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Dipsas welborni ARTEAGA & BATISTA, 2023

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymDipsas welborni ARTEAGA & BATISTA 2023: 28 
DistributionEcuador, Peru

Type locality: Reserva Maycu, Zamora Chinchipe province, Ecuador (-4.20719, -78.63987; 960 m a.s.l.).  
TypesHolotype: MZUTI 3663 (Figs 13, 15a), adult male collected on 2 July 2014 at Reserva Maycu, Zamora Chinchipe province, Ecuador (-4.20719, -78.63987; 960 m a.s.l.).
Paratypes: MZUA.RE.0261, adult male collected at Nangaritza, Zamora Chinchipe province, Ecuador (-4.43169, -78.63869; 996 m a.s.l.). DHMECN 11197, juvenile male collected by Raquel Betancourt and Miguel Alcoser on 18 September 2012 at Concesión ECSA, Zamora Chinchipe province, Ecuador (-3.57245, -78.46982; 790 m a.s.l.). ZSFQ 5060 (Figs 4f, 14a), female collected by Alejandro Arteaga and Amanda Quezada at Maycu Reserve, Zamora Chinchipe province, Ecuador (-4.26395, -78.64483; 1078 m a.s.l.). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Dipsas welborni is placed in the genus Dipsas based on phylogenetic evidence and the absence of a labial that is noticeably higher than other labials. The species is diagnosed based on the following combination of characters: (1) 13/13/13 smooth dorsals with enlarged vertebral row (1.8–2.1× as wide as adja- cent rows); (2) loreal and a preocular in contact with orbit; (3) 7–8 supralabials with 4th, 5th, and occasionally 6th, contacting orbit; (4) 8–9 infralabials with 1st to 5th or to 6th in contact with chinshields, one pair of infralabials in contact behind symphysial; (5) 181–193 ventrals in males, 177–179 in females; (6) 107–116 divided subcaudals in males, 105–106 in females; (7) dorsal color consisting of 21–26 dark brown to blackish body blotches (8–13 dorsal scales long anteriorly and 2–5 dorsal scales long posteriorly) separated from each other by narrow (2–3 dorsal scales long) pale brown interspaces that become white towards the lower lateral side, ventral surfaces white with encroachment from the dorsal dark brown blotches and with smaller brownish marks in-between the blotches, dorsal aspect of head dark reddish brown with fine bright yellow (juveniles) to light brown reticulations, throat white, iris pale brown; (8) 491–542 mm SVL in males, 321–595 mm in females; (9) 190–279 mm TL in males, 132–281 mm in females (Arteaga & Batista 2023). 
CommentDistribution: see map in Arteaga & Batista 2023: 33: Fig. 16. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet welborni is a patronym honoring David Welborn, a lifelong champion of ecosystem and species conservation who supports and serves on several nonprofit boards dedicated to the environment (Arteaga & Batista 2023). 
  • Arteaga, A., & Batista, A. 2023.  A consolidated phylogeny of snail-eating snakes (Serpentes, Dipsadini), with the description of five new species from Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. ZooKeys, 1143: 1-49 - get paper here
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