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Dipsas vagus (JAN, 1863)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesJan's Tree Snake 
SynonymLeptognathus vagus JAN 1863: 100
Leptognathus vaga — COPE 1868: 136
Pareas vagus — BOETTGER 1888: 145.
Pseudopareas vagus — BOULENGER 1896: 462
Pseudopareas vagus — WERNER 1922: 200
Pseudopareas vagus — DUNN 1923: 187
Pseudopareas vagus vagus — AMARAL ‘‘1929’’a [1930]: 33
Pseudopareas vagus vagus — AMARAL ‘‘1929’’b [1930]: 201
Pseudopareas vagus vagus — AMARAL ‘‘1929’’c [1930]: 75
Sibynomorphus vagus — PETERS 1960: 164
Sibynomorphus vagus — LEHR et al. 2002
Sibynomorphus vagus — CADLE 2007
Sibynomorphus vagus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 671
Dipsas vagus — ARTEAGA et al. 2018 
DistributionPeru (Piura: Huancabamba), elevation 1,810 to 1,920 m.

Type locality: Hong Kong (designated as South America by Dunn 1923: 187)  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: MSNM (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milan) (probably destroyed during the bombing of 1943). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis in Cadle 2007. 
CommentSynonymy that of PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970

The holotype of Sibynomorphus vagus, illustrated by Jan and Sordelli (1860–1881) (Fig. 34), was a specimen in Milan’s Museo Civico di Storia Naturale. Jan’s (1863: 100– 101) diagnosis of Leptognathus vagus appeared in a key to the genus, in which L. vagus was diagnosed by the following characteristics: [15] scale rows, loreal in contact with the eye, and 8 supralabials. Jan and Sordelli’s (1860–1881) illustration of the holotype shows the following character i s t i cs : body s l i ght l y compr es s ed; smooth dorsal scales in 15 rows anteriorly and at midbody; supralabials 8 with 4–5 touching the eye on each side, 2–4 bordering the loreal; infralabials 10/10, the first pair in contact behind the mental; three pairs of polygonal chin shields (the first pair somewhat elongate) followed by three preventrals (the first with a partial suture); loreal and preocular bordering the anterior edge of the eye (preocular superior to loreal); loreal longer than tall; postoculars 2/2; primary temporals 1/1, secondary temporals 2/2, tertiary temporals 2/2 (with the upper secondary temporal fused with the upper tertiary temporal on the left side); anal single; subcaudals 50. The anterior body has a series of irregular lateral vertical markings one scale row or less in width and separated by 2–3 rows. Middorsally is a series of smaller irregular flecks that are aligned with or slightly off- set from the lateral series. Top of the head without distinct pattern (stippled uniformly); a slight concentration of dark pigment is on suture lines of the posterior supra- labials. The ventrals and subcaudals are heavily patterned with bold half-moon markings; on the posterior body, these tend to align into longitudinal rows on the outer portion of the ventrals [from CADLE 2007].

Diet: primarily molluscs (T. de Lema, pers. comm., 16 Oct 2015). 
EtymologyThe common meaning of the specific epithet, vagus, is wandering or roaming. However, the word can also mean diffuse or indefinite (as in vague). Cadle (2007) suspects that this is a reference to the diffuse dorsal pattern of Sibynomorphus vagus compared with other species of Leptognathus known at the time of its description—as seen especially by comparing the illustration of S. vagus with the other species illustrated on the same plate by Jan and Sordelli (1860–1881): Dipsas incerta, S. mikanii, and the Asian colubrid Pareas laevis (all in the genus Leptognathus at the time); these are much more boldly marked than S. vagus. 
References
  • 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 1929. Contribuicao ao conhecimento dos ophidios do Brasil. IV. Lista remissiva dos ophidios do Brasil. Mem. Inst. Butantan, Sao Paulo, 4: 71-125 - get paper here
  • Amaral,A. do 1930. Estudos sobre ophidios neotropicos XVIII. Lista remissiva dos ophidios da região neotropica. Mem. Inst. Butantan 4: 126-271 [1929] - get paper here
  • Arteaga A, Salazar-Valenzuela D, Mebert K, Peñafiel N, Aguiar G, Sánchez-Nivicela JC, Pyron RA, Colston TJ, Cisneros-Heredia DF, Yánez-Muñoz MH, Venegas PJ, Guayasamin JM, Torres-Carvajal O 2018. Systematics of South American snail-eating snakes (Serpentes, Dipsadini), with the description of five new species from Ecuador and Peru. ZooKeys 766: 79-147 - get paper here
  • Boettger, O. 1888. Materialien zur herptologischen Fauna von China. II. Ber. Offenbach. Ver. Naturk. 26-28: 53-176 - 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
  • Cadle, J.E. 2007. The snake genus Sibynomorphus (Colubridae: Dipsadinae: Dipsadini) in Peru and Ecuador, with comments on the systematics of Dipsadini. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 158(5):183-283 - get paper here
  • Dunn, E. R. 1923. Some snakes from North Western Peru. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 36: 185-188 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1863. Elenco Sistematico degli Ofidi descriti e disegnati per l'Iconografia Generale. Milano, A. Lombardi. vii + 143 pp.
  • Lehr, E. 2002. Amphibien und Reptilien in Peru. Natur und Tier-Verlag (Münster), 208 pp. - get paper here
  • Lehr, E.; Köhler, G. & Streit, B. 2002. Die Herpetofauna von Mittelperu entlang eines Transektes von der pazifischen Küste bis in die Hochanden (Amphibia et Reptilia). Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 22 (2): 361-392
  • Peters , J. A. 1960. The snakes of the subfamily Dipsadinae. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool., Univ. Michigan (114): 224 pp. - get paper here
  • Rossman, D. A.; Kizirian, D. A. 1993. Variation in the peruvian dipsadine snakes Sibynomorphus oneilli and S. vagus. Journal of Herpetology 27 (1): 87-90 - 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.
  • Werner,F. 1922. Synopsis der Schlangenfamilien der Amblycephalidae und Viperidae nebst Uebersicht über die kleineren Familien und die colubriden der Acrochordinengruppe auf Grund des Boulengerschen Schlangenkatalogs (1893-1896). Archiv für Naturgeschichte 8A: 185-244
 
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