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Drymarchon melanurus (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

IUCN Red List - Drymarchon melanurus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesDrymarchon melanurus melanurus (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854)
Drymarchon melanurus erebennus (COPE 1861)
Drymarchon melanurus orizabensis (DUGÈS 1905)
Drymarchon melanurus rubidus SMITH 1941
Drymarchon melanurus unicolor SMITH 1941 
Common NamesBlacktail Cribo
erebennus: Texas Indigo Snake 
SynonymSpilotes melanurus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 224
Spilotes corais melanurus — COPE 1893: 432
Morenoa orizabensis DUGÈS 1905: 517
Drymarchon corais melanurus — AMARAL 1929
Drymarchon corais melanurus — STUART 1935: 49
Drymarchon corais melanocercus SMITH 1941: 473 (nom. nov.)
Drymarchon corais melanurus — MCCRANIE 1980
Drymarchon corais — CAMPBELL 1998
Drymarchon melanurus — WÜSTER et al. 2001
Drymarchon melanurus — CISNEROS-HEREDIA 2006
Drymarchon corais melanurus — KÖHLER 2008
Drymarchon melanurus — CROTHER et al. 2012
Drymarchon melanurum — PERCINO-DANIEL et al. 2013
Drymarchon melanurus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 245

Drymarchon melanurus erebennus (COPE 1861)
Spilotes erebennus COPE 1861: 342, 565
Drymarchon corais erebennus — TAYLOR 1949: 200
Drymarchon corais erebennus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 192
Drymarchon corais erebennus — CROTHER 2000: 61
Drymarchon corais erebennus — DIXON 2000
Drymarchon corais erebennus — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 343
Drymarchon melanurus erebennus — WÜSTER et al. 2001 (provisionally)
Drymarchon melanurus erebennus — POWELL et al. 2011 [HR 42: 289]
Drymarchon melanurus erebennus — CROTHER et al. 2012

Drymarchon melanurus orizabensis (DUGÈS 1905)
Morenoa orizabensis DUGÈS 1905
Drymarchon corais orizabensis — SMITH 1941: 477
Drymarchon corais orizabensis — MCCRANIE 1980
Drymarchon melanurus orizabensis — WÜSTER et al. 2001 (provisionally)

Drymarchon melanurus rubidus SMITH 1941
Drymarchon corais rubidus SMITH 1941: 474
Drymarchon corais cleofae BROCK 1942: 249
Drymarchon corais rubidus — HALL 1951
Drymarchon corais rubidus — DAVIS & SMITH 1953
Drymarchon corais rubidus — ZWEIFEL & NORRIS 1955
Drymarchon corais rubidus — ZWEIFEL 1959
Drymarchon corais rubidus — HARDY 1969: 159
Drymarchon corais rubidus — MCCRANIE 1980
Drymarchon corais rubidis — CAMARILLO-RANGEL 1983 (in error)
Drymarchon corais rubidus — WEBB 1984
Drymarchon corais rubidus — TANNER 1985: 629
Drymarchon melanurus rubidus — WÜSTER et al. 2001 (provisionally)
Drymarchon corais rubidus — KÖHLER 2008

Drymarchon melanurus unicolor SMITH 1941
Drymarchon corais unicolor SMITH 1941: 470
Dryma63rchon corais unicolor — MERTENS 1952:
Drymarchon corais unicolor — MCCRANIE 1980
Drymarchon melanurus unicolor — WÜSTER et al. 2001 (provisionally)
Drymarchon corais unicolor — KÖHLER 2008 
DistributionMexico (Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Oaxaca, Querétaro, Aguascalientes, Puebla, Jalisco, Sonora, Hidalgo, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Guerrero, Coahuila, Durango etc.), Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador ?, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia (Valle del Cauca), N Venezuela, Peru

Type locality: Mexico

erebennus: S Texas; Mexico (Coahuila etc.); Type locality: "Eagle Pass, Texas" (Cope, 1860b:564).

orizabensis: Mexico (Veracruz); Type locality: "d'Orizaba (Etat de Vera-Cruz).”

rubidus: Mexico (Michoacan, Sinaloa, Chiapas, Morelos, México); Type locality: Rosario, Sinaloa.

unicolor: along the Pacific in Mexico (Chiapas), Guatemala, El Salvador, SW Honduras, Nicaragua, NW Costa Rica; Type locality, "La Esperanza, near Escuintla, Chiapas," Mexico.  
TypesLectotype: MNHN-RA 3185; paralectotypes: MNHN-RA 0638 and MNHN-RA 3354
Syntypes: USNM 1862, a skin (Cochran, 1961), collected by A. Schott, and Academy Natural Sciences Philadelphia (ANSP) 3921, young adult female, collected by A. Schott, dates not given [erebennus]
Holotype: USNM 110865, adult female [unicolor]
Holotype: USNM 46430, female, CAS-SUR 9447; paratypes: USNM, EHT-HMS [rubidus]
Lectotype: MDUG HE 126 (Alfredo Duges Museum, Guanajuato), designated by Smith & Necker 1943 [orizabensis] 
CommentIn Central America, Smith (1941) noted the existence of hybrid zones between melanurus on one hand and the taxa erebennus, orizabensis and rubidus on the other. Additionally, juveniles and some adults of erebennus, rubidus and unicolor display oblique dark bars on the sides of the neck, which appear to be homologous with the marks seen in D. melanurus (no orizabensis were examined). Although the sister taxon to Drymarchon is unresolved, these dark marks appear to be unique to these taxa, and can therefore be regarded as a synapomorphy for these populations. This makes the classification of the taxa erebennus Cope, 1860, rubidus Smith, 1941, unicolor Smith, 1941 and, presumably, orizabensis Dugès, 1905, as subspecies of D. melanurus (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854), a tenable provisional arrangement (from Wüster et al. 2001).

Adult D. c. erebennus are blackish above posteriorly, spotted anteriorly, and have dark diagonal markings on the sides of the neck. Additionally, this subspecies usu- ally has 14 dorsal scale rows anterior to the vent.

Max. total length: 2.4 m

Distribution: This species has been reported from Peru, but without specific locality (T. Doan, pers. comm. 30 Apr 2012). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is Greek, from the words melano, meaning "black" and urus, meaning "tail". 
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  • WÜSTER, WOLFGANG; JOSÉ LUÍS YRAUSQUIN AND ABRAHAM MIJARES-URRUTIA 2001. A new species of Indigo Snake from North-Western Venezuela (Serpentes: Colubridae: Drymarchon). The Herpetological Journal 11: 157-165
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