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Epictia venegasi KOCH, SANTA CRUZ & CÁRDENAS, 2016

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Higher TaxaLeptotyphlopidae, Epictinae, Epictini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymEpictia venegasi KOCH, SANTA CRUZ & CÁRDENAS 2016 
DistributionPeru (Cajamarca)

Type locality: Cachachi-Moyan, Province Cajabamba, Region Cajamarca, Peru (07°37'2.348’’ S, 078°10'47.565’’ W, 2551 m elevation)  
Reproductionoviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: MUSA 4252, collected by R. Santa Cruz and H. Cardenas on 21 March 2015. Paratypes (8): MUSA 4248, from Cachachi-Moyan, Province Cajabamba, Region Cajamarca, Peru (07°37’6.354’’ S, 078°10’48.452’’ W, 2567 m a.s.l.) collected by R. Santa Cruz and H. Cardenas on 21 March 2015; MUSA 4237, MUSA 4238, MUSA 4239, MUSA 4240, MUSA 4241, MUSA 4242, MUSA 4253, from Cachachi-Moyan, Province Cajabamba, Region Cajamarca, Peru (07°37' S, 078°11’ W, 2672–2736 m a.s.l.) collected by R. Santa Cruz and H. Cardenas on 22 March 2015. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: (1) 14 midbody scale rows; (2) 10 midtail scale rows; (3) usually 2 supralabials, anterior one larger and in broad contact with supraocular in most of the specimens; (4) 17–19 subcaudals; (5) 211–221 mid-dorsal scale rows; (6) each body scale black on anterior half, yellow on posterior half, on dorsal surface of body with black margins and yellowish margins ventrally; (7) eyes usually entirely visible in dorsal view; (8) bright yellow blotch on dorsal surface of rostral; (9) terminal part of tail yellow; (10) distributed > 2000 m a.s.l.

Comparisons [conditions for other Epictia species in brackets]: By having 10 midtail scale rows this species differs from E. albipuncta, E. striatula, E. unicolor and E. weyrauchi [all having 12]. The presence of a frontal scale differentiates the new species from E. ater (including E. nasalis) and E. bakewelli. The number of 211–221 mid–dorsal scales, distinguishes it from E. alfredschmidti [267–279], E. antoniogarciai [195–208], E. australis [233–282], E. bakewelli [225–262], E. borapeliotes [256–282], E. clinorostris [240–256], E. collaris [155–166], E. columbi [242–265], E. goudotii [224–260], E. hobartsmithi [191–208], E. melanura [395–396], E. peruviana [185–199], E. rufidorsa [256–270], E. septemlineata [257], E. subcrotilla [318–333], E. teaguei [223–259], E. tesselata [261–273], E. tricolor [276–310], E. unicolor [246], E. vanwallachi [188], and E. vellardi [224–255]. The number of 17–19 subcaudal scales differentiates this species from E. alfredschmidti [14–16], E. clinorostris [10– 16], E. columbi [22–25], E. munoai [10–14], E. nasalis [21], E. rubrolineata [15], E. septemlineata [16], E. vanwallachi [16], and E. vellardi [13–16]. By the presence of a yellow dorsal blotch on the rostral this species further differs from E. columbi, E. rufidorsa, E. vanwallachi, and E. weyrauchi, and the presence of a yellow terminal spine distinguishes it from E. columbi, E. melanura, E. munoai, E. rufidorsa, and E. septemlineata. By lacking a striped dorsal color pattern the new species can be distinguished from E. albifrons, E. albipuncta, E. alfredschmidti, E. amazonica, E. australis, E. bakewelli, E. borapeliotes, E. clinorostris, E. diaplocia, E. fallax, E. goudotii, E. magnamaculata, E. melanoterma, E. munoai, E. phenops, E. rubrolineata, E.rufidorsa, E. septemlineata, E. subcrotilla, E. striatula, E. teaguei, E. tenella, E. tesselata, E. tricolor, E. undecimstriata, and E. vellardi. The color pattern where each body scale is black on the anterior half and yellow on the posterior half, with black margins dorsally and yellowish margins ventrally differentiates the species from E. antoniogarciai [dorsal body scales black, each scale with yellowish-white or bright yellow outlines], E. ater [blackish-brown to blackish above; ventral surface a lighter brown], E. collaris [color brown, dorsally slightly darker than ventrally; all scales with a dark-brown area at the base and a light-brown posterior edge], E. columbi [dorsal scales very dark brown in solid color without lines, punctuations or light borders], E. melanura [general color brown, a little lighter beneath, the outlines of the scales lighter], E. nasalis [above light brown, the color lighter on the ventral surface], E. peruviana [dorsum and venter uniformly dark reddish, each scale with thin white outlines], E. signata [dorsal scale rows uniformly brown, ventral scales light brown], E. unicolor [reddish-brown, each scale edged light-colored], and E. vanwallachi [dorsal scales brown with thin white or yellowish outlines]. 
EtymologyThe species name venegasi is a noun (genitive case) and a patronym for Pablo Venegas, Peruvian herpetologist, in recognition of his important contributions to the systematics of amphibians and reptiles from his home country. 
  • KOCH, CLAUDIA; ROY SANTA CRUZ, & HEIDY CÁRDENAS 2016. Two new endemic species of Epictia Gray, 1845 (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae) from Northern Peru. Zootaxa 4150 (2): 101–122 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2017. Neue Arten: Liste der im Jahr 2016 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2017 (3): 54-70 - get paper here
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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