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Chironius diamantina FERNANDES & HAMDAN, 2014

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymChironius diamantina FERNANDES & HAMDAN 2014
Chironius flavolineatus — FREITAS & SILVA 2007: 182
Chironius flavolineatus — HAMDAN & LIRA_DA_SILVA 2012: 43 
DistributionBrazil (C Bahia)

Type locality: municipality of Morro do Chapéu (11° 33’ 9’’S, 41° 9’ 27’’W, about 1000 m elevation), oriental zone of Chapada Diamantina, state of Bahia, Brazil. Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. MZUFBA 1657, Adult female, collected in November 2005, no collector data.
Paratypes. All specimens from the state of Bahia, Brazil. Adult female, MZUFBA 2394, tail damaged, collected on March 13, 2013 by B. Hamdan, in the municipality of Palmeiras, village of Vale do Capão (12o 30’ 50’’S, 41o 34’ 39’’W, 1310 m asl), in an area of Campos Rupestres along the bank of the river of Cachoeira da Fumaça waterfall; adult male, AAGARDA 7191, collected on January 2013 by W. Pessoa, in the municipality of Palmeiras, village of Vale do Capão, in a tropical grassland environment near Cachoeira Águas Claras waterfall; adult male, UEFS 1519, no collector data, from the municipality of Palmeiras (12o 36’ 34’’S, 41o 30’ 24’’W, 1000 m asl); adult male, MZUSP 7804, tail damaged, and adult female, MZUSP 7805, both collected in 1980 by M. T. Rodrigues, in the municipality of Morro do Chapéu. All other specimens collected in the municipality of Rio de Contas (13o 26’ 30’’S, 41o 50’ 28’’W, about 1000 m asl), collection data from A.J.S. Argôlo. Adult male, MZUESC 2633, collected between 22 November 2001 and 26 June 2002, at Bittencourt farm; adult female, MZUESC 2102, tail damaged, collected between 26 May 2001 and 21 November 2001, at Brejo farm; adult male MZUESC 2642, tail damaged, adult female MZUESC 2643, adult female MZUESC 2644, tail damaged, and adult female MZUESC 2645, all four specimens collected between 22 November 2001 and 26 June 2002 at Brejo farm. 
CommentDistribution: see map in HAMDAN & FERNANDES 2015 (Fig. 6).

Diagnosis. Chironius diamantina can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of states of characters in preserved specimens: first third of body black or dark gray; vertebral stripe yellowish or creamish white, distinct from dorsals of nape and extending throughout almost the whole body length; head dorsum tan to brown, distinct from background color of first third of body; posterior temporal scales two to four; cloacal shield entire; six to ten rows of keeled dorsal scales at midbody; ventral scales with dark edges forming conspicuous transverse bars virtually throughout whole belly length; ventral surface of tail with conspicuous longitudinal dark stripes (in “zigzag”) in midventral portion of subcaudals; region of medial constriction of hemipenis slightly covered with spinules separating calyces of apex from spines below region of constriction; in lateral view, sulcus spermaticus positioned on convex face of hemipenis.

Comparisons. Chironius diamantina is distinguished from all currently recognized congeners, except C. flavolineatus, by having the combination of first third of body black or dark gray, vertebral stripe yellowish or creamish white extending from nape throughout almost the whole body length, and head dorsum tan to brown distinct from background color of first third of body. Additionally, C. diamantina differs from C. flavolineatus (character states in parentheses) by having posterior temporals two to four (vs. single posterior temporal); cloacal shield entire (vs. divided); six to ten (vs. maximum of four rows of keeled dorsal scales at midbody); ventral scales with dark edges forming conspicuous transverse bars virtually throughout whole belly length; conspicuous dark longitudinal stripes (in “zigzag”) in the midventral portion of subcaudals (vs. ventrals and subcaudals uniformly creamish white); region of medial constriction of hemipenis slightly covered with spinules separating calyces of apex from spines below region of constriction (vs. region of medial constriction indistinct); in lateral view, sulcus spermaticus positioned on convex face of hemipenis (vs. sulcus spermaticus positioned on concave face of hemipenis in lateral view). Refers to Table 1 for additional qualitative characters to distinguish C. diamantina and C. flavolineatus.

Similar species: Chironius flavolineatus, C. brazili 
EtymologyThe specific name, a noun in apposition, refers to the Chapada Diamantina, central region of the state of Bahia from where the new species was described. 
References
  • FERNANDES, DANIEL SILVA & BRENO HAMDAN 2014. A new species of Chironius Fitzinger, 1826 from the state of Bahia, Northeastern Brazil (Serpentes: Colubridae). Zootaxa 3881 (6): 563–575 - get paper here
  • Hamdan, B., Pereira, A.G., Loss-Oliveira, L., Rödder, D., Schrago, C.G. 2017. Evolutionary analysis of Chironius snakes unveils cryptic diversity and provides clues to diversification in the Neotropics Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • HAMDAN, BRENO & DANIEL S. FERNANDES 2015. Taxonomic revision of Chironius flavolineatus (Jan, 1863) with description of a new species (Serpentes: Colubridae) Zootaxa 4012 (1): 097–119 - get paper here
  • Medeiros-Magalhães, Felipe de; Daniel Orsi Laranjeiras, Taís Borges Costa, Flora Acuña Juncá, Daniel Oliveira Mesquita, David Lucas Röhr, Willianilson Pessoa da Silva, Gustavo Henrique Calazans Vieira, Adrian Antonio Garda 2015. Herpetofauna of protected areas in the Caatinga IV: Chapada Diamantina National Park, Bahia, Brazil Herpetology Notes 8: 243-261 - get paper here
 
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