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Crocodylus acutus (CUVIER, 1807)

IUCN Red List - Crocodylus acutus - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaCrocodylidae (Crocodylia, crocodiles) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: American crocodile
G: Spitzkrokodil 
SynonymCrocodilus acutus CUVIER 1807: 55
Lacerta Hispaniolica SHAW & NODDER 1806: plate 722
Crocodilus acutus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1836: 119
Crocodilus pacificus — DUMÉRIL & BOCOURT 1870 (fide GÜNTHER 1885: 20)
Crocodilus americanus var. acutus — GÜNTHER 1885: 20
Crocodilus americanus — BARBOUR 1910: 301
Crocodylus acutus acutus — MERTENS 1952: 37
Crocodylus acutus — KING & BURKE 1989
Crocodylus acutus — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 667
Crocodylus acutus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 38
Crocodylus acutus — LEE 2000: 132 
DistributionUSA (S Florida), Mexico (Chiapas, CAmpeche ,Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Chiapas)
Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama,
Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Hispaniola, Jamaica,
Margarita, Martinique, Trinidad,
Colombia, Peru, Venezuela

Type locality: "La grande ile de Saint-Domingue, Antilles, Amerique" (=Hispaniola; most probably the French portion which today is Haiti); restricted to "Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata," by Smith and Taylor (1950: 364); and further restricted to "L'Etang, Saumatre, Haiti," by Schmidt (1953: 111). 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.
 
TypesSyntypes: MNHN 
CommentNomenclature: In revising earlier works on crocodiles, Cuvier (1807) showed that plate 106, fig. 1, of Seba (1734) was too inaccurate to be identified. Because its description was based solely on Seba's plate 106, fig. 1, Stejneger (1933: 118) stated that Crocodylus americanus Laurenti 1768 was unavailable. Stejneger and Barbour (1917: 41); Stejneger (1917); Mook and Mook (1940) and most later authors used acutus Cuvier 1807 in combination with Laurenti's spelling of Crocodylus. Smith and Smith (1977) reviewed the nomenclature and fixed Crocodylus americanus Laurenti 1768: 54, as a junior synonym of Lacerta crocodilus Linnaeus 1758 (after Burke & King 1989).

Similar species: C. moreletii

Phylogeny: This and other New World crocodiles are closely related to African C. niloticus, indicating a recent (Miocine or Pliocene) cross-Atlantic dispersal (MEREDITH et la. 2011).

Distribution: Reports of C. acutus from Paraguay are probably erroneous since there are no other records south of the Orinoco River delta in Venezula (SCOTT et al. 1990).

Hybridization: Akkaraju et al (1996) and Weaver et al. (2008) present evidence for hybridization of C. acutus with C. rhombifer. Rodriguez (2007) presented genetic evidence for hybridization between Crocodylus acutus and C. moreletii.

Reproduction: oviparous. 
EtymologyEtymology: Named after Latin “acuere” = sharp, or “acutus” = sharpened, pointed, or “acumen” = tip, or “acus” = needle. 
References
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