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Micrurus annellatus PETERS, 1871

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesMicrurus annellatus annellatus (PETERS 1871)
Micrurus annellatus balzanii (BOULENGER 1898)
Micrurus annellatus bolivianus ROZE 1967 
Common NamesE: (Common) Annellated Coral Snake
E: Yungas coral snake [balzani]
E: Bolivian coral snake [bolivianus]
Portuguese: Cobra-Coral, Cobra-Coral-Anelada, Cobra-Coral-de-Anéis, Coral-Verdadeira 
SynonymMicrurus annellatus annellatus (PETERS 1871)
Elaps annellatus PETERS 1871: 402
Micrurus annellatus montanus SCHMIDT 1954
Micrurus annellatus annellatus — WELCH 1994: 79
Micrurus annellatus — LEHR 2002: 99
Micrurus annellatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 442

Micrurus annellatus balzanii (BOULENGER 1898)
Elaps balzanii BOULENGER 1898
Elaps regularis BOULENGER 1902: 402
Micrurus balzanii — SCHMIDT 1936
Micrurus balzani — SCHMIDT & WALKER 1943
Micrurus annellatus balzani — ROZE 1996: 143
Micrurus annellatus balzani — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004: 149

Micrurus annellatus bolivianus ROZE 1967
Micrurus annellatus bolivianus — ROZE 1996: 143
Micrurus annellatus balzani — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004: 149
Micrurus annellatus bolivianus — FEITOSA et al. 2014 
DistributionE Peru, Bolivia, W Brazil

annelatus: SE Peru

balzanii: Amazonian slopes of Madre de Dios, Peru and W Bolivia

bolivianus: C Bolivia; Type locality: Charobamba River, about 50 km NE Zudañez, Chuquisaca, Bolivia.

montanus: Type locality: Peru, Puno, about 10 km. north of Santo Domingo Mine, Camp 4; elevation about 2,000 meters.

Type locality: “Pozuzu” [Pasco Dep., Peru] [Elaps annelatus PETERS 1871]  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 7185 (annelatus)
Holotype: ZMH R03025 (formerly no. 2706e), female, vend. H. ROLLE May 29, 1897 [bolivianus]
Holotype: FMH 40221 [montanus]
Holotype: MSNG 28874 [balzanii] 
DiagnosisDefinition: A single-banded coral snake with a black snout and a white parietal crossband that may be long or short. Red bands have heavy black tips or red completely obliterated by black, resulting in a black-andwhite coloration. Males do not have supraanal tubercles (Roze 1996: 142).

Description (annellatus): Males have 189 to 201 (194.3) and females have 203 to 216 (210.3) ventrals; subcaudals 40 to 47 (43.4) in males and 29 to 35 (32.1) in females; 2 postoculars; usually 1+1 temporals. Examined: 31 males and 19 females, including the holotype.
The snout is black and the parietal white band is short, covering one eighth to two thirds of the parietals; it never extends onto the tips of these scales. Latera11y, the white band covers the temporals and 2 to 3 supralabials. The head is black below, including one or both pairs of genials and the fourth infralabial. The black nuchal band covers the posterior part of the parietals and 4 or 5 dorsals. In about 70% of the specimens the red bands have been completely obliterated by black. At least dorsa11y, this produces a color pattern of longer and shorter black dorsal bands. These are separated by white bands about 1dorsal and 1or 2 ventrals long. The original black bands are 3 or 4 dorsals long and the original red bands (black or not) are 3 to 5 dorsals long. Black and white bands of the same size as those of the body are found on the tail.
To count the number of black bands and give their variation is complicated by the fact that the red bands can be red or black. Counting the original black bands, the males have 17 to 31 (24.7) and the females have 18 to 33 (25.6) black body bands. Counting a11 the black bands (in black-and-white specimens) or black and red bands together (in black-white-red specimens), the males have 34 to 61 (49.9) and the females have 36 to 75 (56.6) black body bands. The males have 7 to 9 (8.1) and the females have 5 to 9 (6.7) black tail bands (Roze 1996: 142).

Description (balzani): Males have 186 to 197 (190.8) and females have 204 to 213 (207.7) ventrals; subcaudals are 38 to 45 (40.6) in males and 26 to 31 (28.1) in females. Usually there is only one postocular; the third, fourth and fifth supralabials are in contact with the orbit at least on one side; 1+1 temporals. Examined: 7 males and 7 females, including one holotype.
The black snout coloration extends over the entire frontal and the anterior border of the parietals. The remainder of the parietals are white and so are the temporals and the last supralabials. The chin is white with some black spots on the mental and on several infralabials, and sometimes on the genials. The nuchal black band is 3 to 5 dorsals long. It reaches but does not cover the tips of the parietals. Below, it projects forward onto the second pair of genials. The body is covered by black-red-and-white or only black-red bands. Depending on their number, the black bands may be either longer or shorter than the red bands. The black bands are 3 to 6 dorsals long, whereas the red bands are 3 to 8 dorsals long and are about the same length ventrally. About half of the individuals have black ventral spots on the red bands. The white bands are about one half of a dorsallong and are barely distinguishable in preserved specimens. The black bands on the tail are about twice as long as the white bands.
The males have 21 to 28 (25.2) and the females have 24 to 34 (29.1) black body bands. The males have 6 to 8 (6.9) and the females have 3 to 5 (4.4) black bands on the tail (Roze 1996: 143).

