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Dipsas pakaraima MACCULLOCH & LATHROP, 2004

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common Names 
SynonymDipsas pakaraima MACCULLOCH & LATHROP 2004
Dipsas pakaraima — WALLACH et al. 2014: 233 
DistributionGuyana (Mt. Ayanganna)

Type locality: NE plateau of Mt. Ayanganna 5°24' N, 59°57' W, 1490 m elevation, Guyana.  
TypesHolotype: ROM 41233, adult male collected on 31 October 2000, by Roland Edward. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A member of the genus Dipsas characterised by 15 dorsal scale rows, the mid-dorsal row slightly enlarged; four pairs of chin-shields, the first pair elongate; elongate loreal entering orbit; one preocular; six upper labials, with only one elongate upper labial posterior to those that enter the orbit; head narrow anteriorly, increasing in width posteriorly; eye visible from below. The new species can be referred to Dipsas because it possesses the following suite of characters: head distinct from neck; mental groove absent; tertiary temporals present; four pairs chinshields; posterior chinshields separated from lower labials by other scales; maxillary teeth angled inwards; pterygoids parallel, not diverging posteriorly; occurring in northern South America (Peters 1960).
Dipsas pakaraima can be distinguished from D. catesbyi by its 15 dorsal scale rows (13 in D. catesbyi), six upper labials (8-9), loreal entering orbit (not); from D. copei by four pairs of chinshields (three in D. copei), six upper labials (10-11), loreal entering orbit (not); from D. indica and D. pavonina by 15 scale rows (13 in D. indica and D. pavonina), six upper labials (9-11), four pairs of chin-shields (three); from D. variegata by one preocular (none in D. variegata), six upper labials (7-10), four pairs of chinshields (two or three). No other described species of Dipsas occurs in the Guiana region. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet refers to the Pakaraima Mountains of western Guyana, where the type locality is located. It is used as a noun in apposition. 
  • Cole, Charles J.; Carol R. Townsend, Robert P. Reynolds, Ross D. MacCulloch, and Amy Lathrop 2013. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 125 (4): 317-578; plates: 580-620 - 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 2009. Review of Bolivian Dipsas (Serpentes: Colubridae), with Comments on Other South American Species. Herpetological Monographs 22 (1): 54-105 - get paper here
  • MacCulloch, R. D. & A. Lathrop 2004. A new species of Dipsas (Squamata: Colubridae) from Guyana. Revista de Biologia Tropical 52(1): 239-247 - 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.
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