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Dendrophidion clarkii DUNN, 1933

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Clark's Forest Racer 
SynonymDendrophidion clarkii DUNN 1933: 78
Dendrophidion dendrophis — TAYLOR 1951: 92 (part)
Dendrophidion nuchalis — SAVAGE 1973: 17 (part.)
Dendrophidion nuchale — SCOTT et al. 1983: 372 (part.)
Dendrophidion clarkii — MCCRANIE 2011
Dendrophidion clarkii — CADLE & SAVAGE 2012
Dendrophidion clarkii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 224 
DistributionCosta Rica, Panama, Colombia (Valle del Cauca), Ecuador; elevation <100-1800 m.

Type locality: El Valle de Antón, Panama 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.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MCZ 34878 
CommentSynonymy partly after CADLE & SAVAGE 2012.

Distribution: Not in Honduras fide McCranie 2015 (checklist Honduras, snakes of Honduras). See maps in Figures 12, 13, 20 in Cadle & Savage 2012.

Diagnosis. Dendrophidion clarkii is characterized by (1) Dorsocaudal reduction from 8 to 6 occurring posterior to subcaudal 25 (range, 27–65); (2) anal plate usually divided (single in 8 of 45 specimens, partially divided in 1); (3) subcaudal counts > 135 in males and females; (4) head and anterior body of adults bright green, grading to brown posteriorly; (5) blackish or dark brown nuchal collar present in adults (less distinct or absent in juveniles); (6) posterior body brownish and having dark crossbands with embedded pale ocelli; tail brown to deep reddish, and either uniform (without crossbands) or with crossbands similar in overall pattern to posterior body; (7) ventral scutes in adults marked with narrow dark brown transverse lines across the anterior edge of each scute (Fig. 4); (8) total number of enlarged spines on the hemipenis relatively few (< 60); spines in the distal row uniform in size and numbering 15 (10–15).
No species of Dendrophidion except D. clarkii has a bright green head and anterior body combined with a black nuchal collar, so the adult coloration is diagnostic and distinguishes this species from all others. Dendrophidion clarkii differs from species of the D. percarinatum group in having a more distal dorsocaudal reduction (typically proximal to subcaudal 25 in the percarinatum group compared to > 25 in D. clarkii). Single anal plates occur in the D. percarinatum group only in some individuals of D. paucicarinatum. Three species in the D. percarinatum group (D. brunneum, D. bivittatum, and a new Ecuadorian species described by Cadle 2012b) can have a green head or anterior body but these lack a blackish nuchal collar and have different patterns on the posterior body (Cadle 2010, 2012b). Dendrophidion boshelli has 15 dorsal scale rows at midbody (17 in D. clarkii).
In addition to coloration, Dendrophidion clarkii differs from species of the D. dendrophis group as follows. The three species of the D. vinitor complex (D. vinitor, D. apharocybe, D. crybelum; Cadle 2012a) have distinct pale bands on the neck in adults and fewer subcaudals (< 130) than D. clarkii (> 135). Dendrophidion dendrophis has a longer tail (> 70% of SVL in adults) and more subcaudals ( 150) than D. clarkii (< 70% and usually < 160, respectively). Dendrophidion atlantica lacks a nuchal collar and is brown on the anterior body.
Dendrophidion clarkii has previously been confused with the two other species of the nuchale complex, D. nuchale and D. rufiterminorum. Dendrophidion nuchale is allopatrically distributed from D. clarkii and both species have a blackish nuchal collar. Dendrophidion nuchale differs from D. clarkii in color pattern (anterior body never bright green in D. nuchale) and usually has fewer ventrals than D. clarkii (Table 1). Lieb (1988) mentioned that D. nuchale differed from D. clarkii in having dorsal scale row 1 unkeeled on the posterior body; while true of some individuals, others have keels on all rows, as in D. clarkii. The ranges of D. clarkii and D. rufiterminorum overlap in Costa Rica. The last species lacks a nuchal collar, has a reddish head and tail, and lacks extensive bright green on the anterior body. The tail of D. clarkii is deep red in some individuals but seemingly never in combination with a red head.
The dark nuchal collar and ventral markings are less distinct or absent in juveniles of D. nuchale and D. clarkii, and the red head and tail of D. rufiterminorum are less distinct or absent in juveniles. Thus, juveniles of these three species can be easily confused. The head of juvenile D. rufiterminorum is usually reddish brown and paler than the adjacent portions of the body (see Fig. 17; the same individual is portrayed in Savage 2002: pl. 414 and Solórzano 2004: fig. 56); however, in photographs of D. rufiterminorum we have seen the tail is dull brown similar to the posterior body, lacking the reddish coloration and contrast seen in adults. The heads and tails of juvenile D. nuchale and D. clarkii are not differentiated in color (except greenish heads in D. clarkii). The dorsocaudal reduction of D. rufiterminorum is distal to subcaudal 45 (< 55 in D. nuchale and D. clarkii; Table 1) [from CADLE & SAVAGE 2012]. 
