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Coniophanes fissidens (GÜNTHER, 1858)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesConiophanes fissidens convergens SHANNON & SMITH 1949
Coniophanes fissidens dispersus SMITH 1941
Coniophanes fissidens fissidens (GÜNTHER 1858)
Coniophanes fissidens proterops (COPE 1860)
Coniophanes fissidens punctigularis (COPE 1860) 
Common NamesE: Yellowbelly Snake
S: Panza Amarilla
E: Eduardo’s forest snake [eduardoi]
S: Hojarasquera de Eduardo [eduardoi] 
SynonymCoronella fissidens GÜNTHER 1858: 36
Coniophanes fissidens — COPE 1860: 248
Tachymenis fissidens — GARMAN 1884: 62
Erythrolamprus fissidens — ANDERSSON 1901: 23
Coniophanes fissidens obsoletus MINTON et al. 1960
Coniophanes fissidens — VILLA et al. 1988
Coniophanes fissidens — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 67
Coniophanes fissidens — LINER 1994
Coniophanes fissidens — SAVAGE 2002
Coniophanes fissidens — MATA-SILVA et al. 2015
Coniophanes fissidens — WALLACH et al. 2014: 176
Rhadinaea eduardoi MATA-SILVA et al. 2019
Coniophanes fissidens — SUNYER & MARTÍNEZ-FONSECA 2023

Coniophanes fissidens convergens SHANNON & SMITH 1949
Coniophanes fissidens convergens — LINER 2007

Coniophanes fissidens dispersus SMITH 1941
Coniophanes fissidens dispersus SMITH 1941: 106
Coniophanes fissidens dispersus — LINER 2007

Coniophanes fissidens fissidens (GÜNTHER 1858)
Coronella fissidens GÜNTHER 1858: 36
Coniophanes fissidens fissidens — BAILEY 1939: 14
Coniophanes fissidens fissidens — LINER 2007

Coniophanes fissidens proterops (COPE 1860)
C[oniophanes] proterops COPE 1860: 249
Tachymenis proterops — GARMAN 1884: 62
Coniphanes fissidens proterops — TAYLOR 1949: 210
Coniophanes fissidens proterops — LINER 2007

Coniophanes fissidens punctigularis (COPE 1860)
Coniophanes punctigularis COPE 1860: 248
Dromicus chitalonensis MÜLLER 1878: 407
Coniophanes punctigularis — MÜLLER 1880
Coniophanes fissidens punctigularis — SMITH 1941: 107
Coniophanes fissidens punctigularis — MERTENS 1952: 60
Coniophanes fissidens punctigularis — LIVEZEY & PECKHAM 1953
Coniophanes fissidens punctigularis — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 67
Coniophanes fissidens punctigularis — LINER 2007 
DistributionMexico (Veracruz, Puebla, Chiapas, Quéretaro, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Hidalgo, Oaxaca), Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, NW Ecuador, Peru, Colombia [Castro,F. (pers. comm.)]; elevation (Honduras): 800-990 m

convergens: Mexico (Veracruz); Type locality: Mexico: 6 mi NW Tihuatlan, near Castillo de Teayo, Veracruz; W.L. Burger; April 20, 1949.

dispersus: Mexico (Guerrero, Michoacan, probably south to Oaxaca); Type locality: El Limoncito, Guerrero.

eduardoi (invalid): Mexico (Oaxaca); Type locality: Mexico, Oaxaca, municipality of Santa Catarina Juquila, El Obispo, 1,320 m (UTM 681141.99, 1789988.05 [= 16.183573, -97.305614, datum WGS 84]

fissidens: Type locality: “Mexico”.

obsoletus (invalid): Costa Rica; Type locality: Costa Rica: 1 mi E Volcan de Buenos Aires, Puntarenas; Sherman A. Minton, Jr.; July 22, 1957.

proterops: Mexico (Veracruz); Type locality: vicinity of Jalapa, Veracruz.

punctigularis: Mexico (Chiapas, isthmus of Tehuantepec), Guatemala, to Honduras; Type locality: Honduras.  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.9.61; BMNH 1946.1.3.2-3 (Coniophanes fissidens proterops - Two of the types of C. fissidens)
Holotype: ANSP 3742 [punctigularis]
Holotype: INHS (= UIMNH) 3821 [convergens]
Holotype: INHS (= UIMNH) 46573 [obsoletus]
Holotype: USNM 5285 [proterops]
Holotype: FMNH 100130 [dispersus]
Holotype. CH-CIB 5457 (given as CIB = Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas at the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Mexico, original field number VMS-2029), a subadult male, collected by Eduardo Mata-Silva on 6 June 2018 at 1800 hrs (Fig. 1) [eduardoi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Small to medium-sized xenodontine snakes; body moderate with proportionate tail; head distinct from neck. Dorsal scales smooth, without pits, in 17 to 25 rows reducing one to four times by the loss of the paravertebral rows (rarely the last reduction, third or fourth, takes place by loss of the third lateral rows). Anal and subcaudals divided. Head scales normal in number and arrangement; nasal divided or semidivided; 1 or 2 pre- and 2 postoculars; temporals 1-2; upper labials 7 or 8 (rarely 9). Pupil of eye round. Maxillary teeth 8 to 15, subequal, followed by a gap and 1 or 2 moderately enlarged grooved fangs; mandibular and palatine teeth subequal. The generalized color pattern consists of a dark middorsal stripe and a dark lateral stripe on either side on a grayish brown ground. Various modifications occur. A light stripe through the upper labials is present, and there is usually at least a faint trace of a light temporal stripe through the top of the eye. (Hemipenes described subsequently) (from Bailey 1939: 4). 
CommentRelative abundance in Honduras: infrequent

Distribution: this species has been reported from Peru, but without specific locality (T. Doan, pers. comm. 30 Apr 2012). Not in Yucatan state (Mexico), fide Gonzalez-Sanchez et al. 2017. Not in Nayarit fide WOOLRICH-PIÑA et al. 2016 (who only report C. lateritius).

Type species: Coronella fissidens GÜNTHER 1858 is the type species of the genus Coniophanes HALLOWELL in COPE 1860: 248.

Synonymy: Bailey 1937 pointed out that the type of proterops is “a specimen of fissidens” without formally synonymizing the two. Palacios-Aguilar & García-Vázquez 2020 synonymized Rhadinaea eduardoi MATA-SILVA et al. 2019 with C. fissidens. Kaiser et al. 2013 rejected the subgeneric names Cottonserpens Hoser 2012, Daraninserpens Hoser 2012, Laidlawserpens Hoser 2012, Smythserpens Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected their use instead of Coniophanes.

Key: Myers 1969 has a key to the “southern” species of Coniophanes (bipunctatus, fissifens, piceivittis, joanae, and dromiciformis) 
EtymologyThe generic name is derived from the Greek words konio, meaning "dust" and phano, meaning "appearance." The specific name is derived from the Latin words fissus, a suffix denoting a division into two parts, and dens, meaning "tooth" (Lemos-Espinal & Dixon 2013).

Rhadinaea eduardoi was named in honor of Eduardo Mata-Silva, collector of the holotype. Eduardo is the younger brother of the senior author of the paper, is a resident of Río Grande, Oaxaca, and was a highly valued member of the field crew working in Oaxaca. He also outshined the rest of the crew when it came to finding snakes, as evidenced by his discovery of the holotype of the snake. 
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