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Atractus titanicus PASSOS, FERNANDES & LYNCH, 2009

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymAtractus titanicus PASSOS, FERNANDES & LYNCH 2009
Atractus badius – PÉREZ-SANTOS & MORENNO 1988:68 (part.)
Atractus titanicus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 82 
DistributionColombia (Andes)

Type locality: Colombia, Antioquia department, Sonsón municipality, 05°43’N, 75°19’W, Quebrada San Andrés, ca. 2400 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: ICN-MHN = ICN 10697, Female, 5 March 1996. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Atractus titanicus is distinguished from all congeners by the following: 17/17/17 smooth dorsal scale rows; two postoculars; long loreal; generally 1+2 temporals; seven supralabials, third and fourth contacting orbit; seven infralabials, first four contacting chinshields; seven or eight maxill ary teeth; three or four gular scale rows; four preventrals; 160–162 ventrals in females and 152–157 in males; 18–19 subcaudals in females and 21–30 in males; banded color pattern, with alternate dark and light dorsal rings (three scales wide); venter with cream-white ground color uniformly spotted by diffuse dark brown dots; large body size, females reaching 680 mm and males 545 mm; small tail size in females (7.8–9.2% SVL) and moderate (11.3–14.9% SVL) in males (Table 1). Among all congeners, A. titanicus shares exclusively with A. obesus a suite of characters including 17 dorsal scale rows, seven upper and lower labials, body diameter greater than 10 mm, maximum SVL above 600 mm, seven or eight maxillary teeth, and dorsal color pattern with alternate light and dark wide bands. The new species can be diagnosed from A. obesus by having 160–162 ventrals in females, four infralabials in contact with chinshields, dorsal bands never forming dyads, and venter with dark brown dots (vs. 171–183 ventrals in females, three infralabials contacting chinshields, dorsal bands forming dyads [black/ yellow/black], and complete rings crossing venter).
CommentTypes: Two paratypes were identified previously as Atractus badius (Amaral, 1931, 1932). The study of this material (formerly ILS 20 and ILS 44, now MLS 134 and MLS 147) and three more specimens has revealed them to be distinct from A. badius (sensu Hoogmoed, 1980). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet ‘‘titanicus’’ is an adjective derived from the Greek name Titan, son of Uranus and Gaea who symbolize strong power and large size. The word alludes to the large body size of Atractus titanicus compared to other congeners. 
  • Amaral, A. D. 1931. Studies of neotropical ophidia XXIII. Additional notes on Colombian snakes XXVI. Ophidia of Colombia. Bulletin of the Antivenin Institute of America 4 (4): 85-94
  • Amaral,A. do 1932. Studies of Neotropical Ophidia. XXVII. On two small collections of snakes from Central Colombia. Bull. Antivenin Inst. America 5: 66-68
  • Hoogmoed, M. S. 1980. Revision of the genus Atractus in Surinam, with the ressurection of two species (Colubridae, Reptilia). Notes on the Herpetofauna of Surinam VII. Zoologische Verhandelingen (175): 1-47 - get paper here
  • Passos, P., Dobiey, M., & Venegas, P. J. 2010. Variation and natural history notes on giant groundsnake, Atractus gigas (Serpentes: Dipsadidae). South American J. Herp. 5 (2): 73-82 - get paper here
  • Passos, Paulo, Juan C. Arredondo, Ronaldo Fernandes and John D. Lynch 2009. Three new Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from the Andes of Colombia. Copeia 2009 (3): 425-436 - get paper here
  • Rojas-Morales, Julián Andrés, Héctor Fabio Arias-Monsalve y Gustavo A. González-Durán 2014. Anibios y reptiles de la región centro-sur del departamento de Caldas, Colombia. Biota Colombiana 15 (1): 73-93 - get paper here
  • Rojas-Morales, Julián Andrés 2012. Snakes of an urban-rural landscape in the central Andes of Colombia: species composition, distribution, and natural history. Phyllomedusa 11 (2): 135-
  • Vanegar-Guerrero, Jhonattan; Juan C. Mantilla-Castaño, Paulo Passos 2014. Atractus titanicus Passos, Arredondo, Fernandes & Lynch, 2009 (Serpentes: Dipsadidae): Filling gaps in its geographical distribution. Check List 10 (3): 672-673 - 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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