EtymologyDendrophidion clarkii is named after Herbert C. Clark, first director of the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory in Panama and overseer of the Panamanian Snake Census, which contributed immensely to knowledge of the snake fauna of Panama (see Dunn 1949, Myers 2003). 
References
  • Arteaga AF, Bustamante-Enríquez LM and Guayasamin JM 2013. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo. http://www.tropicalherping.com - get paper here
  • CADLE, JOHN E. & JAY M. SAVAGE 2012. Systematics of the Dendrophidion nuchale complex (Serpentes: Colubridae) with the description of a new species from Central America. Zootaxa 3513: 1–50 - get paper here
  • Carrera, C. et al. 2009. Guía de Campo de los Pequeños Vertebrados del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito (DMQ). Publicación Miscelánea N° 5. Serie de Publicaciones del Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales (MECN) – Fondo Ambiental del MDMQ. 1-89 pp. Imprenta Nuevo Arte. Quito-Ecuador.
  • Castro-Herrera, F. & Vargas-Salinas, F. 2008. Anfibios y reptiles en el departamento del Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Biota Colombiana 9 (2): 251 - 277 - get paper here
  • Cortés Gómez, Angela María; Anyelet Valencia Aguilar, Diana Marcela Torres Domínguez, Lina María García Calderón, Diego Fernando Villaquirán Martínez, Andrea del Pilar Cáceres Franco, Fernando Castro Herrera 2010. Guía de los anfibios y reptiles. Área en conservación de la microcuenca Quebrada Pericos. [Valle de Cauca, Colombia]. Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca, Santiago de Cali: CVC, 37 pp. - get paper here
  • Dunn,E.R. 1933. Amphibians and reptiles from El Valle de Antón, Panamá. Occ. Pap. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 8: 65-79. - get paper here
  • Esqueda, Luis Felipe, Enrique La Marca, Marco Natera and Pietro Battiston 2001. Noteworthy reptilian state records and a lizard species new to the herpetofauna of Venezuela. Herpetological Review 32 (3):198-200 - get paper here
  • Kornacker, P. & Natera-Mumaw, M. 2008. Feldherpetologische Daten zu einigen Amphibien- und Reptilienarten im Wolkenwald des “Parque Nacional Henri Pittier”, Rancho Grande, Venezuela. Sauria 30 (3): 21-37 - get paper here
  • Kornacker,P.M. 1999. Checklist and key to the snakes of Venezuela. PaKo-Verlag, Rheinbach, Germany, 270 pp.
  • Lancini,A.R. & Kornacker,P.M. 1989. Die Schlangen von Venezuela. Armitano Editores C.A., Caracas, 1-381
  • Lee, J. C. 2000. A field guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the Maya world. Cornell University Press, Ithaca,
  • Lieb, C. S. 1988. Systematic status of the Neotropical snakes Dendrophidion dendrophis and D. nuchalis. Herpetologica 44 (2):162-175 - get paper here
  • Lieb, Carl S. 1991. Dendrophidion nuchale. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (520): 1-2 - get paper here
  • McCranie J R 2011. The snakes of Honduras. SSAR, Salt Lake City, 725 pp.
  • McCranie, J. & Castañeda, F.E. 2005. The herpetofauna of Parque Nacional Pico Bonito, Honduras. Phyllomedusa 4 (1): 3-16 - get paper here
  • NATERA-MUMAW M. 2008. Nuevos registros geográficos y notas bioecológicas de Dendrophidion dendrophis (Schlegel, 1837) y Dendrophidion nuchale (Peters, 1863) (Serpentes: Colubridae) en Venezuela, con comentarios sobre la taxonomía de Dendrophidion nuchale. Herpetotropicos 4 (1): 11-16 - get paper here
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • Peters, W. 1863. Über einige neue oder weniger bekannte Schlangenarten des zoologischen Museums zu Berlin. Monatsb. Königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1863: 272-289.
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Savage, J.M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna Between Two Continents, Between Two Seas. University of Chicago Press, 934 pp. [review in Copeia 2003 (1): 205]
  • Smith,H.M. 1941. A new name for the Mexican snakes of the genus Dendrophidion. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 54: 73-76. - get paper here
  • Stafford, P. J. 2002. Record of the colubrid snake Dendrophidion nuchale (Peters) from Nicaragua. Southwestern Naturalist 47(4): 615-616. - get paper here
  • Valencia-Zuleta A, Jaramillo-Martínez AF, Echeverry-Bocanegra A, Viáfara-Vega R, Hernández-Córdoba O, Cardona-Botero VE, Gutiérrez-Zúñiga J, Castro-Herrera F. 2014. Conservation status of the herpetofauna, protected areas, and current problems in Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8 (2): 1–18 (e87) - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wilson, L. D., & MEYER, J. R. 1985. The Snakes of Honduras. 2d ed. Milwaukee Publ. Mus. Publ., Biol. & Geol. No. 6, 150 pp.
  • Wilson, Larry David and James R. McCranie 2002. Update on the list of reptiles know from Honduras. Herpetological Review 33 (2):90-94 - get paper here
 
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