Description (bolivianus): No males are known; females have 209 to 215 (211.6) ventrals and 26 to 31 (29.0) subcaudals; 2 postoculars; usually 1+2 temporals. Examined: 3 females including the holotype.
The black snout coloration covers the anterior part of the parietals and may include the tip of the frontal. In some specimens the black projects backward along the suture between the parietals. Below, the head is white except for the mental and the upper part of the first three infralabials. There are small black spots on some other shields. The black nuchal band extends over the tips of the parietals and 5 or 6 dorsals. Below, it covers 4 to 6 ventrals and the tips of the second pair of genials. The black body bands are 3 to 4 dorsals in length and usually 2 ventrals long. Some of them may be interrupted ventrally. The red bands are 7 to 10 dorsals and ventrals long. The red scales have conspicuous black or dark brown tips dorsally and irregular black mottling or large spots ventrally. The white bands are barely distinguishable. The black bands are two to four times longer than the white bands; the scales of the latter have conspicuous black tips.
The females have 20 to 25 (22.0) black bands on the body and 5 on the tail (Roze 1996: 143). 

Distribution: Not in Ecuador fide Torres-Carvajal et al. 2019: 299 ff). See map in Nogueira et al. 2019. 
EtymologyLatin annellatus comes from anellus meaning little ring, thus covered with little rings, alluding to many short bands on the body of this coral snake.
M. a. balzani was named after professor L. Balzan who collected the type to the Genoa Museum. 
  • Bernarde, P.S.; M.B. Souza; D.P.F. França; M.A.F. Freitas 2012. Micrurus annellatus annellatus (Peters, 1871) (Serpentes: Elapidae): Distribution extension in the state of Acre, northern Brazil. Check List 8(3):516-517 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1902. Descriptions of new batrachians and reptiles from the Andes of Peru and Bolivia [Elaps regularis not assigned]. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (7) 10 (59): 394-402 - get paper here
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1898. A list of the reptiles and batrachians collected by the late Prof. L. Balzan in Boliva. Ann. Mus. Civ. Storia Nat. Genova (2) 19: 128-133 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
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  • Crnobrna B, Santa-Cruz Farfan R, Gallegos C, López-Rojas JJ, Llanqui IB, Pisco GP, Arbaiza AK 2023. Herpetological records from the Abujao basin, central Peruvian Amazon. Check List 19(4): 433-465 - get paper here
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  • FEITOSA, DARLAN TAVARES; NELSON JORGE DA SILVA JR., MATHEUS GODOY PIRES, HUSSAM ZAHER & ANA LÚCIA DA COSTA PRUDENTE 2015. A new species of monadal coral snake of the genus Micrurus (Serpentes, Elapidae) from western Amazon. Zootaxa 3974 (4): 538–554
  • Freitas, M. A. de, Venancio, N. M., Abegg, A. D., Azevedo, W. S, Pereira, V. O., Zanotti, A. P., Veloso, A., Schwarzbach, L., Oliveira, A. G., da Silva, R. C. C., de Amorim, V. R. G. and de Moura, G. J. B. 2020. Herpetofauna at the Rio Acre Ecological Station, Amazon Rainforest, Brazil. Herpetology Notes 13: 33-48. - get paper here
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira 9 (2): 121 – 214 - get paper here
  • Harvey M. B., J. Aparicio E, and L. Gonzalez A. 2003. Revision of the venomous snakes of Bolivia: Part 1. The coralsnakes (Elapidae: Micrurus). Annals of the Carnegie Museum 72: 1-52 - get paper here
  • Lehr, E. 2002. Amphibien und Reptilien in Peru. Natur und Tier-Verlag (Münster), 208 pp. - get paper here
  • Lehr, E. & Lara, J. 2002. Die Schlangenfauna von Pozuzo (Peru) (Reptilia: Serpentes). Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 22 (2): 353-359 - get paper here
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo, Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins, Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, 2019. Atlas of Brazilian snakes: verified point-locality maps to mitigate the Wallacean shortfall in a megadiverse snake fauna. South American J. Herp. 14 (Special Issue 1):1-274 - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1871. Über eine von Hrn. Dr. Robert Abendroth in dem Hochlande von Peru gemachte Sammlung von Amphibien, welche derselbe dem Königl. zoologischen Museum geschenkt hat. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1871 (August): 397-404 - get paper here
  • Rabosky, Daniel L.; Rudolf von May, Michael C. Grundler and Alison R. Davis Rabosky 2019. The Western Amazonian Richness Gradient for Squamate Reptiles: Are There Really Fewer Snakes and Lizards in Southwestern Amazonian Lowlands? Diversity 11: 199; doi:10.3390/d11100199 - get paper here
  • Roze, Jánis A 1967. A checklist of the New World venomous Coral Snakes (Elapidae), with descriptions of new forms. American Museum Novitates (2287): 1-60 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl P. 1936. Preliminary account of coral snakes of South America. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 20 (19): 189-203 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl P. 1954. The annellated coral snake Micrurus annellatus Peters. Fieldiana Zoology 34 (30): 319-325 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl P. & Walker, Warren F. 1943. Peruvian snakes from the University of Arequipa. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Zoology 24 (26): 279-296 - 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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