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Crotalus polystictus (COPE, 1865)

IUCN Red List - Crotalus polystictus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mexican Lancehead Rattlesnake
S: Hocico de Puerco 
SynonymCaudisona polysticta COPE 1865: 191
Crotalus polystictus COPE 1875
Crotalus ximenesii DUGÉS 1877 (fide COPE 1885: 179)
Crotalus Jimenezii DUGÉS 1877 (fide MCDIARMID et al. 1999: 291)
Crotalus polystictus — COPE 1885: 179
Crotalus polystictus — LINER 1994
Crotalus polystictus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 290
Crotalus polystictus — BEAMAN & HAYES 2008
Aechmophrys polystictus — HOSER 2009
Rattlewellsus polystictus — HOSER 2012 (preliminary)
Crotalus polystictus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 193 
DistributionC Mexico (from S Zacatecas and NE Colima to EC Veracruz, Aguascalientes, Morelos, Jalisco, Querétaro). Elevation: 1450-2600 m.

Type locality: "Table Land, Mexico." A proposed restriction to "Tupataro, Guanajuato, Mexico" was made by Smith and Taylor (1950:330). [However, type-locality restrictions other than those dealing with type- designations (i.e., lectotype or neotype) have no status under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.  
TypesHolotype: nondesignated, according to Klauber (1972:45), cited in McDiarmid et al. 1999.
Syntypes: MDUG (also as MADUG HE) 55, 356, USNM 24448, 26152 and 46508 [Crotalus Jimenezii] 

Distribution: Not in Durango fide Lemos-Espinal (2018).

Opinion 366 (ICZN, 1955, Opinions Decls. 11(16):231-244) validated the more generally used Cope name polystictus for this species and suppressed the older Jan name multimaculatus.

