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Dendrophidion percarinatum (COPE, 1893)

IUCN Red List - Dendrophidion percarinatum - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: South American Forest Racer
G: Gekielte Waldnatter 
SynonymDrymobius percarinatus COPE 1893: 344
Drymobius dendrophis — BOULENGER 1894: 16 (part)
Cacocalyx percarinatus — COPE ‘‘1894’’ (1895): 427
Drymobius dendrophis — GÜNTHER 1885–1902: 127 (? part)
Drymobius dendrophis — AMARAL ‘‘1929’’ [1930]: 154 (part)
Dendrophidion percarinatus — SMITH 1941: 73
Dendrophidion percarinatus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 80
Dendrophidion percarinatum - VILLA et al. 1988
Dendrophidion percarinatum — SAVAGE 2002
Dendrophidion percarinatus — RIVAS et al. 2012
Dendrophidion percarinatum — WALLACH et al. 2014: 225 
DistributionN Honduras (Atlántida Province; McCranie, 2011), Nicaragua, N Colombia, NW Venezuela (Rojas-Runjaic and Rivero, 2008), W Colombia (Chocoan region), pacific versant in Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia; Honduras (McCranie 2011: 109), Costa Rica (Savage (2002: 657). (Lieb 1996, revised map in Figure 9 in Cadle 2012).

Elevation usually <1,000 m elevation but up to 1,200 m in SW Costa Rica. In Honduras <685 m (McCranie, 2011: 110). other records: 930 m (Panama), 520 m (Nicaragua), and 200 m (Colombia) [Cadle 2012].

Type locality: Boruca and Buenos Aires, Costa Rica. 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.
 
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesLectotype: AMNH R-17366 (designated by Taylor 1954: 727) 
CommentRelative abundance in Honduras: infrequent

Habitat: terrestrial

Diagnosis. Dendrophidion percarinatum is characterized by (1) dorsocaudal reduc- tion from 8 to 6 occurring anterior to subcaudal 27 (range, 5–26 ); (2) divided anal plate; (3) subcaudal counts .130 in males and females; (4) subadults with narrow pale bands or transverse rows of ocelli (<1 dorsal row wide throughout the body) separated by fewer than three dorsal rows on the neck (bands retained or become obscure in adults, often heavily invested with dark pigment); total number of pale bands on the body >70 (range, 71–96); (5) ventrals immaculate except for lateral dark blotches or mottling; (6) in life, dorsal coloration various shades of brown or gray and usually including dark-bordered pale crossbands anteriorly (sometimes indistinct) and dark brown or blackish stripes posteri- orly (often a broader pair of paravertebral stripes and a narrow lateral stripe on dorsal rows 2 and/or 3); venter without extensive dark spots or transverse lines (scattered small spots may be present), and (7) everted hemipenis of the ‘‘robust’’ morphology, with a relatively short, narrow hemipenial body proximal to a bulbous region bearing spines, calyces, and other apical ornamentation (retracted hemipenis usually extending to between subcaudals 6 to 9, rarely reaching subcaudal 10); total number of enlarged spines on hemipenis <45 (range, 26–40).
Dendrophidion percarinatum differs from species of the D. dendrophis species group (D. dendrophis, D. atlantica, D. nuchale auctorum, D. apharocybe, D. crybelum, D. vinitor) in having a more proximal reduction in the dorsocaudal scales (nearly always >30 in the D. dendrophis group). A high number of subcaudals and divided anal plate will distinguish it from D. apharocybe, D. crybelum, and D. vinitor (<130 sub- caudals and anal plate nearly always single in these species). Dendrophidion dendrophis, D. atlantica, and D. nuchale auctorum have different color patterns (often with extensive dark ventral spots and flecks; see Duellman, 1978: 236–237, 2005: pl. 175; Savage, 2002: 654–655, fig. 11.39c, pls. 413– 415), attain greater sizes than D. percar- inatum, and have several enormously en- larged hemipenial spines (not so enlarged in D. percarinatum). Dendrophidion percari- natum differs from D. boshelli in having 17 midbody scale rows (15 in D. boshelli).
Dendrophidion percarinatum differs from D. paucicarinatum in having pale dorsal crossbands (variably distinct), often has dark longitudinal stripes on the poste- rior body, and has an immaculate venter. Dendrophidion paucicarinatum usually has a more uniformly colored dorsum lacking distinct pale crossbands, has narrow dark lines across the venter in adults and many juveniles, and has a higher number of ventrals (>175) than D. percarinatum (nearly always <170 except occasional individuals from Panama and Colombia; see discussion of geographic variation). Dendrophidion paucicarinatum may have either a single or divided anal plate.
Dendrophidion bivittatum differs from D. percarinatum in having a color pattern consisting of prominent blackish dorsal stripes on the posterior body and a greenish dorsal ground color. Dendrophidion bivitta- tum also has a shorter tail and fewer subcaudals (<60% of SVL and usually <130, respectively) than D. percarinatum. Dendrophidion brunneum has a greenish to brownish dorsum generally without pale crossbands in adults (often with dark stripes or paravertebral punctations and often with dark transverse lines and other markings on the venter). Dendrophidion percarinatum differs from the two new species described herein (D. prolixum and D. graciliverpa) in having a ‘‘robust’’ hemipenial morphotype as char- acterized herein (‘‘gracile’’ in the last two species). Dendrophidion percarinatum also differs from these species in coloration. Dendrophidion prolixum and D. graciliverpa are green on the anterior body (sometimes restricted to the head) and often have narrow dark transverse lines on the anterior edges of ventral scutes, especially on posterior body. Additional differentiating characters and comparisons are given in the diagnoses for the new species.

