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Atractus modestus BOULENGER, 1894

IUCN Red List - Atractus modestus - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesE: Modest Ground Snake
S: Culebra minadora 
SynonymAtractus modestus BOULENGER 1894: 304
Atractus modestus — LEHR 2002: 204
Atractus modestus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 76 
DistributionW Ecuador (Pichincha, Cotopaxi and Azuay), Peru; elevation 21 00-2560 m

Type locality: Western Ecuador Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: NHM 1946.1.6.30, adult male 
CommentExtremely rare species. There seem to be only a few specimens in museum collections.

Diagnosis: Atractus modestus can be distinguished from all species of the genus by the following combination of characters: 1) 17 dorsal scale rows; 2) moderate loreal; 3) 5–8 maxillary teeth; 4) six supralabials; 5) seven infralabials, first four contacting chin shields; 6) nasal completely divided; 7) two postoculars; 8) 155–173 ventral scale rows in males and 174–185 in females; 9) 34–41 subcaudals in males and 26–31 in females; 10) total segmental counts 191–202 in males and 202–216 in females; 11) moderate size, reaching a maximum SVL of 273 mm in males and 328 mm in females; 12) moderate tail (15.5–21.4% SVL in males and 11–12.5% SVL in females); 13) dorsal pattern uniformly chocolate to dark brown with a light nuchal collar and a white paraventral stripe in juveniles.

Distribution: this species has been reported from Peru, but without specific locality (T. Doan, pers. comm. 30 Apr 2012). 
  • Arteaga AF, Bustamante-Enríquez LM and Guayasamin JM 2013. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1894. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, xi, 382 pp. - get paper here
  • Carrera, C. et al. 2009. Guía de Campo de los Pequeños Vertebrados del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito (DMQ). Publicación Miscelánea N° 5. Serie de Publicaciones del Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales (MECN) – Fondo Ambiental del MDMQ. 1-89 pp. Imprenta Nuevo Arte. Quito-Ecuador.
  • Lehr, E. 2002. Amphibien und Reptilien in Peru. Natur und Tier-Verlag (Münster), 208 pp. - get paper here
  • Passos, Paulo, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia and David Salazar-V. 2007. Rediscovery and redescription of the rare Andean snake, Atractus modestus. The Herpetological Journal 17 (1):1-6 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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