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Chilabothrus chrysogaster (COPE, 1871)

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Higher TaxaBoidae (Boinae), Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesChilabothrus chrysogaster chrysogaster (COPE 1871)
Chilabothrus chrysogaster relicquus (BARBOUR & SHREVE 1935) 
Common NamesTurk's Island Boa, South Bahamian Boa; chrysogaster: Turks & Caicos boa;
relicquus: Great Inagua boa 
SynonymHomalochilus chrysogaster COPE 1871: 557
Epicrates striatus chrysogaster — STIMSON 1969
Epicrates chrysogaster chrysogaster — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1988
Epicrates cenchria chrysogaster — BULIAN & PHILIPPEN 1989
Epicrates chrysogaster — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 603
Epicrates chrysogaster — MATTISON 1995: 89
Epicrates chrysogaster — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 196
Epicrates chrysogaster — MATTISON 2007: 91
Chilabothrus chrysogaster — REYNOLDS et al. 2013
Epicrates chrysogaster — WALLACH et al. 2014: 272
Chilabothrus chrysogaster — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 10

Chilabothrus chrysogaster relicquus (BARBOUR & SHREVE 1935)
Epicrates relicquus BARBOUR & SHREVE 1935: 362
Epicrates chrysogaster relicquus — SHEPLAN & SCHWARTZ 1974: 93
Epicrates chrysogaster relicquus — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1988
Chilabothrus chrysogaster relicquus — REYNOLDS & HENDERSON 2018: 10 
DistributionBahamas, Turks I [HR 31: 255], Caicos I [HR 31: 255]

chrysogaster: Turks and Caicos Is. Type locality: "Turk's Island," perhaps meaning Grand Turk Island, Turks Islands, although the species has not been reported or collected there subsequently.

relicquus: Bahama Is.: Great Inagua and Sheep Cay. Type locality: Sheep Cay off the northwest coast of Great Inagua Island, Bahama Islands.  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 10322.
Holotype: MCZ 37891, adult male (also given as 38791) [relicquus] 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Maximum SVL 1310 mm; dorsal scale rows on neck 33-37; midbody dorsal scale rows 39-47; ventrals 245-275 in males, 249-277 in females; subcaudals 79-88 in males, 74-95 in females; ventrals + subcaudals 320-363 in males, 327-372 in females; head scale formula 3-2-3. Dorsal pattern extremely variable, from a series of 30-79 angulate dorsal blotches (often very reduced) to 4 gray, longitudinal stripes; tail blotches, when present, about 6-33(Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 603). 
CommentFor illustrations see Schwartz and Henderson, 1985; Mehrtens, 1987; Tolson, 1987.

Subspecies: Chilabothrus chrysogaster schwartzi (BUDEN 1975) has been elevated to full species status.

