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Micrurus baliocoryphus (COPE, 1860)

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mesopotamian coral snake 
SynonymElaps baliocoryphus COPE 1860: 346
Micrurus frontalis mesopotamicus BARRIO & MIRANDA 1967
Micrurus frontalis baliocoryphus — HOGE & ROMANO 1979
Micrurus frontalis mesopotamicus — CEI 1993
Micrurus frontalis baliocoryphus — WELCH 1994: 83
Micrurus frontalis baliocoryphus — ROZE 1994
Micrurus baliocoryphus — DA SILVA & SITES 1999: 162
Micrurus baliocoryphus — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004: 209
Micrurus baliocoryphus — DI BERNARDO et al. 2007
Micrurus baliocoryphus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 442 
DistributionArgentina (Entre Rios, Correintes, SW Misiones), Paraguay (fide Paul Smith, pers. comm., 27 Apr 2014)

Type locality: Buenos Aires, Argentina. Corrected to Villa Federal, Entre Ríos, Argentina (type locality of M. frontalis mesopotamicus) by Roze (1983).  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 6842
Holotype: MACN 1823, male; paratypes: MACN [mesopotamicus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Micrurus baliocoryphus is a triadal coralsnake with a white snout with most of the scales bordered by black, including the first 3-4 supralabials. Sometimes the prefrontals are completely white with a few little black markings. The head is black with (the vast majority of our sample) or without a white band between the parietals and frontal and supraoculars. The remainder of the head is red, including the posterior 3-4 infralabials with all scales black-tipped (Figs. 15-17). Inferiorly, the chin is white, ranging from the mental and first 2 infralabials to the anterior genials and first 3 infralabials. All the scales have irregular black markings with a strong tendency to melanism. The posterior part is red rarely with black markings. The triads have a fixed character of the middle black ring at least twice as long as the external ones and immaculate white rings. The red rings are always black-tipped. Triads range from 9 to 16 (from Silva & Sites 1999: 162). 

Distribution: apparently not known from Brazil (Campbell & Lamar 2004, Da Silva & Sites, 1999). 
EtymologyGreek from “bali-” meaning spotted and “coryph” meaning head; baliocoryphus, meaning snake with spotted head, alluding to the red and black head. Mesopotamicus alludes to its distribution in the Argentinean mesopotamic region in Entre Rios. 
  • Cacciali, Pier; Norman J. Scott, Aida Luz Aquino Ortíz, Lee A. Fitzgerald, and Paul Smith 2016. The Reptiles of Paraguay: Literature, Distribution, and an Annotated Taxonomic Checklist. SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MUSEUM OF SOUTHWESTERN BIOLOGY, NUMBER 11: 1–373 - get paper here
  • Cei, J. M. 1993. Reptiles del noroeste, nordeste y este de la Argentina. Museo Regionale Sci. Naturale Torino, Monografie 14: 1-949
  • Cope, E.D. 1860. Catalogue of the venomous serpents in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes on the families, genera and species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1859: 332-347 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1862. Catalogues of the reptiles obtained during the explorations of the Parana Paraguay, Vermejo and Uruguay rivers, by Capt. Thos. J. Page, U.S.N.; and of those procured by Lieut. N. Michier, U. S. Top. Eng., Commander of the expedition conducting the su Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 14: 346-359. - get paper here
  • Da SILVA, N. J. JR. & J. W. JR. SITES 1999. Revision of the Micrurus frontalis complex (Serpentes: Elapidae). Herpetological Monographs 13: 142-194 - get paper here
  • DI-BERNARDO, MARCOS; MARCIO BORGES-MARTINS & NELSON JORGE DA SILVA, JR. 2007. A new species of coralsnake (Micrurus: Elapidae) from southern Brazil. Zootaxa 1447: 1–26 - get paper here
  • Hoge, A.R., & Romano-Hoge, S.A.R.W.L. 1979. Sinopse das serpentes peconhentas do Brasil (2.ed.). Mem. Inst. Butantan. 42/43: 373-496. - get paper here
  • Roze, J.A. 1994. Notes on the taxonomy of venomous coral snakes (Elapidae) of South America. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 30: 177-185. - 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.
  • Welch, K. R. G. 1994. Snakes of the World. A Checklist. I. Venomous snakes. KCM Books, Somerset, England.
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