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Borikenophis sanctaecrucis (COPE, 1862)

IUCN Red List - Borikenophis sanctaecrucis - Extinct, EX

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Alsophiini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Saint Croix Racer, St. Croix Racer 
SynonymAlsophis sancticrucis COPE 1862: 76
Dromicus sanctae-crucis BOULENGER 1893: 122 (emendation)
Dromicus sanctae-crucis — BOULENGER 1894: 122
Alsophis sanctae-crucis — BARBOUR 1914
Alsophis sanctae-crucis — GRANT 1937: 513
Alsophis sanctaecrucis — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 576
Alsophis sanctaecrucis — CROTHER 1999
Alsophis sanctaecrucis — ZAHER et al. 2009
Borikenophis sanctaecrucis — HEDGES et al. 2009
Borikenophis sancticrucis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 109 
DistributionUS Virgin Islands, St. Croix, Puerto Rico Bank

Type locality: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.  
TypesSyntype: ANSP 5405; other(s) unlocated. 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Maximum SVL 1025 mm; dorsal scale rows at midbody 17; ventrals 191-198 in females (males unknown); subcaudals 140-145; supralabials 8/8; infralabials 10/10; preoculars 1/1; postoculars 2/2; temporals 1+2/1+2 or 1+1/1+1; anal divided. Head (as preserved) dark with snout and lores pale yellowish; black mask, more or less outlined above from eye posteriorly by bold yellow stripe (which disappears behind temporals); dorsal ground color dark, bluish black; neck with a series of 15-20 pale, transverse bars, less than 1 scale in width; remainder of dorsum with pale flecking or pale anterior scale edges; venter pale, margins of ventrals heavily marked blue-black, remainder of scale with some smudges connected to dark ventral margins; subcaudals similarly marked (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 576). 
CommentIllustrations: Schwartz, 1966.

Conservation: Probably extinct since around 1898. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • 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
  • Cope, E.D. 1862. Synopsis of the species of Holcosus and Ameiva, with diagnoses of new West Indian and South American Colubridae. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 14: 60-82. - get paper here
  • Grant, C. 1937. Herpetological notes with new species from the American and British Virgin Islands, 1936. J. Dept. Agric. Puerto Rico 21: 503-522.
  • Hedges, S. Blair; Arnaud Couloux; Vidal, Nicolas 2009. Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of West Indian racer snakes of the Tribe Alsophiini (Squamata, Dipsadidae, Xenodontinae). Zootaxa 2067: 1-28 - get paper here
  • Henderson R W. Powell R. 1996. Alsophis sanctaecrucis. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (634): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Joseph-Ouni, M. 2006. Profiles of extinction #20 - St. Croix Racer, Alsophis sanctaecrucis. Reptilia (GB) (46): 82 - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. 1966. Snakes of the genus Alsophis in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Stud. Fauna Curaçao and Carib. Is. 23(90):175-227. - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 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.
  • Zaher, Hussam; Grazziotin, Felipe Gobbi; Cadle, John E.; Murphy, Robert W.; Moura-Leite, Julio Cesar de; Bonatto, Sandro L 2009. Molecular phylogeny of advanced snakes (Serpentes, Caenophidia) with an emphasis on South American Xenodontines: a revised classification and descriptions of new taxa. Pap. Avulsos Zool. (São Paulo) 49 (11): 115-153 - get paper here
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