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Imantodes phantasma MYERS, 1982

IUCN Red List - Imantodes phantasma - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Phantasma Tree Snake 
SynonymImantodes phantasma MYERS 1982
Imantodes phantasma — KÖHLER 2008: 236
Imantodes phantasma — WALLACH et al. 2014: 349 
DistributionPanama (Darién region, 1000-1100 m elevation), Colombia (Chocó)

Type locality: SE slope of Cerro Cituro, 1020 m elevation, a peak on north end of the Serrania de Pirre, Darién, Panama.  
TypesHolotype: KU 110217, a 1053 mm male (C.W. Myers and T. Quintero, 24 Jan. 1966). 
DiagnosisDEFINITION AND DIAGNOSIS: An Imantodes of ~1m total length,with pattern of grayish dorsal saddles (these markings yellowish brown with black flecks in life) on a light orangish brown body; saddle markings have little contrast, actually appearing paler than the ground color in life. Dorsal scales in 17-17-17 or 17-17-15 rows; vertebral scales conspicuously modified, about two times wider than midlateral scales and with concave or truncate rear margins. High number of maxillary teeth ( ~ 19+ 2), with the rear fangs being only feebly grooved. Hemipenis relatively large; asulcate edge of capitulum joined to midsection by short cluster of small spines, adjacent to a naked pocket notched in edge of capitulum. This species differs from all other I mantodes in its unusual pattern of very light dorsal blotches, which are not sharply defined and which in life may even appear paler than the ground color. Imantodes phantasma differs from all other species except /. inornatus and I. lentiferus in having a relatively large hemipenis 2 with a distal naked pocket in the asulcate edge of the capitulum, and in having a high number(> 16) of prediastemal maxillary teeth, and rear fangs that are only feebly grooved. Imantodes inornatus is immediately differentiated from phantasma by its autapomorphic pattern of vague dark crosslines (rather than saddles or blotches). Imantodes lentiferus differs in having 15 (vs. 17) scale rows at midbody and in dorsal blotches that, although variable, are always conspicuously darker than the ground color (from Myers 1982: 3). 
CommentHabitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Medina-Rangel GF, Cárdenas-Arévalo G, Rentería-M LE 2018. Rediscovery and first record of the Phantasma Tree Snake, Imantodes phantasma Myers, 1982 (Serpentes, Colubridae), in Colombia. Check List 14(1): 237-242 - get paper here
  • Missassi, Alexandre F. R. & ANA L. C. PRUDENTE 2015. A new species of Imantodes Duméril, 1853 (Serpentes, Dipsadidae) from the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. Zootaxa 3980 (4): 562–574 - get paper here
  • Myers, C W 1982. Blunt-headed vine snakes (Imantodes) in Panama, including a new species and other revisionary notes. American Museum Novitates (2738): 1-50 - 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.
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