Nomenclature: Hoser’s 2009 classification and nomenclature has been rejected as unnecessary and unavailable by WÜSTER & BERNILS 2011. 
  • Bañuelos-Alamillo, Jorge A., Rubén Alonso Carbajal-Márquez and Miguel Angel Olvera-Rivera. 2016. Distribution Notes. Crotalus polystictus (Cope, 1865). Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (1): 207 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Bryson, R.W., Jr. & D. Hartman 2005. An additional observation of aquatic behavior in the Mexican lance-headed rattlesnake (Crotalus polystictus) Bull. Maryland Herpetol. Soc., 41(2): 51-52. - get paper here
  • Calzada-Arciniega, Rafael Alejandro, Rafael Barzalobre Geronimo, Ernesto Recuero and Gabriela Parra-Olea. 2016. Crotalus polystictus (Mexican Lance-headed Rattlesnake) Diet. Herpetological Review 47 (2): 310 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • Carbajal-Márquez, Rubén A. and Gustavo E. Quintero-Díaz 2016. The Herpetofauna of Aguascalientes, México. Revista Mexicana de Herpetología 2(1):
  • Carbajal-Márquez, Rubén Alonso and Gustavo E. Quintero-Díaz. 2016. Crotalus polystictus. Diet. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (3): 741–742 - get paper here
  • Castro-Franco, Rubén, María Guasalupe Bustos-Zagal 1994. List of reptiles of Morelos, Mexico, and their distribution in relation to vegetation types. Southwestern Naturalist 39 (2): 171-175 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1866. Third contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 17: 185-198 [1865] - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1885. Twelfth contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 22: 167-194 [1884] - get paper here
  • Cruz-Elizalde R, Ramírez-Bautista A, Pineda-López R, Mata-Silva V, DeSantis DL, García-Padilla E, Johnson JD, Rocha A, Fucsko LA, Wilson LD. 2022. The herpetofauna of Querétaro, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 16(1) [General Section]: 148–192 (e308) - get paper here
  • Cruz-Sáenz, D., F. J. Muñoz-Nolasco, V. Mata-Silva, J. D. Johnson, E. García-Padilla, and L. D. Wilson. 2017. The herpetofauna of Jalisco, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(1): 23–118 - get paper here
  • Dugès, A. 1877. Apuntes para la monografía de los crótalos de México. La Naturaleza, 4: 1–29 - get paper here
  • FLORES-VILLELA, OSCAR; CÉSAR A. RÍOS-MUÑOZ, GLORIA E. MAGAÑA-COTA & NÉSTOR L. QUEZADAS-TAPIA 2016. Alfredo Dugès’ type specimens of amphibians and reptiles revisited. Zootaxa 4092 (1): 033–054 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Hoser, R. 2009. A reclassification of the rattlesnakes; species formerly exclusively referred to the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus. Australasian J. Herpetol. 3: 1-21 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2012. A classification of the rattlesnakes; species formerly exclusively referred to the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus and a division of the Elapid genus Micrurus. Australasian J. Herpetol. 11: 2-24 - get paper here
  • Jadin, Robert C.; Jacobo Reyes Velasco and Eric N. Smith 2010. Hemipenes of the long-tailed rattlesnakes (Serpentes: Viperidae) from Mexico. Phyllomedusa 9 (1): 69-74 - get paper here
  • Klauber, Laurence M. 1952. Taxonomic studies on rattlesnakes of Mainland Mexico. Bulletins of the Zoological Society of San Diego (26): 1-143 - get paper here
  • Lara-Galván, J. L., Martínez-Montoya, J. F., Sigala-Rodríguez, J. J., Esparza-Estrada, C. E., Rosas-Rosas, O. C., Ávila-Herrera, L., & Barbosa, A. M. 2020. Rattlesnake (Crotalus spp.) distribution and diversity in Zacatecas, Mexico ZooKeys, 1005, 103 - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal JA, Smith GR 2020. A conservation checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the State of Mexico, Mexico with comparisons with adjoining states. ZooKeys 953: 137-159 - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal JA, Smith GR 2020. A conservation checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Mexico City, with comparisons with adjoining states. ZooKeys 951: 109-131 - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal JA, Smith GR 2020. A conservation checklist of the herpetofauna of Morelos, with comparisons with adjoining states. ZooKeys 941: 121-144 - get paper here
  • Leyte-Manrique A, Mata-Silva V, Báez-Montes O, Fucsko LA, DeSantis DL, García-Padilla E, Rocha A, Johnson JD, Porras LW, Wilson LD. 2022. The herpetofauna of Guanajuato, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 16(2) [General Section: 133–180 (e321) - 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
  • McCranie, J.R. & Wilson, L.D. 2001. The herpetofauna of the Mexican State of Aguascalientes. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg 230: 1-57
  • McCranie, James R. 1976. Crotalus polystictus. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (180): 1-2 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Meik, Jesse M and André Pires-daSilva 2009. Evolutionary morphology of the rattlesnake style. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2009, 9:35 - get paper here
  • Meik, Jesse M.; Jeffrey W. Streicher, Estrella Mociño-Deloya, Kirk Setser, and David Lazcano 2012. Shallow phylogeographic structure in the declining Mexican Lance-headed Rattlesnake, Crotalus polystictus (Serpentes: Viperidae). Phyllomedusa 11 (1): 3-12 - get paper here
  • Mociño-Deloya, Estrella and Kirk Setser. 2016. Crotalus polystictus (Mexican Lance-headed Rattlesnake) Diet. Herpetological Review 47 (2): 309 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • PAUL, LAURENCE & ROBERT W. MENDYK. 2021. Glow and Behold: Biofluorescence and New Insights on the Tails of Pitvipers (Viperidae: Crotalinae) and Other Snakes. Herpetological Review 52 (2): 221–237. - get paper here
  • Rieser, Jennifer M.; Tai-De Li, Jessica L. Tingle, Daniel I. Goldman, Joseph R. Mendelson 2021. Functional consequences of convergently evolved microscopic skin features on snake locomotion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Feb 2021, 118 (6) e2018264118; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2018264118 - get paper here
  • Stille, B. 1987. Dorsal scale microdermatoglyphics and rattlesnake (Crotalus and Sistrurus) phylogeny (Reptilia: Viperidae: Crotalinae). Herpetologica 43: 98-104 - get paper here
  • Tepos-Ramírez M, Garduño-Fonseca FS, Peralta-Robles CA, García-Rubio OR, Cervantes Jiménez R 2023. Annotated checklist of amphibians and reptiles from Querétaro, Mexico, including new records, and comments on controversial species. Check List 19(2): 269-292 - get paper here
  • Torres-Hernández, LA, Ramírez-Bautista A, Cruz-Elizalde R, Hernández-Salinas U, Berriozabal-Islas C, DeSantis DL, Johnson JD, Rocha A, García-Padilla E, Mata-Silva V, Fucsko LA, and Wilson LD. 2021. The herpetofauna of Veracruz, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 15(2) [General Section]: 72–155 - get paper here
  • Vaca-Leon, Octavio Ivan Martinez; Sheridan Jael Maya-García, Javier Manjarrez, Luis Ernesto Estrada-García 2019. Snake interspecific aggregation: Crotalus polystictus (Cope, 1865), Thamnophis eques (Reuss, 1834) and T. scaliger (Jan, 1863). Herpetology Notes 12: 327-329 - 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. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wilson, Larry David;McCranie, James R. 1979. Notes on the herpetofauna of two mountain ranges in Mexico (Sierra Fria, Aguascalientes, and Sierra Morones, Zacatecas. Journal of Herpetology 13 (3): 271-278 - get paper here
  • Woolrich-Piña, G. A., E. García-Padilla, D. L. DeSantis, J. D. Johnson, V. Mata-Silva, and L. D. Wilson 2017. The herpetofauna of Puebla, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(4): 791–884 - get paper here
  • Wüster, W. & Bérnils, R.S. 2011. On the generic classification of the rattlesnakes, with special reference to the Neotropical Crotalus durissus complex (Squamata: Viperidae). ZOOLOGIA 28 (4): 417–419 - get paper here
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