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Conopsis nasus (GÜNTHER, 1858)

IUCN Red List - Conopsis nasus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesConopsis nasus nasus GÜNTHER 1858
Conopsis nasus labialis TANNER 1961 
Common NamesLargenose Earth Snake 
SynonymConophis nasus GÜNTHER 1858: 6
Oxyrhina (Exorhina) maculata JAN 1862 :54
Oxyrhina maculata anomala DUGÈS 1869:144
Conophis nasus — COPE 1879: 265
Conopsis maculatus COPE 1884:162
Ficimia nasus — GARMAN 1884: 83
Ficimia maculata — GARMAN 1884: 84
Contia nasus BOULENGER 1894: 268–269
Conopsis [nasus nasus] CUESTA TERRÓN 1930:176
Conopsis nasus heliae CUESTA TERRÓN 1930:175–176
Conopsis nasus labialis TANNER 1961:15 (fide GOYENECHEA & FLORES-VILLELA 2006
Gyalopion atavus LEVITON & BANTA 1961:2
Conopsis nasus — LINER 1994
Conopsis nasus — GOYENECHEA & FLORES-VILLELA 2006
Conopsis nasus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 181

Conopsis nasus labialis TANNER 1961
Conopsis nasus labialis TANNER 1961: 13
Conopsis nasus labialis TANNER 1985: 628 
DistributionMexico (Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Aguascalientes, Distrito Federal, Durango, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Estado de Mexico, Michoacan, Morelos, Puebla, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Tlaxcala, Veracruz and Zacatecas), elevation 1515 to 2950 m.

labialis: Chihuahua (see comment)

Type locality: Milpas Durango (of neotype); see comment 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.
 
Reproductionviviparous. 
TypesHolotype: BMNH (lost); BMNH 83.4.16.38 
CommentType species: Conophis nasus GÜNTHER 1858 is the type species of the genus Conopsis.

The phylogenetic analysis (Goyenechea & Flores in prep.) suggests that Chionactis and Gyalopion may be the sister groups to Conopsis.

Chionactis differs from Conopsis in having a shovel-shaped snout with a deeply inserted lower jaw, genial shields separated by more than two scales, and 15 rows of scales at midbody.

Gyalopion differs from Conopsis in having a pentagonal frontal scale, the rostral upturned, dividing the internasals and prefrontals and contacting the frontal, and nasal partially fused with first upper labial.

The type locality of Conopsis nasus is “California”.

Diagnosis (of genus): The genus Conopsis is comprised of viviparous snake species with burrowing habits. These snakes are relatively small, adults of all species ranging from 100 to 330 mm in snout-vent length SVL; and from 120 to 377 mm in total length TL; body subcylindrical; head short; snout pointed; pupil round; 17 rows of smooth scales at midbody; anal and caudal scales divided; 12 to 14 conic maxillary teeth, with a distinctive groove at least on the last tooth; two internasal scales; a preocular; two postoculars; a rostral ended in a tip; nasal scale pierced by the nostril; frontal scale hexagonal; temporal formula 1+2; 2.5 to 3 upper labials before eye; hemipenes subcylindrical, with reticulate ornamentation, and several large spines at the base. Prefrontals and internasals may be fused or divided; loreals may or may not be present (20% of sample examined); genial shields divided by a scale in 90% of specimens, but may be fused or divided by two scales. Upper labials 7, in 90% of the specimens (they vary from 5 to 7); lower labials 6 in 80% of the specimens (varying from 4 to 7). Ventral scales 120–127; subcaudals 29–39. Coloration and body markings vary considerably, both dorsal and ventral patterns. Dorsal pattern consists of dark spots, blotches or bands on a variable ground color, that goes from light brown, cinnamon, grayish, and olive green tones. Dorsal spots may be constituted from a series of hexagonal to elongated marks, a tessellated pattern, or lines along the body. Some snakes have no dorsal pattern of spots. There is less variation ventrally, generally the belly is yellowish, although it may be reddish or grayish. Ventral spots may be present in a series of central dots, large or small, medial, intercalated or paired, some acuta with black edged ventre.

Diagnosis: This snake is characterized by the following combination of characters: fused prefrontals and internasals; upper labials 7, 6 lower labials (some populations with reduced number of these scales); light cinnamon dorsal coloration; with a vertebral line of hexagonal spots that may be bordered by two paravertebral rows of spots. Ventrally it is yellowish, with intercalated black dots. It differs from C. megalodon, the only species with which it could be mistaken, by the light cinnamon dorsal coloration, its larger body size (SVL: 100–320 mm in C. nasus and 107–250 mm in C. megalodon), and by its distributional range in the Mesa Central, which does not overlap with C. megalodon.

