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Atractus latifrons (GÜNTHER, 1868)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Broadhead Ground Snake
S: Falsa coral
Portuguese: Coral, Falsa-Coral 
SynonymGeophis latifrons GÜNTHER 1868: 415
Geophis latifrons — GÜNTHER 1872: 15
Atractus latifrons — BOULENGER 1894: 303
Elaps herthae AHL 1927: 252
Elaps hertae — AMARAL 1930: 54
Atractus latifrons — MERTENS 1956
Atractus latifrons — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 30
Atractus latifrons — HOOGMOED 1980
Atractus latifrons — GASC & RODRIGUES 1980
Atractus latifrons — DA CUNHA & DO NASCIMENTO 1983: 11
Atractus latifrons — STARACE 1998: 134
Atractus latifrons — PASSOS et al. 2007
Atractus latifrons — WALLACH et al. 2014: 74
Atractus latifrons — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionW Brazil (Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia), E Peru (Loreto), E Colombia (Amazonas), French Guiana, S Colombia, Bolivia (Beni, Santa Cruz), Suriname

Type locality: Pebas, Loreto, Peru, 03°20’S, 71°49’W, ca. 100 m elevation.  
TypesType: BMNH 1946.1.6.52 (and possibly additional specimens). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Atractus latifrons can be distinguished from all its congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) dorsal scale rows 17/17/17; (2) postocular single; (3) loreal short, eventually fused to postnasal; (4) temporals 1+2; (5) supralabials six, third and fourth contacting orbit; (6) infralabials seven (n= 79), first four contacting chinshields (n= 80); (7) maxillary teeth five to six, lacking maxillar diastema; (8) gular scale rows three or four; (9) preventrals three or four; (10) ventrals 145–190 in females, 134–178 in males; (11) subcaudals 24–41 in females, 20–42 in males; (12) aposematic coloration, in preservation, with three mainly patterns [bicolor in monads, tricolor in dyads, and tricolor in tetrads] intercalating black and/or white rings separated by red interspaces; (13) ventral coloration, in preservation, similar to dorsum with complete black rings intercalating by red interspaces; (14) body size moderate to large, females reaching 566 mm SVL, males 521 mm SVL; (15) caudal length moderately long in females (10.9-14.6% SVL), moderately long to long in males (13.3–20.0% SVL); (16) hemipenis moderately bilobed, slightly semicapitate, and semicalyculate [Almeida et al. 2014].

Comparisons. Among all congeners, Atractus latifrons shares 17 dorsal scale rows at midbody and strict coral color pattern only with A. badius and A. obesus. Atractus latifrons differs from both by having snout acuminate, loreal short, prefrontals large, supralabials six, and maxillary teeth conical, lacking postdiastemal tooth (vs. truncate snout, loreal moderately long to long, prefrontals moderate, postoculars two, usually seven supralabials, and elliptic maxillary teeth with one or two postdiastemal teeth). Atractus latifrons differs from A. elaps, A. charitoae, A. franciscopaivai, and A. poeppigi by having dorsal scale rows 17 (vs. 15). Additionally, A. latifrons differs from A. franciscopaivai and A. poeppigi by having posterior temporals two, loreal eventually fused to postnasal, and dorsal coloration with black dyads intercalated by white rings and red interspaces (vs. posterior temporal single, loreal never fused to postnasal, and dorsum generally uniform black with rhomboidal blotches covering paraventral region) [Almeida et al. 2014]. 
CommentSynonymy after PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970.

Variation: this is a highly variable species with multiple color patterns (see Almeida et al. 2014). 
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  • ALMEIDA, PAULA C.; DARLAN T. FEITOSA, PAULO PASSOS & ANA L. C. PRUDENTE 2014. Morphological variation and taxonomy of Atractus latifrons (Günther, 1868) (Serpentes: Dipsadidae). Zootaxa 3860 (1): 064–080 - get paper here
  • BERNARDE, P.S., ALBUQUERQUE, S., BARROS, T.O. & TURCI, L.C.B. 2012. Serpentes do Estado de Rondônia, Brasil. Biota Neotropica 12 (3): 1-29 - get paper here
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  • DE ALMEIDA, PAULA CAROLINA R.; DARLAN T. FEITOSA, LEVI CARINA TERRIBILE, RONIEL FREITAS-OLIVEIRA & ANA LÚCIA C. PRUDENTE. 2022. Co-occurrence patterns between false coral snake Atractus latifrons (Günther, 1868) (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) and venomous coral snakes from the Amazon. Anais Da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 94. - get paper here
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  • Melo-Sampaio, Paulo Roberto; Paulo Passos, Antoine Fouquet, Ana Lucia Da Costa Prudente & Omar Torres-Carvajal 2019. Systematic review of Atractus schach (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) species complex from the Guiana Shield with description of three new species. Systematics and Biodiversity, 17:3, 207-229, DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2019.1611674 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1956. Das Problem der Mimikry bei Korallenschlangen. Zool. Jahrb., Abt Syst. Ökol. Geogr. Tiere 84: 541-576 + plates 6-14
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  • Passos, P., R. Fernandes and Borges-Nojosa, D.M. 2007. A New Species of Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadinae) from a Relictual Forest in Northeastern Brazil. Copeia 2007 (4): 788–797 - get paper here
  • Passos, Paulo; Philippe J. R. Kok, Nelson R. de Albuquerque, and Gilson A. Rivas 2013. Groundsnakes of the Lost World: A Review of Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from the Pantepui Region, Northern South America. Herpetological Monographs 27 (1): 52-86 - get paper here
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
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  • Rodrigues-França, Frederico Gustavo & Nathocley Mendes-Venâncio 2010. Reptiles and amphibians of a poorly known region in southwest Amazonia Biotemas, 23 (3): 71-84 - get paper here
  • Silva Haad, J.J. 2004. Las serpientes del género Atractus Wagler, 1828 (Colubridae; Xenodontinae) en la Amazonia colombiana. [The snakes of the genus Atractus Wagler, 1828 (Colubridae; Xenodontinae) in the colombian Amazonia.]. Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales (108): 409-446
  • Starace, Fausto 1998. Guide des Serpents et Amphisbènes de Guyane. IBIS Rouge Editions, Guadeloupe, Guyane, 450 pp.
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  • 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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