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Crotalus armstrongi CAMPBELL, 1979

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mexican Dusky Rattlesnake
S: Chiauhcoatl de Armstrong 
SynonymCrotalus triseriatus armstrongi CAMPBELL 1979: 365
Crotalus triseriatus armstrongi — BEAMAN & HAYES 2008
Crotalus triseriatus armstrongi — MAYER-GOYENECHEA & GUAL-DIAZ 2014: 275
Crotalus armstrongi — BRYSON et al. 2014 
DistributionMexico (Jalisco, Nayarit)

Type locality: "Rancho San Francisco, 1.5 mi NW Tapalpa, Jalisco, Mexico, elevation 2103 m."  
TypesHolotype: UTA R6258 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Crotalus triseriatus armstrongi can be distinguished by its pale gray, reddish brown, brownish yellow, or yellowish green ground color from C. t. triseriatus which has a dark gray or dark grayish brown dorsum. In C. t. armstrongi the body blotches tend to be as wide orwider than long while in C. t. triseriatus the blotches are usualIy Ionger than wide. Crotalus t. armstrongi further differs from C. t. triseriatus in that males (N=3) generally have fewer ventrals and subcaudals, 130-138 (134.3) and 24-26 (25.3), respectively, as compared to 136-151 (144.0) and 26-34 (29.2), respectively. Crotalus t. armstrongi can be distinguished from C. t. aquilus by having a distinct postocular stripe, a proportionally smaller rattle, and in males possessing fewer ventrals (the number usually exceeding 145 in C. t. aqutlus). Crotalus t. armstrongi females (N= 6) generally have fewer ventrals, 138-146 (142.0), and more subcaudals, 22-25 (23.5) than female C. t. aquilus which have 143-160 (151.7) ventrals and 17-23 (20.4) subcaudals. The only other rattlesnake with which C. t. armstrongi may be confused is C. pusillus, but it may be easily distinguished from this form by its having fewer ventrals and subcaudals,fewer pterygoid teeth, and canthals that fall to make contact with each other (Campbell 1979: 366). 

Nomenclature: Hoser’s 2009 classification and nomenclature has been rejected as unnecessary and unavailable by WÜSTER & BERNILS 2011.

Synonymy: Listed as a synonym of Crotalus triseriatus by WALLACH et al. 2014: 197.

Conservation: one of the 30 most endangered viper species (Maritz et al. 2016).

Distribution: see map in Blair et al. 2018: 352 (Fig. 1) 
EtymologyNamed after Barry L. Armstrong, a field companion of Jonathan Campbell. 
  • Beaman, K.R. & Hayes, W.K. 2008. Rattlesnakes: Research Trends and Annotated Checklist. In: Hayes et al. (eds), The biology of rattlesnakes. Loma Linda University Press, pp. 5-16
  • Blair C, Bryson RW Jr, Linkem CW, Lazcano D, Klicka J, McCormack JE. 2018. Cryptic diversity in the Mexican highlands: Thousands of UCE loci help illuminate phylogenetic relationships, species limits and divergence times of montane rattlesnakes (Viperidae: Crotalus). Molecular Ecology Resources 19: 349–365 [2019] - get paper here
  • BRYSON, ROBERT W.; JR., CHARLES W. LINKEM, MICHAEL E. DORCAS, AMY LATHROP, JASON M. JONES, JAVIER ALVARADO-DÍAZ, CHRISTOPH I. GRÜNWALD & ROBERT W. MURPHY 2014. Multilocus species delimitation in the Crotalus triseriatus species group (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae), with the description of two new species. Zootaxa 3826 (3): 475–496 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. 1979. A new rattlesnake (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae) from Jalisco, Mexico. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science, 81 (4): 365–370 - get paper here
  • Goyenechea Mayer-Goyenechea, Irene & Martha Gual-Díaz 2014. Reptilies en el Bosques mesófilos de Montaña de México. in: Gual-Diaz & Rendón-Correa, Bosques mesófilos de Montaña de México, CONABIO, pp. 263-278 - get paper here
  • Gual-Diaz, M. & Rendón-Correa, A. 2014. Bosques mesófilos de Montaña de México. CONABIO (Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad), México. 352 pp. - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Loc-Barragán JA, Smith GR, Woolrich-Piña GA, Lemos-Espinal JA 2024. An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Nayarit, Mexico with conservation status and comparison with adjoining States. Herpetozoa 37: 25-42 - get paper here
  • Maritz, Bryan; Johannes Penner, Marcio Martins, Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailović, Stephen Spear, Laura R.V. Alencar, Jesús Sigala-Rodriguez, Kevin Messenger, Rulon W. Clark, Pritpal Soorae, Luca Luiselli, Chris Jenkins, Harry W. Greene 2016. Identifying global priorities for the conservation of vipers. Biological Conservation, doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.004 - get paper here
  • Woolrich-Piña, Guillermo A, Paulino Ponce-Campos, Jesús Loc-Barragán, Juan Pablo Ramírez-Silva, Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson, Elí García-Padilla and Larry David Wilson. 2016. The herpetofauna of Nayarit, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (2): 376-448 - get paper here
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