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Ialtris dorsalis (GÜNTHER, 1858)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Alsophiini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Hispaniolan W-headed Racer, Brown Fanged Snake 
SynonymPhilodryas dorsalis GÜNTHER 1858:126
Ialtris vultuosus COPE 1862: 73
Ialtris vultuosus — GARMAN 1887: 284
Dromicus w-nigrum WERNER 1909: 222
Ialtris dorsalis — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 614
Alsophis dorsalis — CROTHER 1999
Ialtris dorsalis — HEDGES et al. 2009
Ialtris dorsalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 347 
DistributionHispaniola (Ile-a-Vache, Ile de la Gonave, Ile de la Tortue, Dominican Republic)

Type locality: Santo Domingo.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.2.77. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Species in this genus have 19 midbody scale rows, 132–192 ventrals, 40–115 subcaudals, zero or two apical scale pits, seven upper labials, 8–9 lower labials, 18–19 total maxillary teeth, and 20–24 dentary teeth (Table 2). Ialtris differs in at least one of these characters from all other alsophiine genera except Hypsirhynchus. In most Ialtris, maxillary teeth are grooved whereas in Hypsirhynchus (as in other alsophiines) they are ungrooved; 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 et al. 2009). 
CommentFor illustrations see Cochran, 1941; Schwartz and Rossman, 1976.

Type species: Ialtris vultuosus (= Philodryas dorsalis GÜNTHER 1858) is the type species of the genus Ialtris COPE 1862. The name was emended to “Jaltris” on page 594 of the Proceedings without comment. Later authors also used Jaltris (e.g. TROSCHEL 1863: 635 or MARSCHALL 1873: 50) but WILLIAMS & WALLACH 1989 list Ialtris as correct form).

Synonymy: partly after COCHRAN 1928; BARBOUR 1914 believed that Dromicus w-nigrum is Alsophis melanichnus COPE. 
  • Clark, H.O., Jr. 2013. Where do I Live? (Budding Biologist series) (Book Review). Sonoran Herpetologist 26 (3):64. - get paper here
  • Cochran, D.M. 1941. The herpetology of Hispaniola. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 177: vii + 398 pp. - get paper here
  • Cochran, Doris M. 1928. The identity of Werner's Dromicus w-nigrum. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 41: 127-128 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1862. Synopsis of the species of Holcosus and Ameiva, with diagnoses of new West Indian and South American Colubridae. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 14: 60-82. - 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
  • 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
  • Marschall, A. de 1873. Nomenclator zoologicus, continens nomina systematica generum animalium tan viventium quam fossilium, secundum ordinem alphabeticum disposita. Typus Carolini Ueberreuter (M. Salzer), Vindobonae 482 pp. - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Pasachnik et al. 2013. Ialtris dorsalis (Hispaniolan W-headed Racer). Distribution. Caribbean Herpetology 41: 1 - get paper here
  • Pasachnik, S A; Pellecchia, C M & Landestoy, M A; 2019. Geographic Distribution: Ialtris dorsalis (Hispaniolan W-headed Racer) Dominican Republic: La Altagracia Province. Herpetological Review 50 (1): 105 - get paper here
  • Powell R; Henderson R W 1994. Ialtris Cope. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 590: 1-2 - get paper here
  • Powell, Robert, José A. Ottenwalder, Sixto J. Incháustegui, Robert W. Henderson and Richard E. Glor. 2000. Amphibians and reptiles of the Dominican Republic: Species of special concern. Oryx 34 (2): 118-128 - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Schwartz, A. and D. A. Rossman 1976. A review of the Hispaniolan colubrid snake genus Ialtris. Stud. Fauna Curacao Carib. IsI. 50: 76-102. - get paper here
  • Troschel, F.H. 1863. Bericht über die Leistungen der Herpetologie während des Jahres 1862. Archiv für Naturgeschichte 29 (2): 620-641 - 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.
  • Williams, K.L. & Wallach, V. 1989. Snakes of the World. 1. Synopsis of snakes generic names. Krieger, Malabar, Florida, 234 pp.
  • Zippel, K. C., 3.5. Parmerlee, Jr., and R. Powell. 1994. Ialtris dorsalis. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (592) - get paper here
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