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Galvarinus chilensis (SCHLEGEL, 1837)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesTachymenis chilensis chilensis (SCHLEGEL 1837)
Tachymenis chilensis coronellina WERNER 1898 
Common NamesE: Chilean Slender Snake 
SynonymCoronella chilensis SCHLEGEL 1837: 70
Dipsas chilensis — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1159
Tachymenis chilensis — GIRARD 1854: 226
Tachymenis chilensis chilensis — WALKER 1945: 28
Tachymenis peruviana assimilis (Jan) - DONOSO-BARROS 1966: 403
Tachymenis peruviana chilensis — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 291
Tachymenis chilensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 695
Galvarinus chilensis — TREVINE et al. 2022

Tachymenis chilensis coronellina WERNER 1898
Tachymenis peruviana var. coronellina WERNER 1898: 259
Tachymenis peruviana var. catenata WERNER 1898: 259
Tachymenis chilensis coronellina — RUIZ DE GAMBOA 2016 
DistributionChile (Antofagasta, Cachapoal, Talca), Argentina (Chubut, Neuquén, Río Negro)

Type locality: Chile

catenata: Type locality: Coquimbo Chile

chilensis: C Chile (from Talca south to 44°)

coronellina: C Chile (from Copiapo south to Talca)  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 2475, MNHN-RA 6837, MNHN-RA 6837A, MNHN-RA 6838, MNHN-RA 6838A unlocated (two specimens 388 and 450 mm; Lesson and Garnot; present location unknown fide V. Wallach, pers. comm.)
Holotype: NMW, cat. no. unknown, collected by Dr. L. Plate [coronellina] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus Galvarinus). Hemipenis with short lobes and predominantly deep papillate calyces on apex; capitulum with deep spinulate calyces extending into the body; six to nine body spines on the first row slightly enlarged; and sulcus spermaticus divided at the base of the capitulum (Figure S5, Trevine et al. 2022).

Synapomorphies (genus Galvarinus). The distal portion of hemipenial body covered in calyces on the asulcate side; parallel position of anterior-lateral margins of parietal bone to the posterior margins of the frontal bone; conchal process of prefrontal bone surpasses half of the orbital lamina of prefrontal; maxillary process of palatine bone longer than larger (Trevine et al. 2022, incl. Appendices S4 and S5).

Description (total N=124). Smooth dorsal scales in 19/19/15 (79%, N=93) or 19/19/17 rows (13%, N=14), one single specimen of G. tarmensis with 19/19/13; subcaudals 69−75 in males and 63−65 in females of G. attenuatus, 40−56 in males and 34−51 in females of G. chilensis, 53−55 in females and 58 in males of G. tarmensis; divided cloacal scale; apical pit present, usually more evident on the first third of the body; supralabials 8−10, except for G. chilensis (supralabials 7); preoculars 1 or 2, predominantly 2 in G. chilensis (85%, N=93); G. tarmensis has the smallest SVL and TL for the genus: SVL 321 mm for one male and SVL 243−310 mm for females, TL 114 mm for the male and 82−83 mm for females; SVL 371−524 mm, TL 105−183 mm in G. attenuatus and SVL 285−526 mm, TL 55−117 mm in G. chilensis; maxillary teeth 8−15 in G. attenuatus, and 4−7 in G. chilensis; dentary teeth 11−16 in in G. attenuatus, and 6−14 in G. chilensis. General body coloration usually dark grey or brown, frequently showing melanism. Head and body blotches variable, with specimens with an overall cryptic coloration, in a marbled dorsal pattern, composed by dorsal blotches on the body formed by several scales bordered in black (mostly on the neck area), and bordered in white through the rest of the body, also with two pairs of inconspicuous longitudinal ventral stripes in some specimens, evident on the first third of the body, and progressive darkening of the venter towards the tail (G. attenuatus) (Fig. S8); or species with dorsal longitudinal black stripes on the paravertebral scales, delineating a lighter (white or beige or light grey) longitudinal stripe on the vertebral row, with black or dark brown blotches (sometimes triangular shaped), on each ventral scale, forming a sometimes ill-defined longitudinal stripe, more evident on some areas of the body venter (G. chilensis) (Fig. S9); or species with an overall dark brown or black pattern of coloration (almost melanic), with venter of the body usually darkened towards the tail, with no visible blotches or spots (G. tarmensis). Characteristic postocular stripe present, with a black or brown stripe bordering the parietal scale, descending the supratemporal region to the quadrate. Labials with small black or dark brown blotches, usually with a more preeminent blotch under the eye. Distribution. Elevated regions of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru (Appendix S1), except for G. chilensis, which can reach coastal regions in Chile, and up to 1.500 m.a.s.l. in Chile and Argentina. (Trevine et al. 2022: Appendix 3).

