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Atractus punctiventris AMARAL, 1933

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Pointed Ground Snake 
SynonymAtractus punctiventris AMARAL 1933: 117
Atractus punctiventris — PASSOS et al. 2007
Atractus punctiventris — WALLACH et al. 2014: 79 
DistributionColombia (Meta)

Type locality: Villavicencia, Intendencia de Meta, Colombia [= Vilavicencio, Departamento del Meta], (04°09’N, 73°38’W, ca. 500 m elevation  
TypesHolotype: MLS 254, formerly MLS 102 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Atractus punctiventris can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) smooth dorsal scale rows generally 15/15/15; (2) postoculars two; (3) loreal moderately long; (4) temporal formula 1þ2; (5) supralabials usually seven, third and fourth contacting eye; (6) infralabials usually seven, first three contacting chinshields; (7) maxillary teeth five to six; (8) gular scale rows three; (9) preventrals one or two; (10) ventrals 170–183 in females, 155–167 in males; (11) subcaudals 27– 34 in females, 32–36 in males; (12) in preservative, dorsum pale brown to brown with a series of brown to black irregular light bordered blotches; (13) in preservative, venter creamish white with brown dots or spots generally arranged in the center of ventral scales usually forming a conspicuous midline along belly; (14) maximum body size moderate in females (415 mm SVL) and males (345 mm SVL); (15) moderately long tail in females (12.5–14.0% SVL) and in males (14.4–15.6% SVL); (16) hemipenis slightly bilobed, semicapitate, and semicalyculate (Passos et al. 2016: 4).

Comparisons. Among congeners from cis-Andean provinces of Morrone (2014), Atractus punctiventris shares only with Atractus major Boulenger 1894 and Atractus schach (Boie 1827) a pale brown dorsum with dark brown light-bordered blotches, seven upper and lower labials, five to six maxillary teeth, and a creamish white venter frequently covered with a median longitudinal line caused by the linear arrangement of centered, round, dark brown spots. Atractus punctiventris differs from both by having 15 dorsal scale rows and slightly bilobed hemipenis (vs. 17 and moderately bilobed hemipenis). Furthermore, A. punctiventris differs from A. major by having the hemipenial body twice as long as the capitulum with capitular groove evident on the asulcate side of the organ (vs. hemipenial body equivalent in size to capitulum with capitular groove indistinct on both sides of the organ); from A. schach by having the first three infralabials contacting chinshields (vs. four). Atractus punctiventris occurs in sympatry at least with Atractus elaps (Gu ̈nther 1858) and Atractus univittatus (Jan 1862), but differs from A. univittatus by having 15 dorsal scale rows at midbody and hemipenial body twice as long as capitulum (vs. 17 dorsal scale rows and hemipenial body equivalent in size to capitulum) and from A. elaps by having a pale brown dorsum with black blotches light-bordered (vs. red dorsum with complete black rings forming dyads or tetrads separated by white rings) (Passos et al. 2016: 4). 
CommentTh species is known from less than 10 specimens (Passos et al. 2016).

Distribution: Known from the municipalities of Villavicencio (04°09’N, 73°38’W), Meta; San Luís de Gaceno (04°49’N, 73°10’W) Boyaca ́; and Nunchía (05°38’N, 72°12’W), Casanare. 
  • Amaral, A. D. 1932. Contribuicao ao conhecimento dos ofidios do Brasil V. Uma nova raca de Bothrops neuwiedii. Mem. Inst. Butantan 7: 97-101 - get paper here
  • Amaral, A. do. 1932. Estudos sobre ophidios neotropicos XXIX. Novas notas sobre especies da Colombia. Mem. Inst. Butantan 7: 105-123 - get paper here
  • Passos, P., R. Fernandes and Borges-Nojosa, D.M. 2007. A New Species of Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadinae) from a Relictual Forest in Northeastern Brazil. Copeia 2007 (4): 788–797 - get paper here
  • Passos, Paulo; Ana L.C. Prudente and John D. Lynch 2016. Redescription of Atractus punctiventris and Description of Two New Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from Brazilian Amazonia. Herp. Monographs 30 (1): 1-20 - get paper here
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • 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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