Emmochliophis miops (BOULENGER, 1898)
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|Higher Taxa||Colubridae (Dipsadinae), Diaphorolepidini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Synonym||Synophis miops BOULENGER 1898: 115|
Emmochliophis miops — HILLIS 1990
Emmochliophis miops — WALLACH et al. 2014: 268
|Distribution||W Ecuador, Colombia (Cauca: Cordillera Occidental)|
Type locality: “Paramba” [= Parambas, Imbabura, Ecuador, fide Lynch and Duellman 1997]
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 19126.96.36.199|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. (based on 1 male and 2 females): Emmochliophis miops is distinguished from E. fugleri and other species of Diaphorolepidini by the following combination of characters: (1) intervertebral scale row single keeled; (2) dorsal scales keeled, in 19|19|19 rows; (3) prefrontals fused, in contact with supralabials; (4) loreal absent; (5) preoculars 1 or 2; (6) postoculars 1 or 2; (7) temporals 1+2; (8) supralabials 8, 4th and 5th in contact with orbit; (9) infralabials 8, first four in contact with first pair of chinshields; (10) ventrals 141 in male, 137 in females; (11) subcaudals more than 62 in males, 90 and 94 in females; (12) maxillary teeth 13–15; (13) dorsum dark gray with white nuchal collar after few months of preservation, and brown with a cream nuchal collar in holotype (Figures 1–2); (14) venter grayish after preservation, and cream in holotype; (15) chin tubercles present in males and juvenile females but absent in adult females (Figure 3); (16) hemipenis bilobed, semicalyculate, and semicapitate with a lateral naked pocket at base of organ (Figure 4 in Vera-Pérez et al. 2020).|
Comparisons. Diaphorolepidini includes slender snakes that are dark dorsolaterally, and have keeled scales, fused prefrontals and a long head. Emmochliophis miops differs from Diaphorolepis (characters in parentheses) by having an intervertebral scale row of single keeled and not expanded (double keeled and expanded), dorsal scale rows with no reduction (reduced posteriorly), loreal absent (present), infralabials 8 (10–13), maxillary teeth 13–15 (16–25), ventral scales ≤ 141 (157–197), and nuchal collar complete in juveniles and adults (incomplete and present only in juveniles). Species of Synophis also have a loreal scale, reduction in dorsal scale rows, nuchal collar absent (except in S. plectovertebralis), more maxillary teeth (16–27), more infralabials up to a maximum of 12 (except in S. calamitus Hillis, 1990, S. plectovertebralis, and S. zaheri Pyron, Guayasamin, Peñafiel, Bustamante and Arteaga, 2015, which can also have 7 or 8), and more ventral scales (144–193).
The differences between Emmochliophis miops and E. fugleri include the latter having no nuchal collar, 16 maxillary teeth, and unique interlocking trunk vertebrae. Juveniles of Geophis nigroalbus Boulenger, 1908 and some individuals of Ninia atrata and N. teresitae Angarita-Sierra and Lynch, 2017 can be confused with E. miops by having keeled scales and a dorsolateral black coloration with a light whitish nuchal collar. However, these three species can be easily differentiated by the absence of fused prefrontals (Vera-Pérez et al. 2020).
|Comment||Known from only 3 specimens.|
Diet: gymnophthalmid lizards (Pyron et al. 2016).
|Etymology||Likely from the Greek miops for “myopia,” in reference the species’ small eyes, given as diagnostic by Boulenger.|
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