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Geophis brachycephalus (COPE, 1871)

IUCN Red List - Geophis brachycephalus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesColombian Earth Snake 
SynonymColobognathus brachycephalus COPE 1871: 211
Colobognathus dolichocephalus COPE 1871: 211
Geophis moestus GÜNTHER 1872: 15
Catastoma chalybaeum — GÜNTHER 1872: 16
Catostoma brachycephalum — COPE 1876: 147
Catostoma dolichocephalum — COPE 1876: 147
E(lapoidis) dolichocephalus — COPE 1885: 386
E(lapoidis) brachycephalus — COPE 1885: 386
Rhabdosoma moestum — COPE 1887: 85
Geophis chalybaea quadrangularis — GÜNTHER 1893: 87
Geophis dolichocephalus — GÜNTHER 1893: 87
Geophis moesta — GÜNTHER 1893: 90
Dirosema brachycephalum — BOULENGER 1894: 299
Geophis hoffmanni — BOULENGER 1894: 319
Catostoma brachycephalum — AMARAL 1929: 191
Geophis chalcybaea - GÜNTHER 1893
Geophis brachycephalus - DUNN 1942 (part.)
Geophis dolichocephala - TAYLOR 1951: 43
Geophis brachycephala - TAYLOR 1951: 46
Geophis bakeri TAYLOR 1954: 689
Geophis brachycephalus - DOWNS 1967: 146
Geophis brachycephalus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 119
Geophis brachycephalus — MYERS 2003
Geophis brachycephalus — WILSON & TOWNSEND 2007: 6
Geophis brachycephalus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 300 
DistributionCosta Rica, W Panama, 13–2115 m elevation (see SAVAGE & WATLING 2008 for details)

Type locality: Costa Rica, San José: San José, 1160 m elevation. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesHolotype: ANSP 3337, juvenile male (Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia), collected by Van Patten.
Holotype: ANSP 3306; Costa Rica, San Jose [dolichocephalus] 
CommentGeophis nigroalbus BOULENGER 1908 has been removed from the synonymy of G. brachycephalus. Does not occur in Colombia fide WILSON & TOWNSEND 2007.

Diagnosis: This species is characterized by having the following combination of features: (1) ventrals in males 129–140.0 ± 4.2–149, in females 136–141.7 ± 2.5–147; subcaudals in males 35–39.6 ± 3.4–48, in females 29–33.5 ± 2.2–39; ventrals plus subcaudals in males 171–179.6 ± 4.5–190, in females 169–175.3 ± 3.2–181; (2) uniform black dorsum and upper surface of tail or with red longitudinal stripes that may be fragmented by suffusions of dark pigment or with a blotched/banded pattern on at least the posterior three-quarters of the body that continues onto the upper surface of the tail; (3) hemipenes slightly bilobed, capitulum moderately long but slender, about 2.5 times length of truncus on asulcate side. 
References
  • Acosta-Chaves, Víctor J.; Gerardo Chaves, Juan G. Abarca, Adrián García-Rodríguez, Federico Bolaños 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Río Macho Biological Station, Provincia de Cartago, Costa Rica. Check List 11 (6): 1784 - get paper here
  • Amaral,A. do 1930. Estudos sobre ophidios neotropicos XVIII. Lista remissiva dos ophidios da região neotropica. Mem. Inst. Butantan 4: 126-271 [1929] - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1894. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, xi, 382 pp. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1871. Ninth contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 23: 200-224 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1875. On the Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica with notes on the herpetology and ichthyology of Nicaragua and Peru. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia N.S. (2) 8: 93-183 [sometimes thought to be published 1876 but see Murphy et al. 2007 for clarification]] - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1885. A contribution to the herpetology of Mexico. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 22: 379-404 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1887. Catalogue of batrachians and reptiles of Central America and México. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 32: 1-98 - get paper here
  • Downs, F. L. 1967. lntrageneric relations among colubrid snakes of the genus Geophis Wagler. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan 131: 1-193. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. 1885. Reptilia and Batrachia. Biologia Centrali-Américana. Taylor, & Francis, London, 326 pp. [published in parts from 1885-1902; reprint by the SSAR 1987] - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1872. Seventh account of new species of snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 9: 13-37 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Köhler, Gunther, Joseph Vargas, Johannes J. Köhler and Milan Vesel´y. 2013. Noteworthy distributional records of amphibians and reptiles from Costa Rica. Herpetological Review 44 (2): 280-283
  • Lips K R. Savage J M. 1994. A new fossorial snake of the genus Geophis (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae) from the Cordillera de Talamanca of Costa Rica. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 107 (2): 410-416. - get paper here
  • Myers, C.W. 2003. Rare Snakes—Five New Species from Eastern Panama: Reviews of Northern Atractus and Southern Geophis (Colubridae: Dipsadinae). American Museum Novitates 3391: 1-47 - get paper here
  • Pizzatto, Lígia; Maurício Cantor, Juliana Lima de Oliveira, Otavio A.V. Marques, Vinicius Capovilla, and Marcio Martins 2008. Reproductive Ecology of Dipsadine Snakes, With Emphasis on South American Species. Herpetologica 64 (2): 168-179 - get paper here
  • Restrepo T J H; Wright J W 1987. A new species of the colubrid snake genus Geophis from Colombia. Journal of Herpetology 21 (3): 191-196 - get paper here
  • Sasa M. 1993. Distribution and reproduction of the gray earth snake Geophis brachycephalus (Serpentes: Colubridae) in Costa Rica. Revista de Biologia Tropical 41 (2): 95- 297. - get paper here
  • Savage, J.M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna Between Two Continents, Between Two Seas. University of Chicago Press, 934 pp. [review in Copeia 2003 (1): 205]
  • Savage, Jay M.; Watling, James I. 2008. Not so rare snakes: a revision of the Geophis sieboldi group (Colubridae: Dipsadinae) in lower Central America and Colombia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 153(3):561-599
  • Taylor,E.H. 1954. Further studies on the serpents of Costa Rica. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 36: 673-800. - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • WILSON, L.D. & J.H. TOWNSEND 2007. A checklist and key to the snakes of the genus Geophis (Squamata: Colubridae: Dipsadinae), with commentary on distribution and conservation. Zootaxa 1395: 1-31 - get paper here
 
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