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Atractus occidentalis SAVAGE, 1955

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Western Ground Snake 
SynonymAtractus occidentalis SAVAGE 1955: 16
Atractus occidentalis — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 32
Atractus occidentalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 78 
DistributionNW Ecuador

Type locality: Mindo, Provincia Pinchincha, Ecuador.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1916.5.23.5 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A form showing closest similarity in coloration to Atractus ecuadorensis in scutellation to A. dunni, but differing from them and other Ecuadorian Atractus in: (1) 17 scale rows; (2) long loreal; (3) maxillary teeth six or seven; (4) ventrals in male, 153, in females, 162; and (5) pattern of irregular or disrupted longitudinal stripes [from SAVAGE 1960]. 
CommentSynonymy: The taxonomic validity of A. occidentalis was not recognized by Arteaga et al. (2013), owing to its close morphological resemblance to A. dunni (Savage, 1955). Arteaga et al. 2022, following an unpublished BSc thesis by Mejía Guerrero (2018), suggest that A. occidentalis is a synonym of A. microrhynchus, without providing much details. Hence we consider the status of A. occidentalis as unclear, requiring further investigation. 
EtymologyThe specific name occidentalis (Latin) refers to the western distribution of this species. 
  • Arteaga AF, Bustamante-Enríquez LM and Guayasamin JM 2013. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo. - get paper here
  • Savage, Jay M. 1955. Descriptions of new colubrid snakes, genus Atractus, from Ecuador. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 68: 11-20 - 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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