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Hypsirhynchus ferox GÜNTHER, 1858

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Alsophiini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesHypsirhynchus ferox ferox GÜNTHER 1858
Hypsirhynchus ferox exedrus SCHWARTZ 1971
Hypsirhynchus ferox paracrousis SCHWARTZ 1971 
Common NamesHispaniola Cat-eyed Snake 
SynonymHypsirhynchus ferox GÜNTHER 1858:49
Hypsirhynchus ferox — COPE 1879: 273
Tropidonotus ferox — BOULENGER 1893: 241
Hypsirhynchus ferox — BOULENGER 1894: 117
Hypsirhynchus ferox — FISCHER 1888: 41
Hypsirhynchus ferox — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 612
Hypsirhynchus ferox — HEDGES et al. 2009
Hypsirhynchus ferox — GRAZZIOTIN et al. 2012
Hypsirhynchus ferox — WALLACH et al. 2014: 339 
DistributionHispaniola, Ile de la Gonave, Isla Saona

ferox: Hispaniola: Haiti and República Dominicana north of and including Plaine de Cul de Sac-Valle de Neiba; southern Haiti north and south of Massif de la Selle; Peninsula de Barahona. Type locality: 'Barbados"; restricted by Boulenger, 1894, to Santo Domingo; further restricted by Schwartz, 1971, to vicinity of Port-au-Prince, Département de l'Ouest, Haiti, but corrected to "República Dominicana" by Wetherbee, 1987.

exedrus: Isla Saona.

paracrousis: Île de la Gonâve.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.4.96
Holotype: USNM 167298 [exedrus]
Holotype: CM 52284 [paracrousis] 
CommentFor illustrations see Boulenger, 1894; Schwartz, 1971; Henderson and Schwartz, 1984.

Taxonomy: Hypsirhynchus ferox scalaris COPE 1863 has been elevated to full species status.

Type species: Hypsirhynchus ferox GÜNTHER 1858 is the type species of the genus Hypsirhynchus GÜNTHER 1858. According to GRAZZIOTIN et al. 2012 there are only 2 species in this genus: H. ferox and H. scalaris.

Diagnosis (genus): Species in this genus have 17–19 midbody scale rows, 123–189 ventrals, 62–151 subcaudals, 1–2 apical scale pits, 7–8 upper labials, 9–10 lower labials, 13–21 total maxillary teeth, and 18–27 dentary teeth (Table 2). Hypsirhynchus differs in at least one of these characters from Arrhyton, Haitiophis, Magliophis, and Uromacer. Alsophis differs almost completely from Hypsirhynchus in ventrals (184–220 versus 123–189 in Hypsirhynchus). Cubophis differs from Hypsirhynchus in possessing a unique hemipenial character: enlarged papillate body calyces in the basal region and medial surface of the lobes (Zaher 1999). Most Hypsirhynchus have 19 midbody scales rows (H. ater and H. melanichnus have 17 rows) whereas most Borikenophis have 17 rows (those populations from the Virgin Islands usually have 19 rows). Caraiba differs from Hypsirhynchus in having a unique hemipenis (Zaher et al. 2009). In most Ialtris, maxillary teeth are grooved whereas in Hypsirhynchus (as in other alsophiines) they are ungrooved (Maglio 1970); in I. haetianus they are ungrooved. Also, most Hypsirhynchus have eight upper labials whereas Ialtris has seven upper labials; the small Jamaican Hypsirhynchus (H. callilaemus, H. funereus, and H. polylepis) have seven upper labials (from HEDGES & VIDAL 2009).

Diagnosis (genus): Enlarged teeth; hemipenis moderately bilobed, proximal region of each lobe with a bulbous projection ornamented by a row of small papillae (GRAZZIOTIN et al. 2012). 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - 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. 1879. Eleventh contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 18: 261-277. - get paper here
  • Fischer, J.G. 1888. Über eine Kollektion Reptilien und Amphibien von Hayti. Jahrb. Hamburg. Wiss. Anst. 5: 23-45. - get paper here
  • Garman, S. 1887. On West Indian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Cambridge, Mass. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 24: 278-286. - get paper here
  • Grazziotin, Felipe G.; Hussam Zaher, Robert W. Murphy, Gustavo Scrocchi, Marco A. Benavides, Ya-Ping Zhang and Sandro L. Bonatto 2012. Molecular phylogeny of the New World Dipsadidae (Serpentes: Colubroidea): a reappraisal. Cladistics DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2012.00393.x - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281
  • Hedges, S. Blair; Arnaud Couloux; Vidal, Nicolas 2009. Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of West Indian racer snakes of the Tribe Alsophiini (Squamata, Dipsadidae, Xenodontinae). Zootaxa 2067: 1-28 - get paper here
  • Henderson, R.W., and Schwartz, A. 1984. A guide to the identification of the amphibians and reptiles of Hispaniola. Spec. PubI. Milwaukee Public Mus. Biol. and Geol. (4):1-70.
  • Henderson, Robert W. 1984. The Diet of the Hispaniolan Snake Hypsirhynchus ferox (Colubridae) Amphibia-Reptilia 5 (3-4): 367 - 371 - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. 1971. A systematic account of the Hispaniolan snake genus Hypsirhynchus. Stud. Fauna Curaçao and Carib. Is. 35:63-94. - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Sosa, R. A., R. W. Henderson, and R. Powell. 1995. Hypsirhynchus, H. ferox. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (617) - get paper here
  • Vidal, Nicolas; Shannon G. Kindl, Alan Wong, and S. Blair Hedges 2000. Phylogenetic Relationships of Xenodontine Snakes Inferred from 12S and 16S Ribosomal RNA Sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution14 (3): 389–402 - 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.
  • Wetherbee, D.K. 1987. Further contributions to the history of zoology in Hispaniola. Shebburne, MA, privatelyprinted: 114 pp.
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