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Apostolepis kikoi SANTOS, ENTIAUSPE-NETO, SILVA-ARAÚJO, SOUZA, LEMA, STRÜSSMANN & ALBUQUERQUE, 2018

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymApostolepis kikoi SANTOS, ENTIAUSPE-NETO, SILVA-ARAÚJO, SOUZA, LEMA, STRÜSSMANN & ALBUQUERQUE 2018
Apostolepis sp. – STRÜSSMANN 2000: 163
Apostolepis sp. 1 – MARTINS & LEMA 2015: 102
Apostolepis sp. 1 – LEMA & RENNER 2016: 71
Apostolepis sp. 3 – MARTINS & LEMA 2015: 102 (partim)
Apostolepis aff. borellii – LEMA & CAMPBELL 2017: 28 (partim) 
DistributionBrazil (Mato Grosso)

Type locality: Manso multi-use reservoir and hydroelectrical power plant – locally known as APM Manso – constructed at the confluence of the rivers Manso and Casca, Chapada dos Guimarães (15°27’39”S, 55°45’00”W; 811 m.elevation), Mato Grosso, Brazil.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MCP 12096, a female, collected in 2000 by the faunal rescue team. Paratypes. three males and one female, same locality as the holotype: MCP 14524 (male), MCP 14525 (male) and MCP 11372 (female), date of collection unknown, collected by the faunal rescue team, and UFMT-R 1933 (male) collected on 1 December 1999 by the faunal rescue team. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and comparison with other species. Apostolepis kikoi sp. nov. can be distinguished from all other Apostolepis by the combination of having five dorsal stripes (vs. dorsal stripes absent in A. ambiniger, A. ammodites, A. assimilis, A. breviceps, A. cearensis, A. dorbignyi, A. flavotorquata, A. multicincta, A. roncadori and A. tertulianobeui; the presence of seven stripes on the dorsum in A. gaboi and A. niceforoi; three stripes on the dorsum in A. cerradoensis, A. goiasensis, A. nigrolineata, A. quirogai and A. tenuis; a pair of narrow lateral stripes in A. barrioi; a pair of wide lateral stripes in A. albicollaris, A. dimidiata and A. polylepis); the pres- ence of a white nuchal collar (vs. white nuchal collar absent in A. ambiniger, A. barrioi, A. breviceps, A. christineae, A. goiasensis, A. intermedia, A. lineata, A. longicaudata, A. niceforoi, A. nigrolineata, A. polylepis, A. quinquelineata, A. rondoni, A. serrana, A. striata, A. thalesdelemai and A. vittata); the presence of a triangular blotch covering portions of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth supralabials (vs. a light lateral spot below the eye, usually occupying the third and fourth supralabials in A. mariae); 15 scale rows at midbody (vs. 17 in A. polylepis); six supralabials (vs. five in A. breviceps, A. christineae, and A. vittata); second and third supralabials entering orbit (vs. only the third supralabial entering orbit in A. breviceps); preocular contacting nasal (vs. nasal and preocular separated by prefrontal in A. ammodites, A. arenaria, A. assimilis, A. breviceps, A. cearensis, A. dorbignyi, A. gaboi, A. goiasensis, A. intermedia, A. multicincta, A. phillipsi, A. polylepis, A. quirogai, A. tenuis and A. tertulianobeui); temporals absent (usually 0 + 1 in A. ammodites, A. assimilis, A. cearensis, A. mariae, A. niceforoi, A. nigrolineata, A. quirogai, A. tertulianobeui and A. thalesdelemai, and 1 + 1 in A. flavotorquata and A. quinquelineata); seven infralabials (vs. five in A. breviceps; five to six in A. nelsonjorgei and A. vittata; six in A. christineae, A. intermedia, A. multicincta; eight in A. gaboi and A. quirogai); four infralabials contacting the first pair of chinshields (vs. three infralabials contacting the first pair of chinshields in A. dorbignyi, A. intermedia, A. multicincta, A. tenuis and A. vittata); a higher number of ventrals than A. arenaria and A. striata (203–209 vs. 168–181 and 202, respectively); fewer ventrals than A. chris- tineae, A. intermedia, A. longicaudata, A. nelsonjorgei, A. niceforoi, A. phillipsi, A. polylepis, A. serrana, A. tertulianobeui, A. thalesdelemai and A. vittata (203–209 vs. 211–248 in the latter eleven species); fewer subcaudals than A. borellii, A. intermedia, A. longicaudata, A. nelsonjorgei, A. serrana and A. tertulianobeui (26–30 vs. 32–55 in the latter six species); a higher number of subcaudals than A. lineata, A. niceforoi and A. polylepis (26–30 vs. 24, 23 and 20–25, respectively) and fewer maxillary teeth than A. longicaudata and A. phillipsi (4 + 2 vs. 5 + 2 in the latter two species).
