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Arcanumophis problematicus (MYERS, 1986)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Problem Ground Snake 
SynonymLiophis problematicus MYERS 1986
Erythrolamprus problematicus — GRAZZIOTIN et al. 2012
Liophis problematicus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 385
Arcanumophis problematicus — SMAGA et al. 2019 
DistributionPeru (Puno)

Type locality: "at 1520 m above sea level at San Juan, Tambopata [Río], Sandia [Province of], Department of Puno, Peru. (=San Juan del Oro, about 30 km ENE of the town of Sandia, on the west bank of the Río Tambopata—at 14˚13' S, 69˚10' W.)" [given as 14.21667°S, 69.16667°W by Smaga et al. 2019]  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 64733, a 275 mm male (H.H. Heller, Nov. 22-Dec. 20, 1950). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus). Arcanumophis gen. nov. differs from all other Xenodontini by the presence of a crease on the rostral scale, here interpreted as an autapomorphic condition. Molecular data support A. problematicus as an independent lineage, sister taxon to all other species of Xenodontini (see Discussion in Smaga et al. 2019). 
CommentKnown from only 2 specimens.

Type species: Liophis problematicus MYERS 1986 is the type species of the genus Arcanumophis SMAGA et al. 2019.

Distribution: see map in Moraes et al. 2021 for localities. 
EtymologyNamed after the Greek problematikos (problematical),an adjective used in reference to uncertain kinship.

The genus was named after Latin arcanum, meaning mystery and Greek ophis, meaning serpent. 
  • Dixon, James R. 1989. A key and checklist to the neotropical snake genus Liophis with country lists and maps. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (79): 1-40 - get paper here
  • Grazziotin, Felipe G.; Hussam Zaher, Robert W. Murphy, Gustavo Scrocchi, Marco A. Benavides, Ya-Ping Zhang and Sandro L. Bonatto 2012. Molecular phylogeny of the New World Dipsadidae (Serpentes: Colubroidea): a reappraisal. Cladistics DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2012.00393.x - get paper here
  • Moraes, Leandro J C L, Omar M Entiauspe-Neto, Rafael de Fraga, Igor Y Fernandes, and Fernanda P Werneck. 2021. Systematics of the Rare Amazonian Genus Eutrachelophis (Serpentes: Dipsadidae), with an Emended Diagnosis for Eutrachelophis Papilio. Zoologischer Anzeiger 295: 191–204 - get paper here
  • Myers, C W 1986. An enigmatic new snake from the Peruvian Andes, with notes on the Xenodontini (Colubridae: Xenodontinae). American Museum Novitates (2853): 1-12 - get paper here
  • SMAGA, CHRISTOPHER R.; ALEX TTITO, ALESSANDRO CATENAZZI 2019. Arcanumophis, a new genus and generic allocation for Erythrolamprus problematicus (Myers 1986), Xenodontinae (Colubridae) from the Cordillera de Carabaya, southern Peru. Zootaxa 4671 (1): 129–138 - 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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