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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
Atractus snethlageae – SCHARGEL et al. 2013 (partim)
Atractus snethlageae – MAYNARD et al. 2017 
DistributionEcuador (Napo)

Type locality: Ecuador, Napo, El Chaco (0.371°S, 77.821°W), 1606 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: QCAZ 12504, adult male, collected by P. Medrano, on 16 April 2014.
Paratopotype (n = 1): QCAZ 4047, adult male collected by R. Cárdenas on 2 November 2006.
Paratypes (n = 20): Ecuador: Napo: El Reventador (0.041°S, 77.526°W), 1543 m asl, QCAZ 444, adult female collected by G. Onore on 10 January 1985 and MNRJ 24596 (formerly QCAZ 205) adult male collected by G. Onore on 1 January 1986; San Francisco de Borja (0.424°S, 77.837°W; 1500 m asl), MNRJ 24597, (formerly QCAZ 1320), adult female collected by G. Scacco on 18 April 1992, QCAZ 1606, adult male collected by V. Utreras on 4 January 1992 and QCAZ 12490, adult male collected by P. Medrano on 12 March 2014, QCAZ 12596, adult male by P. Medrano on 17 April 2014 and DHMECN 80, adult male collected by E. Asanza on September 1980; Sardinas (0.340°S, 77.810°W), 1300 m asl, QCAZ 1494, adult female collected by G. Onore on 18 October 1992; Santa Rosa, Quijos (0.394°S, 77.822°W), 1623 m asl, QCAZ 12715, adult female collected by P. Medrano on 24 April 2014. San Rafael, San Rafael stream (0.103°S, 77.580°W), 1190 m asl, QCAZ 0004 and QCAZ 3256, adult males collected by G. Onore on 10 January 1984 and 7 April 1996; Puerto Misahuallí, Reserva Biológica Jatún Sacha (1.050°S, 77.590°W), 406 m asl, QCAZ 3476, adult male and QCAZ 3477 juvenile collected by G. Vigle on 20 September 1986; Cosanga (0.574°S, 77.867°W), 2600 m asl, QCAZ 11202, juvenile collected by E. Tapia on 28 March 1996; Piedra Fina (0.128°S, 77.609°W), 1299 m asl, QCAZ 4812, QCAZ 4942, QCAZ 4943 and QCAZ 4944, juveniles collected by M. Wilkinson on 18 March 2012. Orellana: San José de Payamino (0.464°S, 77.297°W), 370 m asl, QCAZ 11651 and QCAZ 11652, juveniles collected by R. Lynch on 8 June 2013. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Atractus ukupacha can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) smooth dorsal scale rows 17/17/17; (2) postoculars two; (3) loreal moderately long; (4) temporal formula 1+2; (5) supralabials seven, third and fourth contacting eye; (6) infralabials eight, first four contacting chinshields; (7) maxillary teeth seven; (8) gular scale rows three; (9) preventrals two; (10) ventrals 161–170 in females, 153–165 in males; (11) subcaudals 23–33 in females, 38–42 in males; (12) in preservative, dorsum dusky brown with olive-brown bands; (13) in preservative, venter olive-brown with small cream white dots; (14) body moderately long in females (maximum 464 mm SVL) and males (maximum 390 mm SVL); (15) tail moderately long in females (9.9–12.7% of SVL) and long in males (15.5%–20.6% of SVL); and (16) hemipenes strongly bilobed (≥ length of capitulum), semicapitate, and semicalyculate (Melo-Sampaio et al. 2021).

