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Clelia clelia (DAUDIN, 1803)

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Higher TaxaDipsadidae, Colubroidea, Serpentes (snakes) 
SubspeciesClelia clelia clelia (DAUDIN, 1803)
Clelia clelia groomei GREER 1965
Clelia clelia immaculata SMITH 1942 (status unclear) 
Common NamesE: Mussurana
G: Mussurana
S: Culebra minadora, Lisa 
SynonymColuber clelia DAUDIN 1803: 330
Clelia Daudinii FITZINGER 1826 (nom. subst. for Coluber clelia DAUDIN)
Brachyruton cloelia — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1007
Brachyruton cloelia [sic] JAN 1870 (part.)
Oxyrhopus clelia — COPE 1878: 33
Oxyrhopus cloelia [sic] - BOULENGER 1886: 437
Oxyrhopus cloelia [sic] - BOULENGER (part.) 1896
Clelia cloelia — STEJNEGER 1913
Pseudoboa cloelia - SERIÉ 1921
Clelia clelia clelia - DUNN 1944
Clelia clelia groomei GREER 1965
Clelia clelia clelia — DUELLMAN 1978: 235
Clelia clelia clelia — GASC & RODRIGUES 1980
Clelia clelia — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 595
Clelia clelia clelia - CEI 1993
Clelia clelia — LINER 1994
Boiruna maculata — LEYNAUD & BUCHER 1999: 15
Clelia clelia clelia — GORZULA & SEÑARIS 1999
Boiruna maculata — DOS SANTOS-COSTA et al. 2000
Boiruna maculata — CAMPOS NOGUEIRA 2001
Clelia clelia clelia — BOOS 2001
Clelia clelia — SCOTT et al. 2006 
DistributionMexico (Yucatan), Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador,
Nicaragua ?, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama,
Colombia, French Guiana, Venezuela (Amazonas, Merida, Apure, [HR 32: 58]), NW Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, N Argentina (Mendoza, La Pampa, Entre Rios, Jujuy, Misiones), Brazil (Pará, Amazonas, Rio Grande do Sul ?), Peru (Pasco etc.),

Lesser Antilles: Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbuda (fossil only), Grenada, Trinidad; elevation (Honduras): 120 m

Clelia clelia clelia: Dominica; on the mainland from Central America south throughout much of tropical South America; Trinidad, Antigua,

Clelia clelia groomei (HOLOTYPE MCZ 79767): Grenada.

Type locality: Suriname. 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.
 
TypesHolotype: Unlocated. 
CommentSynonymy: Clelia occipitolutea has been synonymized with Clelia clelia clelia by Scrocci and Vinas (1990) and revalidated by Zaher (1996) who put it into the genus Boiruna. Clelia plumbea has been elevated to full species. Synonymy mostly following that of CEI 1993.

Subspecies: Clelia clelia immaculata is known from only two specimens,the type collected by Major and another from Paso del Rio, Colima (Smith, 1942). These are the only two records for the species in western Mexico. Elsewhere, it ranges from Veracruz and Oaxaca to South America [ZEIFEL 1959]. The subspecies is not listed by LINER (2007), so its current status is unclear to us.

Distribution: not on St. Lucia; the species on St. Lucia is Clelia errabunda.

Size: up to 2.5 m.

May be venomous (see SANTOS-COSTA et al. 2000).

Relative abundance in Honduras: rare

Diagnosis – A low number of ventrals distinguishes most C. clelia from the two other large species (B. maculata and C. plumbea), although there is overlap in ventral scale counts of females of C. clelia (maximum 218) and B. maculata (minimum 214; Appendix 4, Fig. 4). Like B. maculata, C. plumbea, and C. rustica, C. clelia usually has 7 supralabials on each side (Appendix 1). The loreal of C. clelia is usually larger than that of C. plumbea, contacting supralabials 2 and 3; in C. plumbea the loreal seldom contacts any but the second supralabial, or it may be indistinguishably fused with the postnasal or prefrontal (Appendix 3). The adult ventral color pattern can differentiate C. clelia and B. maculata. In C. clelia, the dark dorsal coloration is present at least on the lateral tips of the ventral scales. In some specimens, the dark color extends towards the midventral line along the free edge of the ventral scale, but the center of the scale is usually free of dark pigment. Exceptionally the entire free border of posterior ventrals may be pigmented, but the entire ventral is never completely dark-colored as in B. maculata. Giraudo (2002) discovered a color pattern detail that separates adult C. clelia and C. plumbea. Both species are dark gray or black dorsally, with largely ivory venters. However, in C. plumbea, the border between the dark dorsal color and the ivory venter forms a straight line on the lateral tips of the ventrals (Fig. 1, photograph in Giraudo, 2002). In C. clelia, this border is dentate, with the dark color extending further on the free margin of the ventral than it does on the base of the scale (Fig. 1; photograph in Kempff Mercado, 1975). Coloration in hatchling C. clelia and C. plumbea are similar. Both have uniformly red dorsal body scales, a black spot on the anterior dorsum, preceded by a white nape band and a black head cap (Fig. 10). Ventral surfaces are mostly white with some black pigment under the tail and on the chin. Hatchlings of B. maculata, C. bicolor and C. quimi may have red lateral scales, a white collar, and a dark head cap; but they also have a dark stripe the same color as the head cap down the center of the back. 
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