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Dipsas cisticeps (BOETTGER, 1885)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Neotropical Snail-eater 
SynonymLeptognathus (Dipsadomorus) [sic] cisticeps BOETTGER 1885: 237
Dipsas cisticeps — BERTONI 1914: 29
Dipsas indica cisticeps — PETERS 1960: 78
Dipsas indica cisticeps — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 87
Dipsas bucephala cisticeps — HARVEY & EMBERT 2008: 64
Dipsas cisticeps — CACCIALI et al. 2016
Dipsas cisticeps — ATKINSON et al. 2017 
DistributionE Bolivia (Cochabamba, Santa Cruz), NW Argentina, W Paraguay

Type locality: Paraguay  
TypesHolotype: unlocated, not in SMF (Pier Cacciali and Sebastian Lotzkat, pers. comm., 1 Aug 2017). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The following combination of characters distinguishes Dipsas bucephala from all congeners: (1) dorsals 13, usually without reduction or with reduction to 11 relatively close to vent; (2) temporals excluded from orbit by postoculars; (3) usually two pairs of infralabials in contact behind mental; (4) infralabials broadly contacting second pair of chinshields or sublabials occasionally (22% of the time) separating infralabials and second pair of chinshields; (5) loreal square, entering orbit; (6) preocular present above loreal, excluding prefrontal from orbit; (7) dorsal head scales with few large brown spots edged in yellow; (8) labials immaculate or with scattered black marks not concentrated at dorsal apices of scales or forming regular bars; (9) nuchal collar tan to light gray; first blotch not reaching rictus and separated from parietals by 4–8 vertebrals; (10) dorsum tan to light gray with darker markings narrowly edged first in yellow then in dark brown; body blotches, and often interspaces, with row of subcircular cream to yellow spots, at least anteriorly; (11) dorsal blotches incomplete ventrally; widest at paraventrals, longer than interspaces over most of body; usually not forming bands anteriorly; (12) interspaces mostly immaculate dorsally; large dark brown accessory blotch of paraventral region fusing to varying degrees with body blotches; (13) paraventral pattern extending onto venter, center of venter mostly immaculate or with narrow longitudinal line; (14) ventrals 169–194; (15) subcaudals 77–107; (16) maxillary teeth 14–15 (Harvey & Embert 2008: 64). 
CommentDistribution: not confirmed in Brazil fide Nogueira et al. 2019 although sometimes reported from Mato Grosso. 
  • Atkinson, Karina; Paul Smith, Joseph Sarvary, Alexander Matthews 2017. New and noteworthy snake species records (Colubridae and Dipsadidae) for the Reserva Natural Laguna Blanca, eastern Paraguay. Check List 13 (1): 1-5 - get paper here
  • Bertoni 1914. Descr. Fis. Econom. Paraguay 59: 29
  • Boettger, O. 1885. Liste von Reptilien und Batrachiern aus Paraguay. Zeitschr. Naturw. 58 (3): 213-248 - get paper here
  • Cacciali, Pier; Norman J. Scott, Aida Luz Aquino Ortíz, Lee A. Fitzgerald, and Paul Smith 2016. The Reptiles of Paraguay: Literature, Distribution, and an Annotated Taxonomic Checklist. SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MUSEUM OF SOUTHWESTERN BIOLOGY, NUMBER 11: 1–373 - 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
  • Peters, James A.; Donoso-Barros, Roberto & Orejas-Miranda, Braulio 1970. Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: Part I Snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 297: 347 pp. - get paper here
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