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Atractus melas BOULENGER, 1908

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Dark Ground Snake 
SynonymAtractus melas BOULENGER 1908: 114
Atractus melas — PASSOS & ARREDONDO 2009
Atractus melas — WALLACH et al. 2014: 76 
DistributionColombia (Chocó to Valle de Cauca), elevation 80–300 m

Type locality: Los Mangos, Dep. Valles, Colombia, 300 m elevation, 03º46’N, 76º45’W.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.6.33, adult female, (formerly 1908.5.29.54), from Los Mangos (= Juntas, 03º46’N, 76º45’W, ca. 300 m), department of Valle del Cauca, Colombia, collected by Palmer (specimen examined). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Atractus melas is distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) 17/17/17 smoooth 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) six or seven maxillary teeth; (8) four gular scale rows; (9) four or five preventrals; (10) 144 ventrals in the single known female, 134–140 in males; (11) 25 subcaudals in female, 33–34 in males; (12) dorsum uniformly black; (13) venter uniformly black; (14) small body size, female with 205 mm SVL, males reaching 194 mm SVL; (15) long tail in female (17.1% of SVL) and males (18.5–19.1% of SVL); (16) hemipenis moderately bilobed.
CommentHabitat: rainforest

Distribution: a photographic record of Atractus cf. melas from the Bilsa Biological Station, province of Esmeraldas, northwestern Ecuador (Ortega-Andrade et al. 2010) corresponds to A. multicinctus (Arteaga et al. 2017). 
  • 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
  • Boulenger, GEORGE A. 1908. Descriptions of new South-American reptiles. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (8) 1: 111-115 - get paper here
  • Castro-Herrera, F. & Vargas-Salinas, F. 2008. Anfibios y reptiles en el departamento del Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Biota Colombiana 9 (2): 251 - 277 - get paper here
  • Castro-Herrera, F.; Bolívar-García, W. & Herrera-Montes, M.I. 2007. Guía de los Anfibios y Reptiles des Bosque de Yotoco, Valle deel Cauca, Colombia. Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia, 70 pp. - get paper here
  • Passos, P. & Arredondo, J.C. 2009. Rediscovery and redescription of the Andean earth-snake Atractus wagleri (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae). Zootaxa 1969: 59–68 - 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
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • Valencia-Zuleta A, Jaramillo-Martínez AF, Echeverry-Bocanegra A, Viáfara-Vega R, Hernández-Córdoba O, Cardona-Botero VE, Gutiérrez-Zúñiga J, Castro-Herrera F. 2014. Conservation status of the herpetofauna, protected areas, and current problems in Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8 (2): 1–18 (e87) - 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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