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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
Incaspis amaru — ARREDONDO et al. 2020
Philodryas amaru — MELO-SAMPAIO et al. 2020 

Type locality: private land owned by Manuel Merchan, Termas de Aguas Calientes-Soldados (2°555'55'' S, 79°12'37'' W, ca. 3196 m elevation), Parroquia San Joaquín, Cantón Cuenca, Province of Azuay, Ecuador.  
TypesHolotype: USFQ 4749 (was: FHGO), adult male, collected by Ernesto Arbeláez on 6 June 2006 (Fig. 1). Paratypes. Two adult females (FHGO 6399 and FHGO 6400) collected along with the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A Philodryas that differs from all other species of the genus by the following combination of characters: Snout not acuminate anteriorly; maxilla with 14 to 15 prediastemal maxillary teeth and two ungrooved postdiastemal teeth; dorsal pattern with three stripes, one vertebral and two paravertebrals of similar width; ventral scales 184 in male (N=1) and 200 in females (N=2); subcaudal scales 119 in male and 102–112 in females; supralabial scales 7 or 8; nasal scale completely divided; loreal scale present; infralabial scales 9 or 10; dorsal scale rows 19/19/15; cloacal scale divided; dorsal scales with two apical pits; hemipenial body with a basal constriction and an asulcate surface ornamented by two parallel rows of enlarged body calyces extending from the tip of the lobes to the base of the hemipenial body. 
CommentHabitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet amaru is derived from the Ecuadorian Kichwa dialect, meaning snake. Along the Andean region of Ecuador, Amaru is often known to represent a snake deity related to the economy and vitally of the water that allows the existence of Andean people. Also, “Amaru” or “snake” is considered to represent the first mother of the pre Inca Cañari culture that lived where presently is the city of Cuenca. 
  • Arredondo, J. C., Grazziotin, F. G., Manfrini, G. J. S., Rodrigues, M. T. U., Bonatto, S. L., & Zaher, H. E. D. 2020. Molecular phylogeny of the tribe Philodryadini Cope, 1886 (Dipsadidae: Xenodontinae): Rediscovering the diversity of the South American Racers. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 60, e20206053-e20206053 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Melo-Sampaio, P. R., Passos, P., Martins, A. R., Moura-leite, J. C., Morato, S. A., Venegas, P. J., Chávez G., Venâncio N.M. & De Souza, M. B. 2020. A phantom on the trees: integrative taxonomy supports a reappraisal of rear-fanged snakes classification (Dipsadidae: Philodryadini). Zoologischer Anzeiger 290: 19-39 [dated 2021 in print version, but 2020 published online] - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - get paper here
  • ZAHER, HUSSAM; JUAN C. ARREDONDO, JORGE H. VALENCIA, ERNESTO ARBELÁEZ, MIGUEL T. RODRIGUES & MARCO ALTAMIRANO-BENAVIDES 2014. A new Andean species of Philodryas (Dipsadidae, Xenodontinae) from Ecuador. Zootaxa 3785 (3): 469–480 - get paper here
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