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Atractus gigas MYERS & SCHARGEL, 2006

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common Names 
SynonymAtractus gigas MYERS & SCHARGEL 2006
Atractus gigas — WALLACH et al. 2014: 73 
DistributionEcuador (Bosque Protector Rio Guajalito, Pichincha, Pacific versant of the Andes), NE Peru, 600-2300 m elevation.

Type locality: Bosque Protector Río Guajalito, Pichincha, Ecuador (00° 14’ S, 78° 49’ W).  
TypesHolotype: FHGO 194 (Fundación Herpetológica ‘‘Gustavo Orcé́s’’), an adult female, Collected by Vlastimil Zak in January 1990. 
CommentDescription: A. gigas is a very robust snake that exceeds a meter in length (adult female holotype 1040 mm in total length), with a hint of pale transverse dorsal bars on a brown ground color. It is the largest known Atractus, differing in color pattern and details of scutellation from the several other congeners that attain lengths > 700 mm. The only known specimen has an azygous frontonasal scale that is atypical of colubrids (but is not an obvious aberrancy). 
EtymologyETYMOLOGY: The species name gigas (a giant) is a Latin noun of Greek origin. (The gigantes or giants, born of Mother Earth, were enormous beings who had thick serpents for legs. They fought a losing battle with the gods and man.) 
  • Arteaga AF, Bustamante-Enríquez LM and Guayasamin JM 2013. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo. - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Myers, Charles W. Schargel, Walter E. 2006. Morphological extremes - two new snakes of the genus Atractus from northwestern South America (Colubridae: Dipsadinae). American Museum Novitates (3532):1-13 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Passos, P., Dobiey, M., & Venegas, P. J. 2010. Variation and natural history notes on giant groundsnake, Atractus gigas (Serpentes: Dipsadidae). South American J. Herp. 5 (2): 73-82 - get paper here
  • PASSOS, PAULO; AGUSTÍN SCANFERLA; PAULO R. MELO-SAMPAIO; JORGE BRITO; ANA ALMENDARIZ 2018. A giant on the ground: another large-bodied Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadinae) from Ecuadorian Andes, with comments on the dietary specializations of the goo-eaters snakes. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. - get paper here
  • Tolhurst, Bryony; Mika Peck, Jorge Noe Morales, Tim Cane, and Ian Recchio 2010. Extended distribution of a recently described dipsadine colubrid snake: Atractus gigas. Herpetology Notes 3: 073-075 - 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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