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Erythrolamprus rochai ASCENSO, COSTA & PRUDENTE, 2019

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymErythrolamprus rochai ASCENSO, COSTA & PRUDENTE 2019 
DistributionBrazil (Amapá)

Type locality: Urucum region (00o50' N, 51°53' W; ca. 171 m asl), municipality of Serra do Navio, state of Amapá, Brazil.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: MPEG 25680, Adult male (field number S.NAVIO 095), collected by D. Silvano, B. Pimenta and U. Galatti, between September and November 2000 (Fig. 7 in Ascenso et al. 2019).
Paratype: Adult male, MPEG 25681 (field number S.NAVIO 094), same data as holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Erythrolamprus rochai is distinguished from all congeners by the combination of the following characteristics: (1) dorsal scale rows 17, reducing to 15 rows after midbody; (2) apical pit single; (3) 131–135 ventrals; (4) 56 subcaudals; (5) dorsum of head olive green, extending from anterior third of the body, changing gradually to grayish-brown at midbody, with six to 15 distinct black dorsal bands; (6) upper edges of supralabials with distinctive dark postorbital stripe; (7) belly cream without marks, except for some slight pigmentation on the lateral extremities of ventrals; (8) lateral black spots extending from anterior third of the body, located between 2– 3th dorsal scale rows, and merged on the posterior third of the body to form a lateral-posterior stripe, which extends to the end of the tail; (9) ventral surface of tail creamish-white without black spots; (10) intrasulcal region with enlarged spines, organized in rows in each lobe, extending from the distal region to the level of bifurcation of branches; (11) medial region of asulcate face of hemipenial body ornamented with extremely elongated spines homogeneously distributed at hemipenial body; (12) sulcus spermaticus bifurcates at the proximal portion of hemipenial body; and (13) small body size (SVL 217–219 mm).

Comparisons. Erythrolamprus rochai shares with species of the Erythrolamprus reginae group the lateral stripe along the posterior region of the body and tail, and dark postorbital line. Among the species of the Erythrolamprus reginae group, E. rochai differs from E. reginae by having a cream belly without spots (vs. cream belly with rectangular black spots), from E. oligolepis by having 17 dorsal scale rows with reduction on the midbody (vs. 15 dorsal scale rows without reduction on the midbody), and from E. zweifeli and E. dorsocorallinus by having an olive green dorsal ground color on anterior third of body gradually changing to grayish-brown (vs. dorsal scales with apical half black). Additionally, E. rochai differs from E. epinephelus epinephelus by having more than 6–15 distinct black dorsal bands on the anterior part of body (vs. having less than five dorsal bands); from E. e. albiventris by having dark nuchal collar and dorsum of body olive green with black dorsal blotches (vs. olive green dorsal ground color on anterior third of body without nuchal collar or blotches); from E. e. juvenalis, E. e. pseudocobella, E. e. opisthotaenius, E. e. bimaculatus, E. e. lamonae and E. e. fraseri by having a cream belly without spots (vs. cream belly with rectangular black spots); from E. cobella, E. taeniogaster and E. breviceps by having a cream belly without spots or bands (vs. cream belly with banded pattern); from E. miliaris by having olive green dorsal ground color on anterior third of body gradually changing to grayish-brown (vs. all dorsal scales with apical half black), from E. typhlus and E. poecilogyrus by having 17 dorsal scale rows in the midbody (vs. 19 dorsal scale rows in the midbody); from E. taeniurus by having 131–135 ventral scales without spots (vs. 152–181 ventral scales with dark spots); and from E. pygmaeus by having 22–23 prediastemal maxillary teeth and two conical postdiastemal tooth (vs. eight prediastemal teeth and a lanceolate postdiastemal tooth). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet “rochai” is a patronym in honor to Reginaldo Augusto Trindade Rocha, laboratory technician at the Laboratory of Herpetology of Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, in recognition of his extraordinary work, zeal, and dedication to the herpetological collection of this laboratory over more than three decades. His commitment to this institution and his expert assistance to the curator have been invaluable for scientists, students, and visitors. 
References
  • ASCENSO, ALEXANDRE C.; JOÃO C. L. COSTA, ANA L. C. PRUDENTE 2019. Taxonomic revision of the Erythrolamprus reginae species group, with description of a new species from Guiana Shield (Serpentes: Xenodontinae) Zootaxa 4586 (1): 065–097 - get paper here
 
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