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Crotalus thalassoporus MEIK, SCHAACK, FLORES-VILLELA & STREICHER, 2018

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesLouse Island speckled rattlesnake 
SynonymCrotalus thalassoporus MEIK, SCHAACK, FLORES-VILLELA & STREICHER 2018: 18
Crotalus mitchelli pyrrhus — SEIB 1978, in part.
Crotalus mitchellii — GRISMER 2002
Crotalus mitchellii — MURPHY & AGUIRRE-LÉON 2002
Crotalus mitchellii — MEIK et al. 2012a, in part.
Crotalus pyrrhus — MEIK et al. 2015, in part. 
DistributionMexico (Baja California: Piojo Island)

Type locality: Piojo Island, Municipality de Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. Coordinates: N 29.018 W 113.465 (Figure 5 in Meik et al. 2018).  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MZFC 26410, Subadult male, field number JMM-648, collected on 19 March 2010 by Jesse M. Meik, Sarah Schaack and Matthew J. Ingrasci. Paratypes: MZFC-UNAM (MZFC 26411, MZFC 26412) and at UTAARDRC (UTA R-59766, UTA R-59767). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis
The presence of nasorostral scales distinguishes the new species from all congeners except for species of the C. mitchellii complex. From C. mitchellii the new species differs in having typically fewer dorsal scale rows (21.5–22 vs 25), fewer subcaudals (16–22 vs 20–24), fewer temporal scale rows (7 vs 8), fewer supralabials (14 vs 16), fewer interrictals (22–23 vs 28), fewer prefrontals (18–20 vs 30–31), colour pattern (pale tan, pinkish, or beige ground colour with indistinct rust-brown blotches vs variable colour pattern), and smaller adult body size. From mainland populations of C. pyrrhus the new species differs in having typically fewer tail bands (3–4 vs 4–6), fewer dorsal scale rows (21.5–22 vs 25), fewer temporal scale rows (7 vs 8), fewer supralabials (14 vs 16), fewer interrictals (22–23 vs 29), fewer prefrontals (18–20 vs 27–34), colour pattern (pale tan, pinkish, or beige ground colour with indistinct rust-brown blotches vs extremely variable), and smaller adult body size. From C. angelensis, the new species differs in having typically fewer tail bands (3–4 vs 5–8), fewer dorsal body blotches (31–32 vs 40–41), fewer dorsal scale rows (21.5–22 vs 27), fewer subcaudals (16–22 vs 20–25), fewer ventrals (169.5–174 vs 182–188), more supralabials (14 vs 13), fewer interrictals (22–23 vs 29–30), fewer pre- frontals (18–20 vs 25–26), and smaller adult body size. From C. polisi, the new species differs in having typically fewer tail bands (3–4 vs 5–6), fewer dorsal body blotches (31– 32 vs 40–42.5), fewer subcaudals in females (16 vs 17), more ventrals in females (174 vs 169), fewer interrictals in males (22 vs 26), fewer prefrontals (18–20 vs 21–27.5), and colour pattern (pale tan, pinkish or beige ground colour with indistinct rust-brown blotches vs slate or charcoal grey ground colour with indistinct blotches). 
CommentSimilar species: this is a close relative of C. pyrrhus, and actually nested within C. pyrrhus, unless Smith Island C. pyrrhus is split off as yet another species. Meik et al.l considered “rattlesnakes from Smith Island to represent a mongrel population that is not clearly on an evolutionary trajectory independent of C. pyrrhus or the other insular populations of speckled rattlesnakes.”

Reproduction: viviparous. 
EtymologyThe specific name is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘seafarer’, and is a reference to the apparent historical introgression we note between this taxon and the population of speckled rattlesnakes on Smith Island, most likely resulting from oversea dispersal of propagules from Piojo Island (see Discussion in Meik et al. 2018). 
References
  • GARCÍA-PADILLA, ELI; JORGE H. VALDEZ VILLAVICENCIO, ANNY PERALTA GARCÍA 2018. Las Serpientes de Cascabel más allá del continente Especies - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. L. 2002. Amphibians and reptiles of Baja California, including its pacific islands and the islands in the Sea of Cortés. Univ. California Press, Berkeley: 399 pp.
  • Meik JM, Schaack S, Ingrasci MJ, Lawing AM, Setser K, Mociño-Deloya E, Flores-Villela O. 2012. Notes on activity, body size variation, and diet in insular speckled rattlesnakes from the western Sea of Cortés, Mexico. Herpetol Rev. 43:556–560
  • Meik JM, Streicher JW, Lawing AM, Flores-Villela O, Fujita MK 2015. Limitations of Climatic Data for Inferring Species Boundaries: Insights from Speckled Rattlesnakes. PLoS One 10 (6): e0131435; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131435 - get paper here
  • Meik, Jesse M.; Sarah Schaack, Oscar Flores-Villela & Jeffrey W. Streicher 2018. Integrative taxonomy at the nexus of population divergence and speciation in insular speckled rattlesnakes. Journal of Natural History 52: 989-1016; DOI: 10.1080/00222933.2018.1429689 - get paper here
  • Seib RL 1978. Crotalus mitchelli pyrrhus (Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake). Geographic distribu- tion. Herpetol Rev. 9:22
 
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