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Diaphorolepis wagneri JAN, 1863

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae),Diaphorolepidini,
Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesEcuador Frog-eating Snake 
SynonymDiaphorolepis wagneri JAN 1863: 98
Diaphorolepis wagneri — WERNER 1901: 597
Diaphorolepis wagneri — BOGERT 1964: 513
Diaphorolepis wagneri — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 81
Diaphorolepis wagneri — SHEIL & GRANT 2001
Diaphorolepis wagneri — WALLACH et al. 2014: 227 
DistributionPanama,
W Ecuador
Colombia (Valle del Cauca)

Type locality: “Andes de l’Ecuador”; restricted to Milpé, Pichincha province, Ecuador (0.035, -78.87; 1076 m elevation), by Pyron et al. 2015. 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 
TypesHolotype: ZSM 2708/0, adult (Museum of Monaco, fide Bogert 1964: 513)
Syntype: NMW 18915 (Werner 1901, ignoring Jan’s description) 
CommentHILLIS 1990 incorrectly identified a Diaphorolepis wagneri as D. laevis.

Type species: Diaphorolepis wagneri JAN 1863 is the type species of the genus Diaphorolepis WERNER 1901. WERNER 1901 states that JAN did not describe the genus and that the name was a nomen nudum.

Type genus: Diaphorolepis Jan 1863 is the type genus of the tribe Diaphorolepidini Pyron et al. 2016 which contains Diaphorolepis Jan, 1863, Emmochliophis Fritts & Smith, 1969, Synophis Peracca, 1896. Note that "Diaphorolepidini was already described by Jenner, 1981" but her Diaphorolepidini is not an available nomen fide Pyron et al. as it was described in an unpublished PhD thesis.

Diagnosis (tribe). A group of relatively small-sized (<550mm SVL), slender, lizard-eating dipsadid snakes restricted to the Darien of Panama and northern Andes of South America, diagnosable from all other similar or related species by possessing fused prefrontals and either an expanded intervertebral scale row (Diaphorolepis) or expanded zygapophyses and neural spines in adults (Emmochliophis and Synophis; Pyron et al. 2016).

Taxonomy: Diaphorolepis Jan, 1863 is also the type genus of the tribus Diaphorolepidini Jenner, 1981. The tribe name has also been spelled ‘Diaphorolepini’ by Sheehy (2012), but Diaphorolepidini is the correct spelling. Pyron et al. 2015 restricted the Diaphorolepidini to the genera Diaphorolepis, Emmochliophis, and Synophis, compared to the original description (Jenner 1981), which included Atractus, Chersodromus, Crisantophis, Elapomorphus, Enulius, Gomesophis, Pseudotomodon, Ptychophis, and Sordellina.

Diagnosis (genus): “Oberkieferzähne 25, nach hinten an Länge zunehmend.
Kopf deutlich vom Hals abgesetzt, Augen massig gross, mit runder Pupille. Nasenloch massig gross, in einem ungetheilten Nasale gelegen. Praefrontale
unpaar. Körper seitlich zusammengedrückt; Schuppen gekielt, ohne Grübchen, in 19 Längsreihen; die der Mittelreihe vergrössert, sechseckig und mit zwei parallelen Längskielen. Bauch ohne Seitenkiel. Schwanz lang, mit paarigen Subcaudalen [from WERNER 1901].

Diagnosis (genus): A group of colubrid snakeswith dorsal scaleslad
Description (genus). Relatively small-sized (<550mm SVL) dipsadine snakes restricted to the Darien in Panama and northern Andes of South America, with 16–25 maxillary teeth, 10–13 infralabials, 8 or 9 supralabials, fused prefrontals, internasals in contact, loreal pre- sent, 1–3 postoculars, 157–197 ventrals, 84–141 subcaudals, dorsal scales in (19–21)-19- 17 rows, and expanded vertebral scale row with weak to strong double keeling [PYRON et al. 2015].

Description (species). Relatively small-sized snakes (276–524mm SVL) with 23–25 maxillary teeth, 10–13 infralabials, 8 or 9 supralabials, 1–3 postoculars with the lower occasionally resembling a subocular and the middle occasionally resembling a temporal, fused prefrontals, internasals in contact, loreal present, incomplete nuchal collar present in juveniles (MZUTI 3322) fading ontogenetically, 181–197 ventrals, 131–141 subcaudals, (19–21)-19-17 dorsal scale rows, strong keels present on dorsal scales, and enlarged, bicarinate vertebral scale row. Uniformly cream-colored venter and dark-brown to black dorsum. Lumbar vertebrae are constricted near the middle, zygapophyses and neural spines are not expanded. The hemipenis has been briefly described (Bogert 1964), but prior to modern classifications of the organ (Zaher 1999), and needs to be examined in more detail. Ranges at low to middle elevations (~300–1600m) along the Pacific versant from the Darien in Panama to central Ecuador. 
EtymologyThe genus has been named after the Greek diaphoros for “differentiated” and lepis for “scales,” likely referring to the enlarged vertebral scale row as compared to the rest of the dorsal scales.
The species is most likely named after Moritz Wagner, not after Johann Andreas Wagner as stated in Boelens et al. (2011) [Bauer 2013, HR 44: 703]. 
References
  • Arteaga AF, Bustamante-Enríquez LM and Guayasamin JM 2013. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo. http://www.tropicalherping.com - get paper here
  • Bogert, C.M. 1964. Snakes of the genera Diaphorelepis and Synophis and the colubrid subfamily Xenodermidae (Reptilia, colubridae). Senckenbergiana biologica 45: 509-531.
  • 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
  • Hillis, D. M. 1990. A new species of xenodontine colubrid snake of the genus Synophis from Ecuador and the phylogeny of the genera Synophis and Emmochliophis. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History (University of Kansas), (135):1-9 - get paper here
  • Jan,G. 1863. Elenco Sistematico degli Ofidi descriti e disegnati per l'Iconografia Generale. Milano, A. Lombardi. vii + 143 pp.
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • Pyron RA, Guayasamin JM, Peñafiel N, Bustamante L, Arteaga A 2015. Systematics of Nothopsini (Serpentes, Dipsadidae), with a new species of Synophis from the Pacific Andean slopes of southwestern Ecuador. ZooKeys 541: 109-147, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.541.6058 - get paper here
  • PYRON, R. ALEXANDER; ALEJANDRO ARTEAGA, LOURDES Y. ECHEVARRÍA, OMAR TORRES-CARVAJAL 2016. A revision and key for the tribe Diaphorolepidini (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) and checklist for the genus Synophis. Zootaxa 4171 (2): 293–320 - get paper here
  • Sheil,C.A. & Grant,T. 2001. A new species of colubrid snake (Synophis) from Western Colombia. Journal of Herpetology 35 (2): 204-209 - get paper here
  • Tiedemann,F.; Häupl,M. & Grillitsch,H. 1994. Katalog der Typen der herpetologischen Sammlung nach dem Stand vom 1. Jänner 1994. Teil II: Reptilia. Kat. wiss. Samml. Naturhist. Mus. Wien 10 (Vertebrata 4): 1-110
  • 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.
  • Werner, F. 1901. Ueber Reptilien und Batrachier aus Ecuador und Neu-Guinea. Verh. Zool.-bot. Ges. Wien 51: 593-614
 
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