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Cubophis cantherigerus (BIBRON, 1843)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Alsophiini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesCubophis cantherigerus adspersus (GUNDLACH & PETERS 1864)
Cubophis cantherigerus cantherigerus (BIBRON 1843)
Cubophis cantherigerus pepei (SCHWARTZ & THOMAS 1960)
Cubophis cantherigerus schwartzi (LANDO & WILLIAMS 1969) 
Common NamesE: Cuban Racer
G: Kuba-Schlanknatter 
SynonymColuber cantherigerus BIBRON in DE LA SAGRA 1840: pl. 27
Dromicus angulifer BIBRON 1843: 133 (nom. subst.)
Dromicus angulifer — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 670
Alsophis angulifer var. caymanus — GARMAN 1887: 282
Dromicus angulifer — BOULENGER 1894: 120
Alsophis angulifer caymanus — GRANT 1941: 48
Alsophis angulifer — KOOPMAN & RUIBAL 1955
Alsophis angulifer angulifer — SCHWARTZ & OGREN 1956
Alsophis angulifer — HARDY 1957
Alsophis cantherigerus spielmani GRANT 1959
Alsophis cantherigerus — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 569
Cubophis cantherigerus — HEDGES et al. 2009
Alsophis cantherigerus — CROTHER 1999
Alsophis cantherigerus — MATTISON 2007: 53
Ocyophis cantherigerus — ZAHER et al. 2009
Cubophis cantherigerus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 201

Cubophis cantherigerus adspersus (GUNDLACH & PETERS 1864)
Dromicus (Alsophis) angulifer var. adspersus GUNDLACH & PETERS 1864: 388
Alsophis cantherigerus adspersus — BAUER et al. 1995: 71
Cubophis cantherigerus adspersus — HEDGES et al. 2009

Cubophis cantherigerus cantherigerus (BIBRON 1843)
Alsophis cantherigerus cantherigerus — VARONA & GARRIDO 1970
Alsophis cantherigerus cantherigerus — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 570
Cubophis cantherigerus cantherigerus — HEDGES et al. 2009

Cubophis cantherigerus pepei (SCHWARTZ & THOMAS 1960)
Alsophis cantherigerus pepei SCHWARTZ & THOMAS 1960
Alsophis cantherigerus pepei — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 571
Cubophis cantherigerus pepei — HEDGES et al. 2009

Cubophis cantherigerus schwartzi (LANDO & WILLIAMS 1969)
Alsophis cantherigerus schwartzi — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 571
Cubophis cantherigerus schwartzi — HEDGES et al. 2009 
DistributionCuba, Bahamas (Cay Sal Bank)

adspersus: E Cuba (from the vicinity of Guantanamo east- ward); Type locality: Calmanera, Guantanamo Province, Cuba

pepei: Cuba: northern mesic coast of Guantanamo and Holguin provinces. Type locality: 9 km Wand 2.5 km S Baracoa, Guantanamo Province, Cuba.

schwartzei: Cuba (SC Sancti Spiritus Prov. [vicinity of Trinidad] east through Camaguey Prov. [Sierra de Najasa], Holguin, Granma, and Santiago de Cuba provinces, to Santiago de Cuba, and to Felicidad in the interior mountains of Guantanamo Prov.; Type locality: 22.4 mi. W Santiago de Cuba, Santiago de Cuba Province, Cuba.

Type locality: “Cuba (Caimanera)” [adspersus]  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 3545-46, MNHN 3561-63, and MCZ 2195 (formerly MNHN). MNHN-RA files indicated also MNHN-RA 3562-3563. Other source indicate syntypes as MNHN-RA 3545-3546 and MNHN-RA 3561-3563. Type status needs to be verified (I., Ineich, pers. comm., March 2019).
Syntypes: ZMB 5064A-B [adspersus]
Holotype: AMNH 83639 [pepei]
Holotype: INHS (= UIMNH) 42341 [spielmani]
Holotype: AMNH 83638 [schwartzi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Species in this genus have 17 midbody scale rows, 159–187 ventrals, 101–133 subcaudals, 2 apical scale pits, 8 upper labials, 10 lower labials, 13–17 total maxillary teeth, and 17–21 dentary teeth (Table 2). Cubophis differs in at least one of these characters from all other alsophiine genera except Hypsirhynchus. It differs from Hypsirhynchus in hemipenial characters such as the presence of enlarged papillate body calyces in the basal region and medial surface of the lobes (Zaher 1999).

