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Geophis mutitorques (COPE, 1885)

IUCN Red List - Geophis mutitorques - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Highland Earth Snake
S: Minadora de Tierras Atlas 
SynonymRhabdosoma mutitorques COPE 1885: 384
Rhabdosoma longiceps — COPE 1886: 189 (fide DOWNS 1967)
Geophis mutitorques — GÜNTHER 1893: 93
Atractus longiceps — BOULENGER 1894: 305
Geophis longiceps — DUNN 1928:1
Geophis multitorques [sic] — TAYLOR 1949: 194
Geophis mutitorques — LINER 1994
Geophis mutitorques — WILSON & TOWNSEND 2007: 14
Geophis mutitorques — WALLACH et al. 2014: 303 
DistributionMexico (Hidalgo, Michoacan, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Quéretaro), elevation > 1500 m.

Type locality: From “high land about Zacualtipan.”  
TypesLectotype: ANSP 14762, designated by Downs (1967: 105). Paralectotypes: ANSP 11324, 14758–65 (9), Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, collected by S. Bernad. 
DiagnosisOriginal description from COPE (1885): Scales all smooth, in seventeen longitudinal series. One postocular; inferior labial of first pair in contact in front of pregeneials, which are twice as long as postgeneials. Internasals one.fourth size of prefrontals. Frontal wider than long, anterior border gently convex. Parietals as long as prefrontal and frontal together. Rostra1 plate not visible from above. Superior labials six, all higher than long, except fifth, which is as high as long, and the sixth, which is longer than high. The fifth is separated by one, and the sixth by two temporals from the parietal. The eye and the superciliary plate are quite small. Seven inferior labials, fourth largest and in contact with postgeneials. Gastrosteges 172; anal entire; urosteges 24.

Color plum-brown, the scales of three or four lateral rows slightly pale on the edges. In old specimens the gastrosteges are similarly colored with pale edges, but in younger specimens, there are at intervals pale spots, and the throat and chin are pale, probably pale yellow in life. In young specimens a yellow band crosses from one angle of the mouth to the other, involving the anterior three-quarters of the parietal plates. In larger specimens this is indistinct, and in a large specimen (455 mm.) the band has disappeared.

Dimensions of a medium sized specimen : total length 31. ,338; to canthus oris, .008; of tail, .051. Dimensions of the largest specimen : total length, .455; to canthus oris, .OO9; of tail, .045.
This species represents the extensive genus Rhabdosoma D. & B., of which I know eight species as found within the limits of Mexico and Central America, and as many from more southern parts of the neotropical realm. This genus I propose to retain as distinct from the Elapoidis of Boie (Catastoma and Geophis of Wagler), on account of the smooth scales. In the latter they are more or less carinate. There are five species of Elapoidis in the neotropical region north of Darien. Differing from both of these in its dirided anal scutum, is the genus Adelphicus of Jan. This name of Jan has priority over Rhegnops Cope, which is identical. The Rhabdosoma of Bocourt is not the same, as I have elsewhere stated (Proceeds. Amer. Philos. Soc., 188.5, p. 178.)

Diagnosis. Downs 1967: 105

Coloration: Downs 1967: 106. 
EtymologyThe specific name is derived from the Latin words mutus, meaning "mute" and torques, meaning "collar or necklace," probably in reference to the lack of a nuchal collar (LEMOS-ESPINAL & DIXON 2013). 
  • Cope, E.D. 1885. A contribution to the herpetology of Mexico. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 22: 379-404 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1886. In: Ferrari-Perez: Catalogue of animals collected by the geographical and exploring commission of the Republic of Mexico, pp. 125-199 [Part III. Reptiles and Amphibians]. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 9: 182-199 - get paper here
  • Cruz-Elizalde R, Ramírez-Bautista A, Pineda-López R, Mata-Silva V, DeSantis DL, García-Padilla E, Johnson JD, Rocha A, Fucsko LA, Wilson LD. 2022. The herpetofauna of Querétaro, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 16(1) [General Section]: 148–192 (e308) - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R. and Julio A. Lemos-Espinal 2010. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Queretaro, Mexico. Tlalnepantla UNAM, 428 pp.
  • 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
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Lemos-Espinal JA, Smith GR, Woolrich-Piña GA 2018. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, with comparisons with adjoining states. ZooKeys 753: 83-106 - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A. and James R. Dixon 2013. Amphibians and Reptiles of San Luis Potosí. Eagle Mountain Publishing, xii + 300 pp.
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A., Geoffrey R. Smith 2015. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. Check List 11 (3): 1642 - get paper here
  • Taylor,E.H. 1949. A preliminary account of the herpetology of the state of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 33 (2): 169-215 - get paper here
  • Torres-Hernández, LA, Ramírez-Bautista A, Cruz-Elizalde R, Hernández-Salinas U, Berriozabal-Islas C, DeSantis DL, Johnson JD, Rocha A, García-Padilla E, Mata-Silva V, Fucsko LA, and Wilson LD. 2021. The herpetofauna of Veracruz, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 15(2) [General Section]: 72–155 - 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.
  • 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
  • Woolrich-Piña, G. A., E. García-Padilla, D. L. DeSantis, J. D. Johnson, V. Mata-Silva, and L. D. Wilson 2017. The herpetofauna of Puebla, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(4): 791–884 - get paper here
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