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Dipsas baliomelas HARVEY, 2008

IUCN Red List - Dipsas baliomelas - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymDipsas baliomelas HARVEY 2008
Dipsas baliomelas — WALLACH et al. 2014: 230 
DistributionColombia (Meta)

Type locality: 35 km WSW Vista Hermosa (Cañon Sardinata), Serranía de la Macarena, Meta, Colombia, ‘‘3700 ft’’ (= 1128 m elevation).  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: UTA 3363, male; Fig. 1, collected by J. F. Taulman. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The new species is distin- uished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) dorsals 15-1515; (2) postoculars excluding temporals from orbit; (3) 1 pair of infralabials in contact behind mental; (4) infralabials broadly contacting second pair of chinshields; sublabials separating infralabials from preventrals and ventrals; (5) loreal square, entering orbit; (6) preocular present above loreal, excluding prefrontal from orbit; (7) dorsal surface of head reddish brown; cream marks edged in black on snout, frontal, and supraoculars; (8) supralabials white with thick black edging not restricted to posterior edge and forming circular or oval white marks on some supralabials; (9) nuchal collar absent except for few black and white occipital scales; first blotch contacting parietals; (10) dorsum cream with reddish brown bands edged in black; (11) bands complete ventrally on anterior one-half of body, extending far onto ventrals and narrowly incomplete posteriorly; (12) interspaces immaculate except for few dark brown marks in vertebral region; accessory paraventral blotches absent; (13) ventral pattern like that on flanks; brown blotches forming irregular midventral stripe from chinshields to midbody; (14) ventrals 188 in male holotype; (15) subcaudals 85 in male holotype; (16) maxillary teeth 16. 
CommentHabitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet baliomelas is a masculine noun in apposition derived from the Greek adjective balios meaning spotted and noun Melon meaning cheek. The name refers to the distinctive brown, black, and white pattern of the temporal region and labials of this species. 
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Harvey, Michael B. 2008. New and Poorly Known Dipsas (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Northern South America. Herpetologica 64 (4): 422-451 - get paper here
  • Harvey, Michael B. and Dirk Embert 2008. Review of Bolivian Dipsas (Serpentes: Colubridae), with Comments on Other South American Species. Herpetological Monographs 22 (1): 54-105 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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