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Dipsas elegans (BOULENGER, 1896)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesS: Caracolera subtropical 
SynonymLeptognathus elegans BOULENGER 1896: 452
Dipsas elegans — PARKER 1926: 206
Dipsas elegans — SMITH & TAYLOR 1945: 51
Dipsas elegans — PETERS 1960: 86
Dipsas elegans — PETERS 1965: 3
Dipsas elegans — MIYATA 1982: 16
Sibynomorphus elegans — AMARAL 1926: 9
Leptognathus maxillaris — AMARAL 1929: 29
Dipsas elegans — KOFRON 1982
Dipsas ellipsifera — KOFRON 1982
Dipsas oreas elegans — ORCÉS & ALMENDÁRIZ 1987
Dipsas elegans — CADLE 2005
Dipsas elegans — HARVEY et al. 2008
Dipsas elegans — WALLACH et al. 2014: 232 
DistributionEcuador (western versant of the Andes, inter-Andean valley of the upper Río Guayllabamba east of Quito)

Type locality: unknown, see comment.  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946. 1. 21. 77 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: CADLE 2005 
CommentSynonymy mostly after CADLE 2005.

Behavior: Dipsas elegans is nocturnal.

The type locality ‘‘Tehuantepec’’ [Mexico] is in error. The type locality was discussed by Kofron (1982), who concluded that the specimen must have come from Ecuador. The holotype was illustrated by Kofron (1982: Fig. 1). ORCÉS & ALMENDÁRIZ 1987: 139 unjustifiably inferred that Perucho (Pichincha Province) ‘‘could be considered the type locality (fide CADLE 2005).

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyThe name elegans (Latin) means tasteful, choice, fine, select or elegant and appears to refer to the color pattern or body shape. 
  • Amaral, A. do 1930. Estudos sobre ophidios neotropicos XVII. Valor systematico de varias formas de ophidios neotropicos. Mem. Inst. Butantan 4: 1-68 [1929] - get paper here
  • Amaral,A. do 1926. 2.a nota de nomenclatura Ophiologica. Sobre o emprego do nome generico Sibynomorphus em vez de ‘‘ Leptognathus’’, ‘‘Stremmatognathus’’, ‘‘Anholodon’’, etc. Revista do Museu Paulista 14: 7–9
  • Arteaga AF, Bustamante-Enríquez LM and Guayasamin JM 2013. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Carrera, C. et al. 2009. Guía de Campo de los Pequeños Vertebrados del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito (DMQ). Publicación Miscelánea N° 5. Serie de Publicaciones del Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias Naturales (MECN) – Fondo Ambiental del MDMQ. 1-89 pp. Imprenta Nuevo Arte. Quito-Ecuador.
  • 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
  • Kofron, C.P. 1982. The identities of some dipsadine snakes: Dipsas elegans, D. ellipsifera and Leptognathus andrei. Copeia 1982 (1): 46-51 - get paper here
  • Miyata, K. 1982. A check list of the amphibians and reptiles of Ecuador, with a bibliography of Ecuadorian herpetology. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (54): 70 pp. - get paper here
  • Orcés,V. & Almendáriz,A. 1987. Sistematica y distribución de las serpientes dipsadinae del grupo oreas. Politécnica, 12 (4):135-44
  • Parker, H. W. 1926. A new snake from Trinidad. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (9) 18: 205-207 - get paper here
  • Peters , J. A. 1960. The snakes of the subfamily Dipsadinae. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool., Univ. Michigan (114): 224 pp. - get paper here
  • Peters, J.A. 1965. Liste der rezenten Amphibien und Reptilien. Colubridae (Dipsadinae). Das Tierreich Lfg. 81 18 pp.
  • Smith, Hobart M. & Taylor, Edward H. 1945. An annotated checklist and key to the snakes of Mexico. Bull. US Natl. Mus. (187): iv + 1-239 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - 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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