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Crotalus ravus COPE, 1865

IUCN Red List - Crotalus ravus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesCrotalus ravus brunneus HARRIS & SIMMONS 1978
Crotalus ravus exiguus CAMPBELL & ARMSTRONG 1979
Crotalus ravus ravus COPE 1865 
Common NamesMexican Pygmy Rattlesnake (brunneus: Oaxacan Pygmy Rattlesnake; exiguus: Guerreran Pygmy Rattlesnake; ravus: Central Plateau Pygmy Rattlesnake) 
SynonymCrotalus ravus COPE 1865: 191
Sistrurus ravus — BOULENGER 1896
Sistrurus ravus — DAVIS & SMITH 1953
Crotalus ravus lutescens HARRIS & SIMMONS 1978 (see comment)
Sistrurus ravus — LINER 1994
Sistrurus ravus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 327
Crotalus ravus — MURPHY et al. 2002
Crotalus ravus — VALENCIA-HERNÁNDEZ et al. 2007
Piersonus ravus — HOSER 2009
Crotalus ravus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 193

Crotalus ravus brunneus HARRIS & SIMMONS 1978
Crotalus ravus brunneus — BRYSON 2007

Crotalus ravus exiguus CAMPBELL & ARMSTRONG 1979
Crotalus ravus exiguus — BRYSON 2007 
DistributionMexico (WC Puebla, Veracruz, Morelos, Tlaxcala, C Guerrero, C Oaxaca,
S Hidalgo)

ravus: Mexico (central plateau); Type locality: tableland of Mexico. Subsequently restricted to Totalco, Veracruz, by Smith and Taylor, 1950.

brunneus: Mexico (Oaxaca: Mesa del Sur); Type locality: 2.7 km E Ixtlan de Juárez.

exiguus: Mexico (Guerrero: Sierra Madre del Sur); Type locality: 1.6 km E Omilteme, Guerrero, elevation 2090 m. 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 
TypesSyntypes: USNM 25050-51, coll. C. Sartorius
Holotype: UTA R-4533, an adult male; paratypes: UTA, KU [exiguus]
Holotype: AMNH 102916 [brunneus] 
CommentVenomous!

Subspecies: Another subspecies, S. r. sinaloensis has been proposed but “the description is woefully incomplete and the locality data are likely suspect” (CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989: 376). Sistrurus ravus lutescens (HARRIS & SIMMONS 1978) is not listed in WELCH 1994 and not recognized as subspecies by GOLAY et al. (1993).

Type Species: Crotalus ravus COPE 1865 is the type species of the genus Piersonus HOSER 2009 and is diagnosed as follows: “Large plates on the crown including the centre. 21 mid-body rows. Relatively short tail as compared to the snakes in the genus Sistrurus. For Piersonus gen. nov. males have an average tail length of 9.8 per cent of the total body length and females 7.7 per cent of the total body length. In Sistrurus the lateral hook of the squamosal makes an acute angle (45 to 80 degrees) with the main part of the bone. In Piersonus gen. nov., the lateral process of the squamosal is substantially at right angles to the main part of the bone. In Sistrurus, the upper preocular is in contact with the postnasal, the rostral is not curved over the snout, cathus rostralis is sharply angled, dorsal body blotches are square or wider than long. By contrast in Piersonus gen. nov. the upper preocular is not in contact with the postnasal, the rostral is curved over the snout, canthus rostralis is rounded, the dorsal body blotches are longer than wide or the colour is black.” (from HOSER 2009).

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

Diagnosis (ravus): A subspecies of S. ravus (Figs. 1, 2) distinguished from other races (Table 1) by normally having the dorsal scales in 21 rows at midbody, total prefoveals usually fewer than 3, a large rattle (dorsoventral width of proximal rattle segment usually exceeding 10% of tail length in males, 13% in females), and 2-4 tail bands in both sexes (from CAMPBELL & ARMSTRONG 1979).

Diagnosis (exiguus): A subspecies of S. ravus distinguished from the other races (Table 1) by having the parietal scales divided trans- versely, the dorsal scales in 23 rows at mid- body, total prefoveals usually numbering six or more, a small rattle (PRW usually less than 10% of tail length in males, 13% in females), 3 to 6 tail bands in males, and 2 to 4 tail bands in females [from CAMPBELL & ARMSTRONG 1979].

Diagnosis (brunneus): A subspecies of S. ravus (Fig. 8) distinguished from the other races (Table 1) by having the parietals usually undi- vided, dorsal scales usually in 23 rows at midbody, total prefoveals usually exceeding 3 but not more than 6, a small rattle (PRW usually less than 109 of tail length in males, 13% in females), 5-8 tail bands in males, and 4-6 in females. The brief description of the holotype by Harris and Simmons (1978) contains two errors. There are 144 ventrals (not 148) and the total length is approxi- mately 660 mm (not 640 mm) [from CAMPBELL & ARMSTRONG 1979]. 
References
  • Arenas, Carlos Yañez; A. Townsend Peterson, Pierre Mokondoko, Octavio Rojas-Soto, Enrique Martínez-Meyer 2014. The Use of Ecological Niche Modeling to Infer Potential Risk Areas of Snakebite in the Mexican State of Veracruz. PLoS ONE 9(6): e100957. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100957 - get paper here
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