Diagnosis (relicquus): Barbour & Shreve 1935: 362. 
  • Barbour, T. 1916. Additional notes on West Indian reptiles and amphibians. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 29: 215-220. - get paper here
  • Barbour, T. and B. Shreve. 1935. Concerning some Bahamian reptiles, with notes on the fauna. Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 40: 347-365.
  • Buden, D.W. 1975. Notes on Epicrates chrysogaster (Serpentes: Boidae) of the southem Bahamas, with the description of a new subspecies. Herpetologica 31 (2):167-177. - get paper here
  • Bulian, J. 1995. Probleme und Erfolge bei der Haltung und Zucht von Epicrates chrysogaster chrysogaster Cope, 1871. Sauria 17 (4): 3-10 - get paper here
  • Bulian, J. & Philippen, H.D. 1989. F2-Zucht von Epicrates c. chrysogaster COPE 1871 (Bahama-Schlankboa) nebst Bemerkungen zu einer spontan aufgetretenen Farbaberration. Herpetofauna 11 (59): 27-31
  • Cope, E.D. 1871. Eighth contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 11: 553-559. [1870] - get paper here
  • Mattison, Chris 1995. The Encyclopedia of Snakes. New York: Facts on File, 256 pp.
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Mehrtens, J.M. 1987. Living snakes of the world in color. Sterling Publ. Co., hic., New York, NY: 480 pp.
  • Niemiller ML. 2010. Epicrates chrysogaster (Southern Bahamas Boa). Distribution. Caribbean Herpetology 14: 1 - get paper here
  • REYNOLDS, R. G., G. COLOSIMO, K. PEEK, A. VANERELLI, K. BRADLEY, AND G. P. GERBER 2020. Chilabothrus chrysogaster chrysogaster (Turks Island Boa). Diet. Herpetological Review 51: 610-611.
  • Reynolds, R. Graham and B. Naqqi Manco. 2013. Chilabothrus (=Epicrates) chrysogaster chrysogaster (Turks Island boa) climbing behavior. Herpetological Review 44 (4): 690-691 - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham and Glenn P. Gerber 2012. Ecology and Conservation of the Turks Island Boa (Epicrates chrysogaster chrysogaster: Squamata: Boidae) on Big Ambergris Cay. Journal of Herpetology 46 (4): 578-586. - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham and Robert W. Henderson 2018. Boas of the World (Superfamily Booidae): A Checklist With Systematic, Taxonomic, and Conservation Assessments. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology Sep 2018, Vol. 162, No. 1: 1-58. - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham. 2012. Epicrates chrysogaster. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (898): 1-5 - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham; Alberto R. Puente-Rolón, Anthony J. Geneva, Kevin J. Aviles-Rodriguez, and Nicholas C. Herrmann 2016. Discovery of a Remarkable New Boa from the Conception Island Bank, Bahamas. Breviora 549 (1): 1-19 - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham; Alberto R. Puente-Rolón; Joseph P. Burgess and Brian O. Baker 2018. Rediscovery and a Redescription of the Crooked-Acklins Boa, Chilabothrus schwartzi (Buden, 1975), Comb. Nov. Breviora 558: 1-16 - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham; Glenn P. Gerber, and Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick 2011. Unexpected Shallow Genetic Divergence in Turks Island Boas (Epicrates c. chrysogaster) Reveals Single Evolutionarily Significant Unit for Conservation. Herpetologica Dec 2011, Vol. 67, No. 4: 477-486. - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R. Graham; Glenn P. Gerber, Joseph P. Burgess, George H. Waters & B. Naqqi Manco 2020. Characterization of Color Pattern Dimorphism in Turks and Caicos Boas, Chilabothrus chrysogaster chrysogaster, on Big Ambergris Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands. Journal of Herpetology 54 (3): 337-346 - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R.G., Burgess, J., Waters, G. & Gerber, G.P. 2017. Chilabothrus chrysogaster chrysogaster (Turks Island Boa) Diet. Herpetological Review 48 (4): 857 - get paper here
  • Reynolds, R.G.; Matthew L. Niemiller; S. Blair Hedges; Alex Dornburg; Alberto R. Puente-Rolón; Liam J. Revell 2013. Molecular phylogeny and historical biogeography of West Indian boid snakes (Chilabothrus). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Dieter 2010. Vermehrung und Zucht von Riesenschlangen. Draco 11 (44): 4-17 - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1988. West Indian Amphibian and Reptiles: A Checklist. Milwaukee Publ. Mus. Contr. Biol. Geol. No. 74: 264 pp. - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Schwartz, A. and Henderson, R.W. 1985. A guide to the identification of the amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies exclusive of Hispaniola. Milwaukee Public Mus., 165 pp.
  • Tolson & Henderson,R.W. 1993. The natural history of West Indian Boas. R & A Publishing Ltd., Somerset, England.
  • Tolson, P.J. 1987. Phylogenetics of the boid snake genus Epicrates and Caribbean vicariance theory. Occ. Pap. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan (715): 1-68. - 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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