Diet: invertebrates 
EtymologyThe name Conopsis was derived from the Greek words cono, meaning "cone" and -opsis, meaning "having the appearance of," in reference to the conical shape of the snout.
The specific name is derived from the Latin word nasus, meaning "nose." 
References
  • Casas-Andreu, G., F.R. Méndez-De la Cruz and X. Aguilar-Miguel. 2004. Anfibios y Reptiles; pp. 375–390, in A.J.M. García-Mendoza, J. Ordoñez and M. Briones-Salas (ed.). Biodiversidad de Oaxaca. Instituto de Biología, UNAM-Fondo Oaxaqueño para la Conservación de la Naturaleza-World Wildlife Fund, México, D. F.
  • Dixon, James R. and Julio A. Lemos-Espinal 2010. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Queretaro, Mexico. Tlalnepantla UNAM, 428 pp.
  • Dunn, Emmett Reid 1936. The amphibians and reptiles of the Mexican Expedition of 1934. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 88: 471-477 - get paper here
  • Garman,Samuel 1884. The reptiles and batrachians of North America. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 8 (3): xxxiv + 185 pp. [1883] [CNAH reprint 10] - get paper here
  • Goyenechea, Irene & Flores-Villela, Oscar 2002. Taxonomic status of the snake genera Conopsis and Toluca (Colubridae). Journal of Herpetology 36 (1): 92-95 - get paper here
  • GOYENECHEA, IRENE & OSCAR FLORES-VILLELA 2006. Taxonomic summary of Conopsis, Günther, 1858 (Serpentes: Colubridae). Zootaxa 1271: 1–27 - get paper here
  • Goyenechea, Irene; Flores-Villela, Oscar 2000. Designation of a Neotype for Conopsis nasus (Serpentes: Colubridae). Copeia 2000 (1): 285-287 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Johnson, R. M.;Liner, E. A. 1978. Conopsis nasus nasus (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae) in Chihuahua, Mexico. Journal of Herpetology 12 (1): 108-109 - get paper here
  • Kunz, Kriton 2015. Schlangen, die Wirbellose fressen Terraria-Elaphe 2015 (5): 14-20 - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A. and James R. Dixon 2013. Amphibians and Reptiles of San Luis Potosí. Eagle Mountain Publishing, xii + 300 pp.
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A., Geoffrey R. Smith 2015. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. Check List 11 (3): 1642 - get paper here
  • Leyte-Manrique, Adrian; Efrén M. Hernández Navarro y Luis A. Escobedo-Morales 2015. Herpetofauna de Guanajuato: Un análisis histórico y contemporáneo de su conocimiento Revista Mexicana de Herpetología 1(1): 1–14 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Jerry D. Johnson, Larry David Wilson and Elí García-Padilla. 2015. The herpetofauna of Oaxaca, Mexico: composition, physiographic distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (1): 6–62 - get paper here
  • McCranie, J.R. & Wilson, L.D. 2001. The herpetofauna of the Mexican State of Aguascalientes. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg 230: 1-57
  • Raya-García, E., et al. 2017. Conopsis nasus (Large-nosed Earthsnake) Defensive behavior. Herpetological Review 48 (2): 377
  • Raya-García, E., et al. 2017. Conopsis biserialis and C. nasus (Mexican Earthsnakes) probing. Herpetological Review 48 (2): 376-377
  • Raya-García, E., J. Alvarado-Díaz & I. Suazo-Ortuño 2016. Litter size and relative clutch mass of the earthsnakes Conopsis biserialis and C. nasus (Serpentes: Colubridae) from the central Mexican Transvolcanic Axis. Salamandra 52 (2): 217-220 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl P.;Shannon, Frederick A. 1947. Notes on amphibians and reptiles of Michoacan, Mexico. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 31 (9): 63-85
  • Smith, Hobart M. 1939. Notes on Mexican reptiles and amphibians. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 24 (4): 15-35 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1961. A new subspecies of Conopsis nasus from Chihuahua, Mexico. Herpetologica 17 (1): 13-18 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1985. Snakes of Western Chihuahua. Great Basin Naturalist 45 (4): 615-676 - get paper here
  • Valdez-Lares, R.; R. Muñiz-Martínez; E.Gadsden; G. Aguirre-León; G. Castañeda-Gaytán; R. Gonzalez-Trápaga 2013. Checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the state of Durango, México. Check List 9 (4):714-724 - get paper here
  • Vázquez Díaz, Joel;Quintero Díaz, Gustavo E. 2005. Anfibios y Reptiles de Aguascalientes [2nd ed.]. CONABIO, CIEMA, 318 pp.
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Webb, R.G. 1984. Herpetogeography in the Mazatlán-Durango Region of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico. Vetrebrate Ecology and Systematics - A ribute to Henry S. Fitch; Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas, Lawrence, pp. 217-241
  • Webb, Robert G.;Hensley, Max 1959. Notes on reptiles from the Mexican State of Durango. Publications of the Museum - Michigan State University, Biological Series 1 (6): 249-258
 
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