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Chionactis annulata (BAIRD, 1859)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesChionactis annulata annulata (BAIRD 1859)
Chionactis annulata klauberi (STICKEL 1941) 
Common NamesColorado Desert Shovelnose Snake
klauberi: Tucson Shovelnose Snake 
SynonymLamprosoma annulatum BAIRD 1859
Chionactis occipitalis annulata — CROTHER 2000: 58
Chionactis occipitalis saxatilis FUNK 1967
Chionactis occipitalis annulata — CROTHER 2000: 58
Chionactis occipitalis annulata — CROTHER et al. 2012
Chionactis annulata annulata — WOOD et al. 2014

Chionactis annulata klauberi (STICKEL 1941)
Sonora occipitalis klauberi STICKEL 1941
Chionactis occipitalis klauberi — CROTHER 2000: 58
Chionactis occipitalis klauberi — CROTHER et al. 2012
Chionactis annulata klauberi — WOOD et al. 2014 
DistributionSE California, Arizona, Baja California; Terra typica: “Colorado desert”, restricted to Holtville, Imperial County, California by SMITH & TAYLOR 1950.

klauberi: SC Arizona (Sonoran Desert); Type locality: "Tucson, Pima County. Arizona” Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproduction 
TypesSyntypes: USNM 2105a and 2105b
Holotype: SDSNH 29647, adult male; paratype SDSNH 17115 [klauberi] 
CommentSynonymy: mostly after Mahrdt et al. 2001. WALLACH et al. 2014: 160 listed this species as a synonym of Chionactis occipitalis.

Subspecies: Wood et al. (2008) concluded that “Neither molecular nor morphological data are concordant with the traditional C. occipitalis subspecies taxonomy. Mitochondrial sequences suggest specimens recognized as C. o. klauberi are embedded in a larger geographic clade whose range has expanded from western Arizona populations, and these data are concordant with clinal longitudinal variation in morphology.” Consequently, the subspecies of C. occipitalis should be rejected.
The subspecies are distinguished partly by ventral scale counts and number of dark bands encircling the body, but the most striking variation is in pattern and coloration of secondary bands (Stickel 1941; Klauber 1951).

Klauber considered the composite character ‘‘number of dark bands on the body plus unmarked anterior band positions on the ventrum’’ to be the most important numerical character distinguishing C. o. annulata from C. o. occipitalis and arbitrarily assigned a threshold that defined C. o. annulata as having ‘‘usually fewer than 45’’. He further observed that about 20% of C. o. occipitalis specimens fell below this criterion and about 10% of C. o. annulata specimens have 45 or more. 
EtymologyThe name occipitalis is derived from the Latin occipit meaning the back of the head, in reference to "the occipital crescent blotch" (Baird 1859a). 
References
  • Baird, S.F. 1859. Reptiles of the Boundary. In: United States and Mexican Boundary Survey under the Order of Lieut. Col. W. H. Emory, Major First Cavalry, and United States Commisioner. 2, Rept., Pt.2. Department of the Interior, Washington, 35 pp. - get paper here
  • Banta, Benjamin H. 1953. Some herpetological notes from southern Nevada. Herpetologica 9: 75-76 - get paper here
  • Barts, M. 2009. Chionactis occipitalis annulata (BAIRD). Sauria 31 (4): 2 - get paper here
  • Bezy, R. L., P. C. Rosen, T. R. Van Devender, and E. F. Enderson. 2017. Southern distributional limits of the Sonoran Desert herpetofauna along the mainland coast of northwestern Mexico. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(1): 138–167 - get paper here
  • Collins J T 1997. Standard Common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles, 2nd edition. Herpetological Circular 25: 1-40
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Friedrich, U. 2007. Lebendfutter für Amphibien und Reptilien - Geschichte und Grundlagen. Draco 7 (28): 4-21 [2006] [Sonderheft Lebendfutter] - get paper here
  • Funk, Richard S. 1967. A New Colubrid Snake of the Genus Chionactis from Arizona. Southwestern Naturalist 12 (2): 180 - get paper here
  • Goode, Matthew J.;Schuett, Gordon W. 1994. Male combat in the western shovelnose snake (Chionactis occipitalis). Herpetological Natural History 2 (1): 115-117
  • Hallowell,E. 1854. Description of new reptiles from California. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. 7 [1854]: 91-97 - get paper here
  • Klauber, Laurence M. 1951. The shovel-nosed snake, Chionactis with descriptions of two new subspecies. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 11 (9): 141-204 - get paper here
  • Kunz, K. 2006. Zerteilen von Beute bei Schlangen. Reptilia (Münster) 11 (59): 6-7 - get paper here
  • Kunz, K. 2012. Kleine Tiere, kleine Terarrien, großer Anspruch: Nano-Terraristik!. Reptilia (Münster) 17 (97): 22-31 - get paper here
  • Mahrdt, Clark R., Kent R. Beaman, Philip C. Rosen and Peter A. Holm 2001. Chionactis occipitalis (Hallowell) Western Shovel-nosed Snake. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (731): 1-12 - get paper here
  • Mahrdt, Clark R., Kent R. Beaman, Philip C. Rosen and Peter A. Holm 2001. Chionactis Cope Shovel-nosed Snakes. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (730): 1-6 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, D. & Kunz, K. 2005. Ernährung von Schlangen. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 159 pp. - get paper here
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Stickel, William H. 1938. The snakes of the genus Sonora in the United States and Lower California. Copeia 1938 (4): 182-190 - get paper here
  • Stickel, William H. 1941. The subspecies of the spade-nosed snake, Sonora occipitalis. Bull. Chicago Acad. Sci. 6: 135-140
  • Stickel,W.H. 1943. The Mexican snakes of the genera Sonora and Chionactis with notes on the status of other colubrid genera. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 56: 109-128 - get paper here
  • Werning, Heiko 2012. Die Reptilien und Amphibien des Südwestens. Draco 13 (50): 18-60 - get paper here
  • Wood DA, Fisher RN, Vandergast AG 2014. Fuzzy Boundaries: Color and Gene Flow Patterns among Parapatric Lineages of the Western Shovel-Nosed Snake and Taxonomic Implication. PLoS ONE 9(5): e97494. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097494 - get paper here
  • Wood, D.A.; Meik, J.M.; Holycross, A.T.; Fisher, R.N. & Vandergast, A.G. 2008. Molecular and phenotypic diversity in Chionactis occipitalis (Western Shovel-nosed Snake), with emphasis on the status of C. o. klauberi (Tucson Shovel-nosed Snake). Conservation Genetics 9:1489–1507
 
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