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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
Atractus medusa — WALLACH et al. 2014: 76 
DistributionColombia (Cauca: Gorgona Island)

Type locality: Playa Blanca, Gorgona Island (03º00’N, 78º12’W, ca. 0 m elevation), municipality of Guapi, department of Cauca, Colombia  
TypesHolotype: IAvH 2981, adult male, collected by J. V. Rueda (field number VR 1213). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Atractus medusa is distinguished from all congeners by the combination of the following characters: (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) seven infralabials, first four contacting chinshields; (7) five maxillary teeth; (8) three gular scale rows; (9) two preventrals; (10) 133 ventrals in the single male; (11) 46 subcaudal; (12) dorsum beige with light occipital band and round dark brown blotches, decreasing in size posteriorly; (13) venter cream with diffuse dark brown dots concentrated posteriorly; (14) moderate body size, male with 325 mm SVL; (15) long tail (18.4% SVL); (16) hemipenis strongly bilobed, semicapitate, and semicalyculate. 
CommentDistribution: not in Ecuador fide O. Torres-Carvajal, pers. comm. 8 Sep 2016. Reports from Ecuador (Cisnero-Heredia & Romero 2015) most likely represent A. iridescens (Arteaga et al. 2017). 
EtymologyNamed after the female monster Medusa (Greek: µέδουσα) of Greek mythology. According to the Greek writer Hesiod, Medusa was one of the three Gorgons, daughters of the gods Phorcys and Ceto, their home being on the farthest side of the western ocean. Medusa had snakes for hair and her look could petrify anyone looking into her eyes, but was beheaded by the Greek hero Perseus. Herein the word alludes to the type locality of the species, Gorgona Island, an island on the western portion of the genus’ range. 
  • Arteaga A, Mebert K, Valencia JH, Cisneros-Heredia DF, Peñafiel N, Reyes-Puig C, Vieira-Fernandes JL, Guayasamin JM 2017. Molecular phylogeny of Atractus (Serpentes, Dipsadidae), with emphasis on Ecuadorian species and the description of three new taxa. ZooKeys 661: 91-123. - get paper here
  • CASTRO-HERRERA, FERNANDO; ANYELET VALENCIA-AGUILAR, DIEGO VILLAQUIRAN-Martínez 2012. Diversidad de Anfibios y Reptiles del Parque Nacional Natural Isla Gorgona. Universidad del Valle, Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca, 112 pp. - get paper here
  • Cisneros-Heredia, Diego F.; Ana Romero 2015. First country record of Atractus medusa (Serpentes, Dipsadidae) in Ecuador. Herpetology Notes 8: 417-420 - get paper here
  • Passos, P.; Mueses-Cisneros, J.J.; Lynch, J.D. & Fernandes, R. 2009. Pacific lowland snakes of the genus Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae), with description of three new species. Zootaxa 2293: 1–34 - 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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