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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
DistributionBrazil (Minas Gerais, probably Bahia)

Type locality: “Fazenda Duas Barras” (near 16°25′0.00′′S, 40°2′60.00′′W, 800 m elevation), a ranch in the district of Talimã, municipality of Santa Maria do Salto, Minas Gerais, Brazil  
TypesHolotype: MNRJ 26377, adult female, collected on 8 November 2004 by Daniel S. Fernandes and Luciana B. Nascimento.
Paratype: MZUESC 15828, an adult male found freshly killed on state road BA-001 on 23 January 2016 by Konrad Mebert and Carol Cornélio, 2 km northeast of Cachoeira do Tijuipe and 3 km southwest of Txai, Praia (Beach) de Itacarézinho (14°23′43.14′′S, 39°2′21.70′′W; 53 m a.s.l.), Itacaré, Bahia, Brazil (Figs. 3, 4). We collected no tissue sample from the holotype, but such is available from the paratype at MZUESC. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The new species is allocated to the genus Dipsas by possessing the following derived characters combined from Peters (1960), Cadle (2007), and Arteaga et al. (2018): mental sulcus (groove) absent, shape of chinshields (square or polygonal rather than elongate and narrow), more than two pairs of chinshields, absence of supralabial noticeably higher than other supralabials and in contact with postocular, and Harderian gland occupying the entire postorbital region.
Dipsas bothropoides sp. nov. (holotype and paratype) is distinguished from all currently recognized congeners by the unique combination of the following morphological characters: (1) dorsal scale rows 15/15/15, smooth; (2) one pair of infralabials in contact posterior to mental; (3) infralabials 8–9, 4–6th or only 4th in contact with second pair of chinshields; gulars separating infralabials from preventrals and ventrals; (4) supralabials 8–9 (4–5th or 5–6th contacting orbit); (5) nasal partially or fully divided; (6) internasal paired or fused; (7) loreal square usually in contact with orbit, but contact can be obstructed by a tiny interjacent scale; (8) preoculars 1 or 2 present above and/or below loreal, excluding prefrontal from orbit; (9) postoculars two, excluding temporals from orbit; (10) temporals 3/3/3, 2/3/2 or 2/3/3; (11) ventrals 183 in female (holotype), 179 in male (paratype); (12) subcaudals 100 in female (holotype) and 110 in male (paratype); (13) head light brown with 3–7 large, black blotches with light to yellow borders on the pileus, including a preorbital band (holotype) or three blotches instead (paratype), with the paratype exhibiting two additional parallel spots diverging anteriorly along the sutures of parietals-frontalsupraoculars; (14) first dorsal blotch (nuchal collar) 2–5 scales long on the mid-dorsals and 10–14 scales long at paraventral portion; (15) dorsum of body medium brown (paratype before preservation) to light brown (preserved holotype) with well-defined dorsal blotches in the shape of triangles with black (paratype before preservation) to dark brown borders, becoming lighter towards the center of the blotch, and an additional cream to yellow border on the flanks (both specimens) and venter (paratype), more prominent anteriorly in the male before preservation; (16) number of dorsal blotches 20–26 ( = 23; SD = 2.9; n = 4 sides) to vent, arranged in pairs and separated by a light, slightly enlarged row of vertebral scales; (17) midlevel of dorsal blotches 4–7 scales long; (18) number of dorsal blotches on the tail 10–16 ( = 13; SD = 2.9; n = 4 sides), dark brown with yellow-cream border, fading increasingly in posterior blotches; (19) venter cream brown anteriorly, becoming variably darker through stippling towards posterior region of body and tail up to exhibit the same coloration as dorsum; (20) maxillary teeth 16–17; (21) pterygoid teeth 16–17; (22) palatine teeth 9/9; (23) hemipenis unilobed with conspicuous capitular arch on asulcate side; (24) capitulum on asulcate face of hemipenis with two lobular longitudinal crests, oriented obliquely and converging medially to tip of organ.
The general body habitus of Dipsas bothropoides sp. nov. and its elongate head shape, in particular the preorbital-snout area, as well as some features of color pattern resemble members of the D. incerta species group (sensu Harvey, 2008; Fernandes et al., 2010). This group currently includes D. sazimai, D. alternans, D. incerta Jan, 1863 (holotype depicted in Jan and Sordelli [1870], reprinted in Passos et al. [2004]), and D. praeornata Werner, 1909. The D. incerta group is further defined by having a brown dorsal ground color with darker blotches, a mostly immaculate head with few blotches, 15 dorsal scale rows, and loreal in contact with the orbit, all of which are consistent with our specimens. Although Harvey (2008) and Fernandes et al. (2010) stated that the nuchal collar does not reach the rictus in members of the D. incerta group, a D. alternans specimen depicted in Maia-Carneiro et al. (2012) appears to show a nuchal collar that may reach the rictus, as it does in the new species. 
CommentHabitat: Montane Atlantic rainforest. Note that the paratype is from near sea level and the is holotype from more inland mountains at 700–1,000 m elevation.

Mimicry: T. bothropoides may be a mimic of Bothrops pirajai or Bothrops jararaca given the similar color pattern in these species. 
EtymologyNamed after the Latinized form of “bothros” derived from the Greek (ßóθρς), referring to the facial pit, and also referring to the genus Bothrops, the species-rich terrestrial Neotropical pitvipers. The suffix -oides means ‘similar to’ or ‘having the nature of,’ in reference to the great similarity of the dorsal color pattern with many members of the genus Bothrops, especially the sympatric B. jararaca and B. pirajai. 
  • Mebert K., Passos P., Fernandes D.S., Entiauspe-Neto O.M., Alvez F.Q., Machado A.S., Lopes R.T. 2020. A new species of snail-eating snake, Dipsas Cope, 1860 (Serpentes: Colubridae: Dipsadinae), from the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. South American Journal of Herpetology 17 (1): 43–62 - get paper here
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