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Atractus chthonius PASSOS & LYNCH, 2010

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymAtractus chthonius PASSOS & LYNCH 2010
Atractus chthonius — WALLACH et al. 2014: 70 
DistributionColombia (Cauca, Huila: Eastern versant of the Cordillera Central, elevation 1500-2400 m)

Type locality: Finca Meremburg, Santa Leticia (02° 14’ N, 76* 10’ W, ca. 2400 m elevation), between municipalities of Popayán in the department of Cauca and La Plata in the department of Huila, Colombia.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: ICN-MHN = ICN 5662, adult male; Paratypes: (n=10) from department of Huila in Colombia: juvenile female ICN 2288 with same data as the holotype; adult males ICN 11515 (FLL 302) and 11516 (FLL 303) collected on 28 November 2004 by F. L. Lopez and M. P. Valencia-Rojas, Finca Riecito (02° 10’ N, 75° 57’ W, ca. 1970 m), juvenile (CZUTR 171) and adult (CZUTR 173) females and one adult male (CZUTR 172) collected on January 2005 by M. H. Bernal, Vereda Buenos Aires (02° 12’ N, 76° 03’ W, ca. 2000 m), municipality of La Argentina; adult male IAvH 2062 (GA-H 30) collected on 27 September 1971 by G. Aguirre, Parque Nacional Natural Cueva de Los Guacharos, municipality of Acevedo; adult female ICN 11517 (FLL 342), collected on 12 October 2004 by F. L. Lopez and M. P. Valencia-Rojas, Cerro Pelado (02° 06’ N, 74° 04’ W), two subadult females ICN 11513 (FLL 228) and 11514 (FLL 229), collected on October 2004 by F. L. Lopez and M. P. Valencia-Rojas, Vereda El Palamar, Finca Quisayà (ca. 1975 m), Corregimiento Morelia (02° 03’ N, 76° 07’ W, ca. 1710 m), municipality of Saladoblanco 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Atractus chthonius is distinguished from all congeners by having: (1) 17/ 17/17 smooth dorsal scale rows; (2) two postoculars; (3) loreal long; (4) temporals 1 + 2; (5) seven supralabials, third and fourth contacting orbit; (6) generally six infralabials, first three contacting chinshields; (7) 9–11 maxillary teeth; (8) four gular scale rows; (9) generally four preventrals; (10) 137–148 ventrals in females, 138–146 in males; (11) 17–25 subcaudals in females, 20–21 in males; (12) dorsum beige usually with a narrow black vertebral and two dorsolateral cream stripes, first dorsal scale rows brown colored contrasting with remaining dorsal series; (13) venter creamish white, usually with brown blotches forming a central stripe along the body; (14) moderate body size, females reaching 455 mm SVL, males 297 mm SVL; (15) moderate tail length in females (9.0–11.8% SVL) and males (9.2–11.7% SVL); (16) hemipenis slightly bilobed, semicapitate, semicalyculate. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet ‘‘chthonius’’ is a Latin word derived from the Greek Kthon, meaning something rises on the ground. This name is used herein in reference to the pre-Colombian civilization Tierradentro (= inside of the ground), which originally inhabited the region where Atractus chthonius is distributed, and also as reference to the secretive habits of the new species. 
  • Passos, Paulo and John D. Lynch 2010. Revision of Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from Middle and Upper Magdalena Drainage of Colombia. Herpetological Monographs 24 (1): 149-173 - 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.
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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