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Epictia vonmayi KOCH, SANTA CRUZ & CÁRDENAS, 2016

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

Type locality: La Granja-Río Tinto, District Querocoto, Province Chota, Region Cajamarca, Peru (06°20'30.592’’ S, 079°06'41.058’’ W, 2069 m elevation.  
Reproductionoviparous (manual imputation, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: MUSA 4342, collected by R. Santa Cruz and H. Cardenas on 15 January 2013. Paratype. MUSA 4340, from La Granja-Río Tinto, District Querocoto, Province Chota, Region Cajamarca, Peru (06°20'38.825’’ S, 079°06'31.007’’ W, 1985 m a.s.l.) collected by R. Santa Cruz and H. Cardenas on 15 January 2013. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: (1) 14 midbody scale rows; (2) 10 midtail scale rows; (3) usually 2 supralabials, anterior one in broad contact with supraocular; (4) 18 subcaudals; (5) 196–205 mid-dorsal scale rows; (6) 14 black longitudinal stripes around the body, with each stripe running through the center of each scale, separated by bright yellow interspaces; (7) tail with 10 black longitudinal stripes running through the center of each scale, separated by yellow interspaces; (8) dorsal surface of rostral bright yellow; (9) terminal part of tail yellow; (10) distributed ~ 2000 m a.s.l.

Variation. The single paratype varies from the holotype in the following characters: 196 MDS; 181 V; SVL of 112.3 mm; TAL of 10.7 mm; MB of 3.3 mm; MT of 2.8 mm; TL/TAL of 11.5; TL/MB of 37.3; HW of 2.5 mm; HH of 2.3 mm; HL of 3.2 mm; DSN of 0.3 mm; DNE of 0.7 mm; ED of 0.6 mm; only one supralabial (anterior) present as the scale posterior to the ocular scale (usually second supralabial) is completely fused with the fourth infralabial and the fissure of the mouth just ends where the second supralabial would begin.
Color pattern of paratype mostly resembles that of the holotype except for the following: frontal scale mostly covered by a large dark blotch; posterior half of postfrontal dark brown; ocular scales, first pair of supralabials and first pair of infralabials dark; anterior half of cloacal shield dark, posterior half cream.

Comparisons [conditions for other Epictia species in brackets]: Having 10 midtail scale rows differentiates this species from E. albipuncta, E. striatula, E. unicolor, and E. weyrauchi [all having 12]. By the presence of a frontal scale the new species is distinguished from E. ater (including E. nasalis) and E. bakewelli. The number of 196–205 mid-dorsal scales, differentiates it from E. alfredschmidti [267–279], E. ater [212–259], E. australis [233–282], E. bakewelli [226–262], E. borapeliotes [256–282], E. clinorostris [240–256], E. collaris [155–166], E. columbi [242–265], E. goudotii [224–260], E. magnamaculata [216–262], E. melanura [395–396], E. phenops [216–268], E. rufidorsa [256–270], E. septemlineata [257], E. striatula [216–265], E. subcrotilla [318–333], E. teaguei [223–259], E. tenella [205–242], E. tesselata [261–273], E. tricolor [276–310], E. unicolor [246], E. vanwallachi [188], and E. vellardi [224–255]. The number of 18 subcaudal scales distinguishes 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 having the anterior supralabial in broad contact with the supraocular scale it differs from E. albipuncta, E. ater, E. australis, E. bakewelli, E. borapeliotes, E. clinorostris, E. collaris, E. columbi, E. diaplocia, E. goudotii, E. magnamalculata, E. melanura, E. munoai, E. nasalis, E. peruviana, E. phenops, E. signata, E. striatula, E. subcrotilla, E. unicolor, and E. vellardi. The presence of a yellow dorsal blotch on the rostral further differentiates this species from E. columbi, E. melanoterma, E. rufidorsa, E. vanwallachi, and E. weyrauchi. It differs from E. columbi, E. melanura, E. melanoterma, E. munoai, E. rufidorsa, and E. septemlineata by having a yellow terminal spine. By having a color pattern of 14 distinct dark longitudinal stripes running centrally through each dorsal and ventral body scale the new species can be distinguished from E. albipuncta, E. alfredschmidti, E. amazonica, E. antoniogarciai, E. ater, E. borapeliotes, E. clinorostris, E. collaris, E. columbi, E. fallax, E. hobartsmithi, E. melanura, E. munoai, E. nasalis, E. peruviana, E. phenops, E. rubrolineata, E. rufidorsa, E. septemlineata, E. signata, E. subcrotilla, E. teaguei, E. tesselata, E. tricolor, E. undecimstriata, E. unicolor, E. vanwallach, E. vellardi, E. venegasi, and E. weyrauchi. The species differs from E. albifrons by having a black and yellow striped dorsal coloration [reddish brown] and from E. tenella by having unserrated longitudinal lines [serrated]. 
CommentHabitat: under stones or trunks in a sloped mountain shrubland interspersed with crops.

Sympatry: E. teaguei, Polychrus peruvianus, Stenocercus arndti. 
EtymologyThe species name vonmayi is a noun (genitive case) and a patronym for Rudolf von May, Peruvian herpetologist, in recognition of his important contributions to the ecology and conservation of amphibians 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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