de Apostolepis flavotorquata (Serpentes, Elapomorphinae). Biociências 13 (2): 163-175
  • Martins, L.A. & Lema, T. de 2015. Elapomorphini (Serpentes, Xenodontinae) do Brasil sudoeste. Neotropical Biology and Conservation 10(2): 93-102; doi: 10.4013/nbc.2015.102.05 - 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
  • Silveira, Adriano Lima. 2014. Geographic Distribution: Apostolepis flavotorquata. Herpetological Review 45 (1): 94 - get paper here
  • Strauch,A. 1884. Bemerkungen über die Schlangengattung Elapomorphus aus der Familie der Calamariden. 2nd. Ed. Bull. Acad. Imp. Sci. St. Petersbourg 29: 541-590 - 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.
  • Werner, F. 1924. Neue oder wenig bekannte Schlangen aus dem Naturhistorischen Staatsmuseum in Wien. l. Teil. Sitzungsb. Ber. Akad. Wiss., Wien, Abt. l, 133: 29 - 56 - get paper here
  • Zaher, Hussam; Fausto Erritto BarboI; Paola Sanchez Martínez; Cristiano Nogueira; Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues; Ricardo Jannini Sawaya 2011. Répteis do Estado de São Paulo: conhecimento atual e perspectivas. Biota Neotropica, 11 (1): 1–15. - get paper here
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