Description (caymanus): Grant 1941 
CommentA number of subspecies of Alsophis cantherigerus have been elevated to full species status by HEDGES et al. 2009.

Distribution: populations on Cayman Islands have been elevated or moved to other species, especially caymanus, fuscicauda, and ruttyi. The Bahamas (Bimini: Cay Sal Bank) should be retained per Krysko et al. 2015.

Illustrations: Grant, 1941; Peters and Schubert, 1968; Petzold, 1969; Maglio, 1970; Petzold, 1978; Kardong, 1980; Henderson and Sajdak, 1986.

Type species: Coluber cantherigerus BIBRON 1840 is the type species of the genus Cubophis HEDGES & VIDAL 2009. 
EtymologyThe origin of the species name is not clear to us.

The genus name refers to its distribution, centered on Cuba and nearby islands. All genus names ending in -ophis are masculine (Cannatella 1990). 
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  • Boulenger, George A. 1894. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, xi, 382 pp. - get paper here
  • Cannatella, D.C. 1990. Ancient Greek and Ophidian Orthography. Journal of Herpetology 24 (3): 322-323 - get paper here
  • CARBALLO, ALIESKI GIL & TOMÁS M. RODRÍGUEZ-CABRERA. 2022. An unusual predation attempt by a Cuban Racer, Cubophis cantherigerus schwartzi (Squamata: Dipsadidae), on a Bar Jack, Caranx ruber (Perciformes: Carangidae). Reptiles & Amphibians 29(1): 6–8. - get paper here
  • Cocteau, J.-T. and G. Bibron 1838. Reptiles, in R. de la Sagra. Historia Física, Política y Natural de la Isla de Cuba, Tomo IV. Arthus Bertrand, Paris, 142 pp. [1838-1843 - index on page 143; but note that BHL has 1840 on the cover page of vol. IV] - get paper here
  • Dominguez, Michel; Moreno, Luis V. 2006. Alsophis cantherigerus (Jubo, Jubo de Sabana, Jubo Sabanero). Size record. Herpetological Review 37 (3): 349. - get paper here
  • Estrada, A.R. 1998. Anfibios y Reptiles Encontrados Durante 1988 y 1989 en Cayo Paredón Grande, Archipiélago de Sabana-Camagüey, Cuba. Carib. J. Sci. 34 (1-2): 106-112
  • Fong G., Ansel and Gabriel Garcés G. 2002. Alsophis cantherigerus. Reptilia (GB) (21):55-57 - get paper here
  • Garman, S. 1887. On West Indian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Cambridge, Mass. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 24: 278-286. - get paper here
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  • Grant, C. 1959. New subspecies of Alsophis from Oriente, Cuba. Herpetologica 15 (1): 58-60 - get paper here
  • Hardy, J.D., Jr. 1957. A Note on the Feeding Habits of the Cuban Racer, Alsophis angulifer (Bibron) Copeia 1957 (1): 49-50. - get paper here
  • Hedges, S. Blair; Arnaud Couloux; Vidal, Nicolas 2009. Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of West Indian racer snakes of the Tribe Alsophiini (Squamata, Dipsadidae, Xenodontinae). Zootaxa 2067: 1-28 - get paper here
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  • Kardong, K.V. 1980. Jaw musculature of the West Indian snake Alsophis cantherigerus brooksi (Colubridae, Reptilia). Breviora (463):1-26. - get paper here
  • KLIMENT, P. 1993. Ein Beitrag zur Biologie der Kubanischen Natter Alsophis cantherigerus (BIBRON, 1840). Sauria 15 (4): 27-31 - get paper here
  • Koopman, K.F. & Ruibal, R. 1955. Cave-fossil vertebrates from Camaguey, Cuba. Breviora (46): 1-8 - get paper here
  • KRYSKO, KENNETH L.; DAVID W. STEADMAN, LEROY P. NUÑEZ & DAVID S. LEE 2015. Molecular phylogeny of Caribbean dipsadid (Xenodontinae: Alsophiini) snakes, including identification of the first record from the Cay Sal Bank, The Bahamas. Zootaxa 4028 (3): 441–450 - get paper here
