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Apostolepis longicaudata GOMES, 1921

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Piauí Blackhead, Longhead Burrowing Snake
Portuguese: Cobra-da-Terra, Cobrinha-da-Terra 
SynonymApostolepis longicaudata GOMES in AMARAL 1921
Apostolepis longicaudata — DE LEMA 2002
Apostolepis longicaudata — CURCIO et al. 2011
Apostolepis longicaudata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 52
Apostolepis longicaudata — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionBrazil (Piaui, Tocantins)

Type locality: Municipio de Santa Philomena, Estado de Piauhy, Brazil.  
TypesHolotype: IBSP 1684 (not labeled in field, destroyed by fire in 2010), an adult male from Engenheiro Dodt, municipality o Santa Filomena, state of Piauı ́, northeastern Brazil, collected by Francisco de Assis I(n)glesias between 1916 and 1918 (the ‘‘n’’ in the collector’s surname is a typographic error; the correct spelling is ‘‘Iglesias’’). Originally described in 1919, by J. Florencio Gomes, formally published by Amaral (1921a). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A small species of Apostolepis, SVL up to 254 mm, differing from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) snout rounded or slightly acuminate, length of rostral visible from above slightly more than one-third its distance to frontal; (2) six supralabials; (3) preocular– nasal contact present (i.e., nasal and preocular not separated by prefrontal); (4) temporals absent (0+0), fifth and sixth supralabials in contact with parietals; (5) four infralabials contacting first pair of chin shields on each side of head; (6) ventrals 234–244 and subcaudals 49–52 in males (females unknown); (7) dorsal head plates uniformly dark brown, except for small irregular white blotches on anteriomedial surface of prefrontals; (8) light supralabial blotch large, covering posterior margin of third and almost whole area of fourth supralabial; (9) white and black nuchal collars completely absent; (10) five dorsal stripes similar in width (as wide as, or slightly wider than, one dorsal scale row); (11) dorsum background light tan (orange-tan in life); (12) terminal scale directed backward, mostly white, possibly invaded by black pigment from the tail band at least on its dorsal surface; (13) chin and gular region immaculate cream. 
CommentConservation: very rare species, known from only a few specimens. 
  • ALBUQUERQUE, NELSON RUFINO DE & THALES DE LEMA 2012. Description of the second known specimen of Apostolepis intermedia (Serpentes, Colubridae, Xenodontinae). Zootaxa 3325: 53–58 - get paper here
  • Amaral,A. do 1921. Duas novas especies de Colubrideos opisthoglyphos brasileiros (Philodryas oligolepis e Apostolepis longicaudata). Ann. Paulistas Med. & Chirurg. 9 (7-8): 3-6
  • Curcio, Felipe Franco; Pedro M. Sales Nunes, Michael B. Harvey, and Miguel T. Rodrigues 2011. Redescription of Apostolepis longicaudata (Serpentes: Xenodontinae) with Comments on Its Hemipenial Morphology and Natural History. Herpetologica 67 (3): 318-331. - get paper here
  • França RC, Solé M and França FGR 2024. Conservation status of Brazilian snakes inhabiting the Atlantic Forest of Northeastern Brazil. Front. Ecol. Evol. 12:1301717 - 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
  • Freire, E. M. X., Kolodiuk, M. F., Gogliath, M., Kokubum, M. N. D. C., Rêgo, B. D. P., Ribeiro, M. M., ... & Sales, R. F. D. 2023. The herpetofauna of priority highland areas for conservation of the Caatinga in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, northeastern Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 23, e20221395 - 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
  • Hamdan, B.; D.P. Coelho; A.B. D’Angiolella; E.J.R. Dias; R.M. Lira-da-Silva. 2013. The Reptile Collection of the Museu de Zoologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil. Check List 9 (2):257-262 - get paper here
  • Lema, Thales de 2001. Fossorial snake genus Apostolepis from South America (Serpentes: Colubridae: Elapomorphinae). Cuadernos de herpetología 15 (1): 29-43.
  • 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
  • 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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