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Atractus microrhynchus (COPE, 1868)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymRhabdosoma microrhynchum COPE 1868: 102
Atractus microrhynchum — SAVAGE 1960: 52
Atractus microrhynchus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 31
Atractus microrhynchus — DA SILVA & SITES 1995
Atractus microrhynchus — PASSOS et al. 2009
Atractus microrhynchus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 76 
DistributionEcuador, Peru (Tumbes region)

Type locality: Guayaquil, Ecuador (02º10’S, 79º54’W,
ca. 50 m elevation); neotype locality: Reserva Biológica Buenaventura (03°38’55’’ S, 79°45’50’’ W, ca. 600 m asl), Parroquia Piñas,Cantón Piñas, El Oro Province, Ecuador  
TypesNeotype: MECN (was DHMECN) 3008, Adult male, designated by Passos et al. 2012; Holotype: CAS 6693, Unknown sex, (California Academy of Science), from Guayaquil, province of Guayas, Ecuador, collected by the Orton Expedition in 1865. Savage (1960) pointed out that the holotype was missing at the CAS and it is probably lost (see Remarks). Also given as USNM 6693 (lost) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Atractus microrhynchus is distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) 17/17/17 smooth dorsals; (2) one or two postoculars; (3) loreal long; (4) temporals 1+2; (5) seven supralabials, third and fourth contacting orbit; (6) unknown number of infralabials, first two contacting chinshields; (12) dorsum uniformly dark brown, with a incomplete occipital light band; (13) venter light brown with dark brown dots in the lateral region of ventrals; (14) small body size (but the age and sex were unreported in the original description, likely based on a juvenile specimen), holotype about 100 mm SVL [from PASSOS et al. 2009]. Updated diagnosis in Passos et al. 2012: 378. 
CommentSynonymy: Has been synonymized with Atractus badius by DIXON & SOINI (1977).

Similar species: A. dunni (for examples of misidentifications see Passos et al. 2022).

Passos et al. (2012) restricted the concept of A. microrhynchus to the Pacific lowland populations from Ecuador and Peru, and they designated a neotype for the species.

Habitat: Lowland Seasonal Evergreen forest near sea level

Abundance: Rare. This is one of the species called 'lost' and 'rediscovered' by Lindken et al. 2024. 
  • Cope, E.D. 1868. An examination of the Reptilia and Batrachia obtained by the Orton Expedition to Equador and the Upper Amazon, with notes on other species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 20: 96-140 - get paper here
  • da Silva, Jr., N. J. and Sites, Jr., J. W. 1995. Patterns of diversity of neotropical squamate reptile species with emphasis on the Brazilian Amazon and the conservation potential of indigenous reserves. Conserv. Biol. 9 (4): 873-901 - get paper here
  • Dixon, J. R.; Soini, P. 1977. The reptiles of the upper Amazon basin, Iquitos region, Peru, Part 2: crocodilians, turtles and snakes. Milwaukee Public Museum Contributions in Biology and Geology 4: 59-154 [1986?] - get paper here
  • Lindken T.; Anderson, C. V., Ariano-Sánchez, D., Barki, G., Biggs, C., Bowles, P., Chaitanya, R., Cronin, D. T., Jähnig, S. C., Jeschke, J. M., Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Luedtke, J. A., Liu, C., Long, B., Mallon, D., Martin, G. M., Meiri, 2024. What factors influence the rediscovery of lost tetrapod species? Global Change Biology, 30: 1-18 - get paper here
  • PASSOS P, MELO-SAMPAIO PR, RAMOS LO, GRAZZIOTIN FG, FOUQUET A & TORRES-CARVAJAL O. 2022. When the tail shakes the snake: phylogenetic affinities and morphology of Atractus badius (Serpentes: Dipsadidae), reveals some current pitfalls on the snake’s genomic age. An Acad Bras Cienc 94: e20191254 - 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
  • Passos, Paulo; Diego Cisneros-Heredia, Dani Enrique Rivera, Cesar Aguilar, and Walter E Schargel 2012. Rediscovery of Atractus microrhynchus and Reappraisal of the Taxonomic Status of A. emersoni and A. natans (Serpentes: Dipsadidae). Herpetologica 68 (3): 375-392. - get paper here
  • Savage,J.M. 1960. A revision of the Ecuadorian snakes of the colubrid genus Atractus. Misc. Publ. Zool. Univ. Michigan 112: 1-86 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - 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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