Preserved specimens of Apostolepis kikoi sp. nov. are most similar to A. borellii, A. lineata, A. nelsonjorgei, A. nigroterminata, A. serrana and A. underwoodi in its general pholidosis and color- ation pattern. However, the new species is distinguished from A. borellii by having its paraventral sides cream and unblemished (vs. blackish), a pair of triangular blotches covering portions of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth supralabials (vs. a small, trap- ezoidal blotch covering only the posterior half of the third and the entire fourth supralabial); tip of the tail conical (vs. rounded) and fewer subcaudals (vs. 26–30 vs. 32). Apostolepis kikoi sp. nov. can be distinguished from A. nigroterminata by having a triangu- lar blotch covering portions of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth supralabials (vs. an irregular blotch on the posterior margin of the third to the anterior margin of the fourth supralabial – see also Harvey 1999: 401, fig. 7 in Lema and Renner 2016, and Figs 4–5 below), a blackish blotch on rostral scale adjacent to anterior border of prefrontals (vs. blotch absent), darker parietals (vs. light blotches irregularly distributed on parietal scales) and a distinct number of maxillary teeth (4 + 2 vs. 3 + 2). Further, it differs from A. nigroterminata in having its background color beige (in living specimens) (vs. background color red-orange); paravertebrals distinct (vs. paravertebrals indistinct); first and fifth stripes wider, covering upper half of third and lower half of fourth row on each side (vs. first and fifth stripes also wider, but covering first and about 50% of fourth row of scales on each side). Apostolepis kikoi sp. nov. can be distinguished from A. underwoodi by having a vertebral stripe one scale wide (vs. vertebral stripe narrow, running on the medial line of each ver- tebral scale); paravertebral stripes covering sixth row on each side (vs. paravertebral stripes covering half of fifth and half of sixth rows). Finally, Apostolepis kikoi sp. nov. is distinguished from A. lineata, A. nelsonjorgei and A. serrana by having its fourth supralabial scale rectangular (vs. triangular in A. nelsonjorgei), 4–6 supralabials contacting parietals (vs. 5–6 contacting parietals in A. nelsonjorgei), terminal scale black dorsolaterally (vs. terminal scale entirely white in A. lineata and A. nelsonjorgei), anterior chinshields longer than posterior (vs. anterior and posterior chinshields of about the same size in A. nelsonjorgei), the pres- ence of a white nuchal collar (vs. white nuchal collar absent in A. lineata and A. serrana) and a distinct number of subcaudals (27–30 vs. 40–46 in A. nelsonjorgei and 33 in A. serrana). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet honors Francisco Luís Franco (“Kiko”), a specialist in Brazilian snakes, as a tribute to his relentless friendship, dedication and enthusiasm as curator of Herpetological Collection Alphonse Richard Hoge of Instituto Butantan, São Paulo, Brazil (partially and tragically destroyed by fire on 15 May 2010). 
References
  • Kwet, A. 2019. Liste der im Jahr 2018 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Elaphe 2019 (3): 52-72
  • Santos FM dos, Entiauspe-Neto OM, Araújo JS, de Souza MB, de Lema T, Strussmann C, de Albuquerque NR 2018. A new species of burrowing snake (Serpentes: Dipsadidae: Apostolepis) from the state of Mato Grosso, Central-West region of Brazil. Zoologia 35: 1-10 - get paper here
 
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