Diagnosis (species). A Tachymenis which resembles peruviana in general body proportions and consequently in scale counts, but resembles attentwta in penial characters. Its supralabials are normally 7(3-4). This form has been placed into a separate species complex for these reasons as has been pointed out in the introduction. This particular race differs from the other two in the chilensis complex primarily in having a dorsal color pattern that is distinctly lineate,yet the dark dorsal linesarequite narrow (not over 1 scale wide). T. c. chilensis also tends to have more , abdominals, caudals, and total ventrals than either assimilis or melanura (Walker 1945: 29). 

Diet: mostly frogs and lizards (Walker 1945: 48)

Type species: Coronella chilensis SCHLEGEL 1837: 70 is the type species of the genus Galvarinus TREVINE et al. 2022. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality.

The generic epithet Galvarinus (noun, gender masculine) is derived from “Galvarino,” a famous Mapuche warrior who fought the invasion and attempt of servitude of the Mapuche people by the colonial Spaniards in Chile during the sixteenth century. The Mapuche are indigenous people from Chile and some parts of Argentina, who had most of their territory diminished by Spanish colonization. The name is in reference to the distribution of the genus type species Galvarinus chilensis, restricted to Chile and Argentina. 
  • Ávila, Luciano Javier; Morando, Mariana;Belver, Luciana C. 2012. Tachymenis chilensis Schegel, 1837 (Reptilia: Squamata: Dipsadidae). New record and geographic distribution map. Cuadernos de Herpetología 26 (2): 103-104 - get paper here
  • Castro-Pastene, Carlos; Héctor Carrasco & Jaime Troncoso-Palacios. 2015. Lagartijas y serpientes del Parque Nacional Radal Siete Tazas. Boletín Chileno de Herpetología 2: 12-16 - get paper here
  • Contreras, José M.; Felix A. Urra, Nicolás A. Rojas-Porras 2019. First record of Pompilocalus sp. ROIG ALSINA, 1989 (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae) preying on Tachymenis chilensis coronellina (WERNER, 1898)(Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from Central Chile. Herpetology Notes 12: 931-932 - get paper here
  • Demangel, Diego 2016. Reptiles en Chile. Fauna Nativa Ediciones, Santiago, 619 pp - get paper here
  • Demangel, Diego 2016. Guía de Campo - Reptiles del centro sure de Chile. Corporación Chilena de la Madera, Concepción, Chile 187 pp. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Flores, Edgardo 2018. Registros de patrones de coloración de Tachymenis chilensis chilensis (Schlegel 1837) (Squamata, Dipsadidae) en las regiones del Maule, Biobio y Araucanía. Boletín Chileno de Herpetología. 5: 39-40 - get paper here
  • Girard, C. 1855. Abstract of a report to Lieut. James M. Gilliss, U.S.N., upon the reptiles collected during the U.S.N. Astronomical Expedition to Chili. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 7 [1854]: 226-227. - get paper here
  • Minoli I, Morando M, Avila LJ 2015. Reptiles of Chubut province, Argentina: richness, diversity, conservation status and geographic distribution maps. ZooKeys 498: 103-126. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.498.7476 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Ruiz De Gamboa, Margarita 2016. Lista actualizada de los reptiles de Chile. Boletín Chileno de Herpetología. 3: 7-12. PDF - get paper here
  • Schlegel, H. 1837. Essai sur la physionomie des serpens. Partie Descriptive. La Haye (J. Kips, J. HZ. et W. P. van Stockum), 606 S. + xvi - get paper here
  • Scrocchi, Gustavo J.; Cristian S. Abdala,Javier Nori, Hussam Zaher 2010. Reptiles de la provincia de Río Negro, Argentina. Fondo Ed. Rionegrino, 249 pp.
  • Trevine, V. C., Grazziotin, F. G., Giraudo, A., Sallesbery‐Pinchera, N., Vianna, J. A., & Zaher, H. 2022. The systematics of Tachymenini (Serpentes, Dipsadidae): An updated classification based on molecular and morphological evidence. Zoologica Scripta - get paper here
  • Troncoso-Palacios, Jaime 2014. Nueva lista actualizada de los reptiles terrestres de la Región de Atacama, Chile. Boletín Chileno de Herpetología 1: 1-4 - get paper here
  • Urra FA, Zúñiga A, Melero N, Reyes N, Herrera Y, Miranda-Calle AB, Ortiz JC 2021. Leucism and albinism in the rear-fanged snakes Tachymenis chilensis chilensis (Schlegel, 1837) and Tachymenis chilensis coronellina Werner, 1898 (Serpentes, Dipsadidae). Herpetozoa 34: 125-129 - get paper here
  • Valenzuela-Dellarossa, Gustavo; Herman Núñez, Christoph Heibl and Juan Carlos Ortiz 2010. Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae, Tachymenis Wiegmann, 1836: Latitudinal and altitudinal distribution extension in Chile. Check List 6 (1): 005-006 - get paper here
  • Walker, W.F. 1945. A Study of the Snake, Tachymenis peruviana Wiegmann AND ITS Allies. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 96: 1-56 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Werner, FRANZ 1898. Die Reptilien und Batrachier der Sammlung Plate. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Oekol. Geogr. Tiere (suppl. 4): 244-278 - get paper here
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