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Melanosuchus niger (SPIX, 1825)

IUCN Red List - Melanosuchus niger - Least Concern, LR

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Higher TaxaAlligatoridae, Crocodylia, crocodiles (alligators)
Common NamesE: Black caiman
Local names: Jacaré açu, Jacaré uassu, Jacaré assu, Jacaré guaçu, Caimán, Caimán negro, Jacaré jhu, Jacaré negro, Jacaré una, Cocodrilo.
G: Mohrenkaiman
Portuguese: Jacaré-Açú, Jacaré-Preto 
SynonymCaiman niger SPIX 1825: 3
Melanosuchus niger — KING & BURKE 1989
Caiman niger — POE 1996
Melanosuchus niger — ZUG et al. 2001: 462
Melanosuchus niger — MORATO et al. 2014: 146 
DistributionBolivia, Brazil (Amazonas, Pará), Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru

Type locality: "Fluminis Amazonium et Solimoens", Brazil.  
TypesLectotype: ZSM 2480,0 designated by Hoogmoed and Gruber 1983: 380; paralectotypes: ZSM 3,0 (now lost), 2480,0 and 3039,0. 
CommentDistribution: Erroneously reported from Paraguay (fide Scott et al. 1990). Not in Venezuela (KOK et al. 2012).

Type species: Caiman niger SPIX 1825: 3 is the type species of the genus Melanosuchus GRAY 1862: 328. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin niger, nigra, nigrum = black.

the genus was named after Greek melas (genitive melanos) = blacka and soukhos, the name for the crocodile in one part of Egypt (Gotch 1986). 
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  • CAMPOS, ZILCA 2019. Disruption of reproductive behaviour of black caiman, Melanosuchus niger in the Santo Antônio hydroeletric dam, Madeira River, Brazilian Amazon. Herpetological Bulletin 147: - get paper here
  • Campos, Zilca; Fábio Muniz, William E Magnusson 2018. Where are the black caimans, Melanosuchus niger (Crocodylia: Alligatoridae), in the Xingu River basin, Brazil? Herpetology Notes 11: 1021-1024 - get paper here
  • CATENAZZI, A., LEHR, E. & VON MAY, R. 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Manu National Park and its buffer zone, Amazon basin and eastern slopes of the Andes, Peru. Biota Neotropica 13 (4): 269-283
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  • Da Silveira, Ronis, João Valsecchi Do Amaral, William E. Magnusson and John B. Thorbjarnarson. 2011. Melanosuchus niger (black caiman) long distance movement. Herpetological Review 42 (3): 424-425 - get paper here
  • Da Silveira, Ronis; Zilca Campos, John Thorbjarnarson and Wiliam E. Magnusson. 2013. Growth rates of Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger) and Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) fron two different Amazonian flooded habitats. Amphibia-Reptilia 34 (4): 437-449 - get paper here
  • Dinets, Vladimir. 2011. Melanosuchus niger (black caiman) signaling behavior. Herpetological Review 42 (3): 424 - get paper here
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  • Foth, Christian; Paula Bona and Julia B. Desojo 2013. Intraspecific variation in the skull morphology of the black caiman Melanosuchus niger (Alligatoridae, Caimaninae). Acta Zool. 96 (1): DOI: 10.1111/azo.12045 [2015] - get paper here
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