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Hypsiglena torquata (GÜNTHER, 1860)

IUCN Red List - Hypsiglena torquata - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaDipsadidae, Colubroidea, Serpentes (snakes) 
SubspeciesHypsiglena torquata torquata (GÜNTHER 1860)
Hypsiglena torquata tortugaensis TANNER 1944 
Common NamesE: Night Snake
affinis
baueri
catalinae
chlorophaea: Sonoran Night Snake
deserticola: Desert Night Snake
gularis
jani: Texas Night Snake
klauberi
loreala: Mesa Verde Night Snake
martinensis
nuchalata: California Night Snake
ochrorhyncha: Spotted Night Snake
tiburonensis
torquata
tortugensis
tortugaensis
unaocularis
venusta
G: Nachtschlange 
SynonymLeptodeira torquata GÜNTHER 1860: 170
Hypsiglena torquata — BOULENGER 1894: 210
Hypsiglena torquata — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 132
Hypsiglena torquata — STEBBINS 1985: 221
Hypsiglena torquata — LINER 1994

Hypsiglena torquata torquata (GÜNTHER 1860)
Comastes quincuniatus JAN 1871
Hypsiglena torquata torquata — TAYLOR 1939: 371
Hypsiglena torquata torquata — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 132

Hypsiglena torquata tortugaensis TANNER 1944
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus tortugaensis TANNER 1944: 69
Hypsiglena torquata tortugaensis [sic] — LINER 1994 
DistributionMexico (Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, Guerrero, W Puebla, Morelos, Aguascalientes, Durango)

tortugaensis: Isla Tortuga 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.
 
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.1.15 (formerly BMNH 1861.12.30.97), a female
Holotype: CAS; Paratype SDSNH 4074 [tortugaensis] 
CommentNote that MULCAHY (2008) has revised the Hypsiglena torquata complex and elevated several subspecies to full species status while moving some other to the new species. For example, populations in Washington and British Columbia state are now referred to H. chlorophaea deserticola.

The type locality for H. torquata was originally described as Island of Laguna, Nicaragua (Günther, 1860), but later revised to near Lagunillas in Moreles, Mexico (Tanner, 1997).  Peters (1956) corrected an erroneous record from Ecuador.  Tanner (1997) and Savage (2002) corrected other dubious records from Central America; there are currently no valid records of Hypsiglena south of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico (from D. Mulcahy, pers. comm.).

Records from South America (Ecuador, Venezuela) seem to be erroneous according to PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 132. PETERS (1956) also removed Pseudodipsas fallax PETERS 1860 from its synonymy. GRISMER (1999) also synonymized tiburonensis and tortugensis with torquata because there are no diagnostic differences. MULCAHY (2008) recognized tiburonensis but did not mention tortugensis.

Not listed for Honduras by WILSON & MCCRANIE (2002).

Diet: mostly specialized on lizards

Behavior: nocturnal 
References
  • 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
  • Cobarrubias, Edgar Flores; Daniel Cruz-Sáenz, and David Lazcano 2012. Notes on the Herpetofauna of Western Mexico 6: Amphibians and Reptiles of Hostotipaquillo, Jalisco, Mexico. Bull. Chicago Herp. Soc. 47(2):21-26 - get paper here
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  • Dixon, J. R., and R. H. Dean 1986. Status of the Southern Populations of the Night Snake (Hypsiglena: Colubridae) Exclusive of California and Baja California. Southwestern Naturalist 31 (5): 307-318 - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R. 1962. Three additional specimens of the night snake Hypsiglena dunklei. Herpetologica 18 (2): 134-135 - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee. 1999. An evolutionary classification of reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California, México. Herpetologica 55 (4): 446-469 - get paper here
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  • Klauber, Laurence M. 1938. Notes from a herpetological diary, I. Copeia 1938 (4): 191-197 - get paper here
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  • Lacey, H, Shewchuk, CH, Gregory, PT, Sarell MJ, Gregory LA. 1996. The occurrence of the night snake, Hypsiglena torquata, in British Columbia, with comments on its body size and diet. Canadian Field-Naturalist 110: 620–625
  • Lannutti, Dominic I.;LaDuc, Travis J.;Johnson, Jerry D. 1996. Geographic Distribution. Hypsiglena torquata jani. Herpetological Review 27 (4): 213 - get paper here
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  • Llewellyn, Robin L. 1998. Geographic Distribution. Hypsiglena torquata deserticola. Herpetological Review 29 (1): 53 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W., Copp, J.F., & Breedlove, D.E. 1976. Notes on the herpetofauna of western Mexico: new records from Sinaloa and the Tres Marias Islands. Natur. Hist. Mus. of L.A. Co., Contrib. in Sci. (275): 1-17
  • Mulcahy, D.G. 2007. Molecular systematics of neotropical cat-eyed snakes: a test of the monophyly of Leptodeirini (Colubridae: Dipsadinae) with implications for character evolution and biogeography. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 92: 483–500 - get paper here
  • Mulcahy, Daniel G. 2008. Phylogeography and species boundaries of the western North American Nightsnake (Hypsiglena torquata): Revisiting the subspecies concept. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46 (3): 1095-1115 - get paper here
  • Peters, James A. 1956. The occurrence of the snake genus Hypsiglena in Ecuador. Copeia 1956 (1): 57-58 - get paper here
  • Peters, James A.; Donoso-Barros, Roberto & Orejas-Miranda, Braulio 1970. Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: Part I Snakes. Part II Lizards and Amphisbaenians. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 297: 347 pp. - get paper here
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  • Schmidt, Karl P.;Shannon, Frederick A. 1947. Notes on amphibians and reptiles of Michoacan, Mexico. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 31 (9): 63-85
  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
  • Tanner, W. W. 1944. A taxonomic study of the genus Hypsiglena. Great Basin Naturalist 5 (3-4): 25-92 - get paper here
  • Tanner, W. W. 1981. A new Hypsiglena from Tiburon Island, Sonora, Mexico. Great Basin Naturalist 41 (1): 139-142 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1954. Additional note on the genus Hypsiglena with a descriptionof a new subspecies. Herpetologica 10: 54-56 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1966. The night snakes of Baja California. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 14 (15): 189-196 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1985. Snakes of Western Chihuahua. Great Basin Naturalist 45 (4): 615-676 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1997. Type locality restriction of Hypsiglena torquata Günther. Great Basin Naturalist 57 (1): 79-82 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W.; Banta, Benjamin H. 1962. Description of a new Hypsiglena from San Martín Island, México, with a resumé of the reptile fauna of the island. Herpetologica 18 (1): 21-25 - get paper here
  • Taylor, Edward H. 1939. On Mexican snakes of the genera Trimorphodon and Hypsiglena. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 25 (16): 357-383 [1938] - get paper here
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  • Vázquez Díaz, Joel;Quintero Díaz, Gustavo E. 2005. Anfibios y Reptiles de Aguascalientes [2nd ed.]. CONABIO, CIEMA, 318 pp.
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