Sympatry: Dendrophidion percarinatum is sympatric with several other species of Dendro- phidion within its range. The range of D. percarinatum overlaps with D. apharocybe and/or D. nuchale auctorum from Hon- duras to Panama, and all three occur together at some localities (e.g., La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica). At the Las Cruces Biological Station in southwestern Costa Rica D. percarinatum is sympatric with three other species—D. crybelum, D. nuchale auctorum, and D. paucicarinatum—yielding perhaps the highest species density of Dendrophidion anywhere. In western Colombia the distributions of D. percarinatum, D. prolixum, and D. nuchale auctorum overlap broadly, with two of the three documented sympatrically at several localities; it would be unsurprising to find the three species occurring together. 
References
  • Almendariz, A. 1991. Anfibios y Reptiles [del Ecuador]. Rev. Politecnica. XVI (3): 89-162.
  • Cadle, J.E. 2010. Systematics, natural history, and hemipenial morphology of Dendrophidion brunneum (Günther) (Serpentes: Colubridae), a poorly known snake from the Andes of Ecuador and Peru. Zootaxa 2433: 1–24 - get paper here
  • Cadle, John E. 2012. Systematics of the Neotropical Snake Dendrophidion percarinatum (Serpentes: Colubridae), With Descriptions of Two New Species from Western Colombia and Ecuador and Supplementary Data on D. brunneum. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 160 (6): 259-344. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Cope, E.D. 1893. Second addition to the knowledge of the Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 31: 333-347 - get paper here
  • Dunn, E.R. 1944. The snake genus Dendrophidion in Colombia. Caldasia 2: 474-477
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Lancini,A.R. & Kornacker,P.M. 1989. Die Schlangen von Venezuela. Armitano Editores C.A., Caracas, 1-381
  • Lieb C S. 1996. Dendrophidion percarinatum. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 636: 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
  • McCranie, James R. 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed. Zootaxa 3931 (3): 352–386 - get paper here
  • Natera-Mumaw, Marco; Luis Felipe Esqueda-González & Manuel Castelaín-Fernández 2015. Atlas Serpientes de Venezuela Santiago de Chile, Dimacofi Negocios Avanzados S.A., 456 pp. - get paper here
  • Nicholson, Kirsten E., James R. McCranie and Gunther Köhler 2000. Herpetofaunal expedition to Parque Nacional Patuca: a newly established park in Honduras. Herpetological Bulletin (72): 26-31. - get paper here
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • 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
  • Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J.M.; Rivero, Edwin E. Infante 2008. First record of the forest racer snake Dendrophidion percarinatum (Cope, 1893) (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Venezuela. Carib. J. Sci. 44 (1):128-130 - 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
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
  • Solórzano, A. 2006. Snakes of the Osa Peninsula [Costa Rica]. Reptilia (GB) (48): 30-34 - get paper here
  • Solórzano, A. 2006. Die Schlangen der Osa-Halbinsel [Costa Rica]. Reptilia (Münster) 11 (61): 28-31 - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier 2014. An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Nicaragua. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 186–202. - get paper here
  • Townsend, J. H., L. D. Wilson, M. Medina-Flores, E. Aguilar-Urbina, B. K. Atkinson et al. 2012. A premontane hotspot for herpetological endemism on the windward side of Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat, Honduras. Salamandra 48 (2): 92-114 - 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.
 
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