Erythrolamprus pseudoreginae MURPHY, BRASWELL, CHARLES, AUGUSTE, RIVAS, BORZÉE, LEHTINEN & JOWERS, 2019
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Erythrolamprus pseudoreginae?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||Tobago Stream Snake|
|Synonym||Erythrolamprus pseudoreginae MURPHY, BRASWELL, CHARLES, AUGUSTE, RIVAS, BORZÉE, LEHTINEN & JOWERS 2019|
Liophis sp. — HARDY 1982: 86.
Liophis reginae [ssp.] — DIXON 1983: 12.
Type locality: Gilpin Trace Trail, 8.5 km NNW Roxborough, St. John, Tobago (~11°16'55"N; 60°37'12"W, about 493 m elevation) at 0900 hrs.
|Types||Holotype UWIZM 2016.22.45 collected 13 June 2016 by Alvin L. Braswell and Renoir J. Auguste. Paratypes. TOBAGO: St John: FLMNH 91621 Gilpin Trace Trail, 5.3 mi NNW Roxborough, 11°16'N, 60°37'W collected on 17 July by Kurt Auffenberg. USNM 228069 south of Charlotteville, at first creek crossing on Pigeon Peak Trace 11°17'N, 60°36'W collected 12 May 1979 at (14:00 hrs) by Dave Stephens; USNM 325089 NW of Roxborough on Gilpin Trace, ca. 0.5 mi from its junction with Roxborough-Bloody Bay Road, col- lected 11 November 1992; USNM 539191 approx. 6 km (airline) NNW of Roxbor- ough, 0.5 mi from upper entrance of Gilpin Trace and Roxborough - Parlatuvier Road, 11°17'N, 60°35'W collected 11 July 2000.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. Ventrals 143–154; subcaudals 76–79; second pair of chin shields long- est; some anterior dorsal scales have an apical pit; lateral stripe on scale rows 3–4–5, dark stripe (row 3) and a pale stripe (rows 4–5) on posterior body and tail, the black stripe continues to the forebody as a series of black spots on scale row three; and the ventral surface has scattered flecks of pigment toward mid-body. Otherwise, the belly is uniform cream with fine speckling in preserved material, and red in life, tail uniform cream in preservative, red in life.|
Comparisons. Erythrolamprus pseudoreginae sp. n. differs from E. zweifeli in the presence of apical pits on some dorsal scales, an almost uniform yellow to red venter, and a dark stripe on the posterior body on scale rows 3–4 bordered above by a pale stripe on scale row five. The new species lacks the well-defined postocular stripe that runs from the postocular scales across the temporals to a point just above the rictus in most E. zweifeli. In E. zweifeli the postocular stripe may also have a pale dorsal border.
Erythrolamprus pseudoreginae sp. n. differs from all populations of E. epinephalus in having more than 75 subcaudal scales, except for some Venezuelan and Colombian populations. The E. epinephalus populations with more than 75 subcaudals have a dorsal or ventral pattern that includes transverse bars, black checks, or a pattern with irregular black spots on the outer edges of the ventral scales that may extend onto the first row of dorsal scales (Dixon 1983a, Escalona 2017).
The new species differs from Erythrolamprus reginae in having a uniform venter (E. reginae) has yellow to orange venter with black checks, and a dark stripe on the last fourth of the body on scale rows 3–4 which is not bordered by a pale stripe. Eryth- rolamprus pseudoreginae sp. n. has uniform yellow to red ventral surface and a very distinctive, pale posterior lateral stripe on row five above the black stripe on rows 3–4 that extends anteriorly as a row of dark spots. Erythrolamprus reginae has fewer ventrals and a lower mean ventral count than E. pseudoreginae sp. n.
The pattern will readily distinguish it from the two coral snake mimics (Eryth- rolamprus aesculapii and E. bizona) which are on Trinidad but not Tobago. The en- demic Tobago Red Snake, E. ocellatus, has a bright red dorsum with black ocelli. The semi-aquatic Erythrolamprus cobellus has a uniform dark green or black dorsum and is known from Trinidad but not Tobago. The absence of a black stripe five scale rows wide on the vertebral line separates it from Shaw’s Black Back Snake, E. melanotus, a species known from both islands.
|Etymology||The epithet pseudoreginae was chosen because prior investigators considered this snake to be Liophis reginae.|