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Atractus hostilitractus MYERS, 2003

IUCN Red List - Atractus hostilitractus - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymAtractus hostilitractus MYERS 2003
Atractus hostilitractus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 73 
DistributionPanama (Darién)

Type locality: ‘‘Morti Hydro’’ [about 100–200 m elevation, at 8°52’28’’N, 77°54’19’’W], Río Mortí, Province of Darién, Panama.  
TypesHolotype: AMNH 130330 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: Atractus hostilitractus is characterized by a distinctive, complex color pattern, the irregularity of which gives the appearance of possibly being highly variable in life. The holotype of A. darienensis has similar numbers of ventrals and subcaudals and seems arguably closest to hostilitractus in general color pattern, but pronounced differences in snout shape are strong evidence that these snakes are not color morphs of a single species. The close proximity of the loreal and internasal (in narrow contact in the holotype) may also be a distinctive feature of A. hostilitractus. The wide-spaced bars in the posterior dorsal pattern of A. hostilitractus, and the presence of a black vertebral streak, are suggestive of the red and black A. schach of Surinam and Brazil, but that is a smaller snake (<300 mm total length) which does not have the neck conspicuously different from the body (save for one wider saddle) and which has less black pigmentation ventrally (Hoogmoed, 1980: 31). The color pattern of A. hostilitractus also is suggestive of the Andean A. sanguineus and A. wagleri (and perhaps A. andinus as well), as based on poorly reproduced photographs and brief type descriptions (Prado, 1944, 1945, also 1946).9 But compared with hostilitractus, those species have relatively longer tails (12.9–13.7% of total length), many more black bars, and little differentiation between neck and body patterns. 
EtymologyNamed after the Latin hostilis (hostile) and the noun tractus (region or territory). The associative implication is to the 19th and early 20th-century history of a part of the Panamanian interior that includes the Río Mortí. 
  • Hoogmoed, M. S. 1980. Revision of the genus Atractus in Surinam, with the ressurection of two species (Colubridae, Reptilia). Notes on the Herpetofauna of Surinam VII. Zoologische Verhandelingen (175): 1-47 - get paper here
  • Myers, C.W. 2003. Rare Snakes—Five New Species from Eastern Panama: Reviews of Northern Atractus and Southern Geophis (Colubridae: Dipsadinae). American Museum Novitates 3391: 1-47 - get paper here
  • Prado, Alcides 1946. Notas ofiológicas 19. Atractus da Colombia, com a redescrição de tres novas espécies. Memorias do Instituto Butantan 18 (1944–1945): 109–111 - 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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