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Geophis lorancai CANSECO-MÁRQUEZ, PAVÓN-VÁZQUEZ, LÓPEZ-LUNA & NIETO-MONTES DE OCA, 2016

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymGeophis lorancai CANSECO-MÁRQUEZ, PAVÓN-VÁZQUEZ, LÓPEZ-LUNA & NIETO-MONTES DE OCA 2016 
DistributionMexico (Veracruz)

Type locality: Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Zongolica, vicinity of Atlanca, municipality of Los Reyes, Sierra de Zongolica, Veracruz, Mexico (18°41'48"N, 97°03'21"W), 1700 m elevation  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype MZFC 28401, adult male (Fig. 2), collected by Miguel Angel de la Torre Loranca on April 6, 2008.
Paratypes. Seven specimens, six from the Sierra de Zongolica of west-central Veracruz and one from the Sierra de Quimixtlán of adjacent Puebla, Mexico. Veracruz: Three from the same locality as the holotype (MZFC 28402–03, ITSZ 217); one from Zongolica, 18°39'02"N, 97°00'29"W, 1210 m (ITSZ 071); one from 7 km E Zongolica (MZFC 28405); one from Los Reyes, 18°41'48"N, 97°03'21"W, 1700 m (ITSZ 025). Puebla: Chichiquila, 19°11'35"N, 97°03'57"W, 1700 m (MZFC 28404). 
CommentDistribution: see map in CANSECO-MÁRQUEZ et al. 2016.

Diagnosis. A member of the Geophis dubius group characterized by the following combination of traits: eye relatively small (see below); single supraocular and pos- tocular present on each side; fifth supralabial and parietal in contact; mental scale and anterior chinshields in contact; smooth dorsal scales throughout the body arranged in 17 rows; ventrals 130, n = 1, in females, and 125–130, n = 7, in males; subcaudals in males 33–35, n = 5; dorsal body and tail pattern consisting of dark crossbands on a paler, red-orange background; reddish orange venter; maxillary teeth 7.
Geophis lorancai may be distinguished from all of the species in the championi and semidoliatus groups, and all of the species in the sieboldi group except G. dunni, G. na- salis, G. occabus, and G. sieboldi by having the dorsal scales arranged in 17 rows (versus dorsal scales arranged in 15 rows in the other species); and from the latter four species by having smooth dorsal scales throughout the body (versus dorsal scales keeled on at least the posterior half of the body in the other species).
Geophis lorancai differs from all of the species in the omiltemanus and chalybeus groups by having a small eye (i.e., its horizontal diameter contained nearly four times in the snout length, versus its horizontal diameter contained less than three times in the snout length in the other species); in addition, it may be distinguished from all of the species in the omiltemanus group by having the fifth supralabial and parietal in contact (versus fifth supralabial and parietal separated by one anterior temporal in the other species); from some species in the chalybeus group (G. dugesii, G. nigrocinctus, and G. tarascae) by having the dorsals arranged in 17 rows (versus dorsals arranged in 15 rows in the other species); and from the remaining species in this group (G. bicolor and G. chalybeus) by having the mental and anterior chinshields in contact (versus mental and anterior chinshields separated by the first pair of infralabials in the other species).
Geophis lorancai may be distinguished from the species in the latifrontalis group as follows: from G. blanchardi and G. mutitorques, by having a dorsal body pattern consisting of dark crossbands on a paler, red-orange background (versus dorsum uniform- ly dark in G. blanchardi and adults of G. mutitorques—juveniles with yellow collar); from G. latifrontalis and G. mutitorques, by having the fifth supralabial and parietal in contact (versus fifth supralabial and parietal separated by one anterior temporal in G. latifrontalis and G. mutitorques); and from G. blanchardi and G. latifrontalis, by having the mental and anterior chinshields in contact (versus mental and anterior chinshields separated by the first pair of infralabials in G. blanchardi and G. latifrontalis).
Geophis lorancai may be distinguished from the species in the dubius group as fol- lows (Supplementary file 2: Table 2): from G. anocularis, G. carinosus, G. dubius, G. immaculatus, G. juarezi, G. rhodogaster, G. rostralis, and G. turbidus by having a dorsal body and tail pattern consisting of dark crossbands on a paler, red-orange background (versus dorsum uniformly dark in the other species, except for a pink collar present in a juvenile of G. turbidus); from G. duellmani by having one supraocular and one postocular (versus supraocular and postocular absent in G. duellmani); from G. fulvo- guttatus by having fewer ventrals (130, n = 1, in females, and 125–130, n = 7, in males; versus 145–147, n = 2, in females, and 135–137, n = 2, in males of G. fulvoguttatus); and from G. nephodrymus by having fewer maxillary teeth (7, n = 3; versus 11, n = 1, in G. nephodrymus), a reddish orange venter (versus venter predominantly gray or yel- lowish cream in G. nephodrymus) and more subcaudals in males (33–35, n = 5; versus 22–31, n = 6, in G. nephodrymus). 
EtymologyThe specific name is treated as a noun in the genitive case and honors Biologist Miguel Ángel de la Torre Loranca, who obtained most of the specimens of the new species from the Sierra de Zongolica. 
References
  • Canseco-Márquez L, Pavón-Vázquez CJ, López-Luna MA, Nieto-Montes de Oca A 2016. A new species of earth snake (Dipsadidae, Geophis) from Mexico. ZooKeys 610: 131-145. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.610.8605 - get paper here
 
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