Comparisons: Atractus ukupacha differs from A. dapsilis, A. schach, A. trefauti by having 161–170 ventrals in females, 153–165 in males, 23– 33 subcaudals in females, 38–42 in males, and belly olive-brown with small cream white dots (vs. ventrals 148–150 in females, 142–151 in males, 19–21 subcaudals in females, 25–32 in males of A. schach; 30–37 subcaudals in males of A. dapsilis; ventrals 153–158 in females, 139–149 in males, 21–24 subcaudals in females, 24–29 in males of A. trefauti; and belly mottled in A. schach and A. trefauti, and cream in A. dapsilis usually with brown dots forming an inconspicuous midline); from A. schach by having hemipenes with conspicuous capitular groove, 161–170 ventrals in females, 153–165 in males; 23–33 subcaudals in females, 38–42 in males, and tail >15% of SVL in males (vs. hemipenes without capitular groove, 148–150 ventrals in females, 142–151 in males, 19–21 subcaudals in females, 25–32 in males, and tail <15% of SVL in males); from A. trefauti by having tail >13.3% of SVL and strongly bilobed hemipenes in males (vs. shorter tail <13.2% and slightly bilobed hemipenes in males); from A. nawa by having eight infralabials, and ≥23 subcaudals and >9% of SVL in females (vs. seven infralabials, <21 subcaudals, and tail <9% of SVL in females); from A. pachacamac by having spotted preventrals, <500 mm SVL in females, and hemipenes strongly bilobed with lobes centrifugally oriented and flattened on the apices (>600 mm SVL in females, and hemipenes moderately bilobed with lobes centrolinearly oriented and attenuated on the apices); from A. akerios by having ≥23 and ≥38 subcaudals in females in males, respectively, ≥161 and 153–165 ventrals in females and males respectively, and >390 mm SVL (≤20 and ≤33 subcaudals in females and males, respectively, ≤ 156 and 140–154 ventrals in females and males respectively, and maximum SVL <360 mm); from A. snethlageae by lacking light parietal band present >154 ventrals in males, and >38 subcaudals in males (vs. presence of incomplete light parietal band, <154 ventrals and <35 subcaudals in males); from A. touzeti by having <700 mm SVL in females, seven supralabials, third and fourth supralabials contacting eye, seven maxillary teeth, postoculars equal in size, and upper and lower posterior temporals equal in size (vs. >700 mm SVL in females, eight supralabials, fourth and fifth supralabials contacting eye, eight maxillary teeth, very small lower postocular, and very large upper posterior temporal). We refer to Table 1 for additional comparisons between Atractus ukupacha and other Amazonian congeners (Melo-Sampaio et al. 2021).

Color in life: Dorsum of head dusky brown through its extension; internasals, prefrontals, loreal, supralabials and lateral portion of head dusky brown with orange flecks; first four infralabials and gular region olive-brown with burnt umber spots; dorsal ground color dusky brown with conspicuous olive-brown bands; interspaces between olive-brown bands 3-5 scales long, with tiny orange flecks; first dorsal scale row with light cream, spots in contact with ventral scales forming small line segments (Figure 19, Melo-Sampaio et al. 2021).

Color variation (n = 17): Dorsum of head olive brown with inconspicuous dark grayish brown [color 284]; dorsum of body sepia to dusky brown [color 285] with dorsal bands varying from pale cinnamon [color 55] to cinnamon [color 21], 1-2 scales long; chinshields, gulars and anterior portion of venter cream suffused with fuscous [color 283] dots; paraventral line connecting light band sometimes present near cloaca. Juveniles present a white parietal band with medial suture diffuse with dark pigments, and dorsal bands two scales long (Figure 19, Melo-Sampaio et al. 2021).).

Quantitative variation (n = 17): Largest female 464 mm SVL, 46 mm
TL; largest male 390 mm SVL, 75 mm TL; ventrals 161–170 (mean = 166; n=6;SD=3.7)infemales,154–165(mean=159;n=8;SD=1.5)in males; subcaudals 23–31 (mean = 27; n = 6; SD = 3.6), in females, 38–42 (mean = 39; n = 8; SD = 1.5) in males; supralabials seven (n = 27 sides), or eight (n = 1 sides); infralabials seven (n = 6 sides) or eight (n = 22 sides); preventrals two (n = 4), three (n = 8) or four (n = 2) (Melo-Sampaio et al. 2021). 
EtymologyAccording to Inca mythology, Uku Pacha represents the underworld, containing the dead and everything that was under terrestrial or aquatic surface. The general legend considers the fountains, caves, volcanoes, and any opening in the Earth's crust as a means of communication between Uku Pacha and Kay Pacha. The word Pacha in Quechua Indian language means “time and space”, but into a more general sense means “Earth”. Thus, the specific epithet allows inference to this semi-fossorial lifestyle. 
  • Maynard, Ross J.; Ryan L. Lynch, Paul Maier & Paul S. Hamilton 2017. REPTILES of SAN JOSÉ de PAYAMINO, Orellana, ECUADOR. Field Museum Fieldguide - get paper here
  • Melo‐Sampaio, PR, Passos, P, Prudente, ALC, Venegas, PJ, Torres‐Carvajal, O. 2021. Systematic review of the polychromatic ground snakes Atractus snethlageae complex reveals four new species from threatened environments. J Zool Syst Evol Res. 2021; 59: 718– 747 - get paper here
  • SCHARGEL, WALTER E.; WILLIAM W. LAMAR, PAULO PASSOS, JORGE H. VALENCIA, DIEGO F. CISNEROS-HEREDIA, JONATHAN A. CAMPBELL 2013. A new giant Atractus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from Ecuador, with notes on some other large Amazonian congeners. Zootaxa 3721 (5): 455–474 - get paper here
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