  • Lando, R.V. & Williams, E.E. 1969. Notes on the Herpetology of the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Stud. Fauna Curacao and Caribbean Is. 31(116): 159-201. - get paper here
  • Maglio, Vincent J. 1970. West Indian Xenodontine colubrid snakes: Their probable origin, phylogeny, and zoogeography. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 141 (1): 1-54 - get paper here
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  • Peters, G.,and Schubert, R. 1968. Theoretische und praktische Aspekte einer biologischen Expedition durch Kuba. Biol. Schule 8/9:337-46.
  • Peters,W. 1864. Über einige neue Säugethiere (Mormops, Macrotus, Vesperus, Molossus, Capromys), Amphibien (Plathydactylus, Otocryptis, Euprepes, Ungalia, Dromicus, Tropidonotus, Xenodon, Hylodes), und Fische (Sillago, Sebastes, Channa, Myctophum, Carassius, Barbus, Mber. k. preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin [1864]: 381-399 - get paper here
  • Petzold, H.G. 1969. Zur Haltung and Fortpflanzungsbiologieeiniger kubanischer Schlangen im Tierpark Berlin. Salamandra 5:124-40 - get paper here
  • Petzold, H.G. 1978. Zur Haltung und Fortpflanzungsbiologie der Kuba-Schlanknatter, Alsophis cantherigerus (Bibron 1840), im Terrarium. Der Zoologische Garten (N.F.) 48 (2/3): 155-63.
  • Reyes Vázquez, Angel Eduardo, Yasit Segovia Vega, Ansel Fong G. 2013. Predation on birds by the Cuban racer Cubophis cantherigerus (Squamata: Dipsadidae) in Cuba. Herpetology Notes 6: 165-166
  • Rodríguez-Cabrera, Tomás M. 2017. Predation by a Cuban Racer, Cubophis cantherigerus pepei (Squamata: Dipsadidae) on an endemic Cuban Green Woodpecker, Xiphidiopicus percussus percussus (Piciformes: Picidae). IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 24 (2): 120–123 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez-Cabrera, Tomás M.; Alejandro Abella Quintana, Alexander A. Matienzo Martínez, and Ernesto Morell Savall 2018. From sea level to high in the mountains: Predation on reptiles by the opportunistic Cuban Racer, Cubophis cantherigerus (Squamata: Dipsadidae). IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 25 (3): 170–175 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez-Cabrera, Tomás M.; Alejandro M. Rodríguez González, and Javier Torres 2018. Herpetofauna of Cayo Carenas, Cienfuegos Bay, south-central Cuba. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 25 (1): 13–19 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez-Cabrera, Tomás M.; Javier Torres López, Ruben Marrero, and José A. Podio Martínez 2016. Predation Attempt by the Cuban Racer, Cubophis cantherigerus (Squamata: Dipsadidae) on the Cuban Giant Anole, Anolis equestris buidei (Squamata: Dactyloidae), a Threatened Endemic Subspecies. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 23 (1): 46–50 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez Schettino, Lourdes, Carlos A. Mancina & Vilma Rivalta González 2013. REPTILES OF CUBA: CHECKLIST AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (144): 1-96 - get paper here
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  • Schwartz, A. and Thomas, R. 1960. Four new snakes (Tropidophis, Dromicus, Alsophis) from the Isla de Pinos and Cuba. Herpetologica 16 (2): 73-90. - get paper here
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