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Micrurus circinalis (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Trinidad Coralsnake, Trinidad Northern Coral Snake
S: Coral Nortefia Trinitaria; Cobra Coral Septentrional de Trinidad 
SynonymElaps circinalis DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1210
Elaps riisei JAN 1858: 525
Elaps circinalis — COPE 1878: 33
Elaps riisii — GARMAN 1887: 285
Elaps corallinus BOULENGER 1896
Micrurus psyches circinalis — ROZE 1967: 40
Micrurus psyches circinalis — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 216
Micrurus psyches circinalis — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989
Micrurus psyches circinalis — WELCH 1994: 89
Micrurus circinalis — ROZE 1996
Micrurus circinalis — KORNACKER 1999: 150
Micrurus circinalis — CARVALHO 2002
Micrurus circinalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 443
Micrurus circinalis — JOWERS et al. 2019 
DistributionTrinidad, adjacent mainland Venezuela

Type locality: Martinique (in error fide SCHMIDT 1936  
TypesLectotype: MNHN-RA 3912, a female (designated by Roze, 1989): from an unknown locality, collected by Geoffroy 
DiagnosisDefinition: A single-banded coral snake with a black cap, intensely red bands with black tips, and a tendency to form weak accessory black bands. The anterior temporal is either reduced or fused with the sixth supralabial. Males lack supraanal tubercles (Roze 1996: 149).

Description: Males have 178 to 187 (183.3) and females have 192 to 205 (196.1) ventrals; subcaudals 43 to 50 (45.9) in males and 30 to 35 (32.3) infemales; 0+1 or1 +1 temporals; anterior temporal usually reduced in size or fused with the sixth supralabial. Examined: 29 males and 23 females, ineluding the holotype.
The black cap may be fused or not with the black nuchal band. When not fused, a postparietal yellow or white band occupies one dorsal, the temporals, and the last supralabials. The chin is black with an irregular white crossband that covers the last infralabials and part of the genials. The black nuchal band is 3 to 4 dorsals and 2 to 3 ventrals long, and ventrally it projects forward onto the genials. The black bands are 2 to 3 dorsals and about 2 ventrals long and are somewhat irregular in shape. The red bands are elearly distinct, with black tips occupying usually not more than one half of a scale. In more than half of the specimens a weak accessory black band is present. When present, it is more conspicuous on the posterior part of the body. It seems there is an ontogenetic tendency as with an increase of size the black tips of the red scales become larger and the accessory blands become more conspicuous. VentralIy, many specimens have some irregular black spots on the red bands. The black tail bands are 2 to 3 times as long as the light interspaces, many of which have a darkish red dorsal spot or a complete, short, red band between the white bands, corresponding to the red body bands.
The males have 22 to 30 (25.5) and the females have 21 to 31 (27.2) black body bands. The males have 8 to 12 (9.8) and the females have 6 to 8 (6.8) black tail
bands (Roze 1996: 149). 

Distribution: Cole et al. 2013: 533 believe that records from Guyana (Donnelly et al. 2005: 457) are in error. 
EtymologyLatin from circin, a ring or circle, and -alis, pertaining to; thus circinalis refers to this snake as belonging to ringed or banded snakes. 
  • Auguste, Renoir J. 2019. Herpetofaunal checklist for six pilot protected areas in Trinidad and Tobago. Herpetology Notes 12: 577-585 - get paper here
  • Boos, H.E.A. 2001. The snakes of Trinidad and Tobago. Texas A&M University Press, 270 pp.
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Burger, W.L. 1955. A new subspecies of the coral snake Micrurus lemniscatus from Vénézuela, British Guiana and Trinidad, and a key for the identification of associated species of coral snakes. Bol. Mus. Cienc. Nat. Caracas 1: 35-40
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • Cope, E.D. 1878. Synopsis of the cold blooded Vertebrata, procured by Prof. James Orton, during his exploration of Peru in 1876-77. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 17: 33-49 [1877] - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Garman, S. 1887. On West Indian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Cambridge, Mass. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 24: 278-286. - get paper here
  • Hedges SB, Powell R, Henderson RW, Hanson S, and Murphy JC 2019. Definition of the Caribbean Islands biogeographic region, with checklist and recommendations for standardized common names of amphibians and reptiles. Caribbean Herpetology 67: 1–53
  • Jan, G. 1858. Plan d'une iconographie descriptive des ophidiens et description sommaire de nouvelles espèces des serpents. Rev. Mag. Zool. Paris (2) 10: 438-449, 514-527 - get paper here
  • Jowers MJ, Garcia Mudarra JL, Charles SP, Murphy JC. 2019. Phylogeography of West Indies Coral snakes (Micrurus): Island colonisation and banding patterns. Zoologica Scripta 48: 263– 276
  • Kornacker,P.M. 1999. Checklist and key to the snakes of Venezuela. PaKo-Verlag, Rheinbach, Germany, 270 pp.
  • Morato de Carvalho, C. 2002. Descrição de uma nova espécie de Micrurus do Estado de Roraima, Brasil (Serpentes, Elapidae). Pap. Avul. Zool., Sao Paulo 42(8):183-192 - get paper here
  • Natera-Mumaw, Marco; Luis Felipe Esqueda-González & Manuel Castelaín-Fernández 2015. Atlas Serpientes de Venezuela. Santiago de Chile, Dimacofi Negocios Avanzados S.A., 456 pp. - get paper here
  • Peters, James A.; Donoso-Barros, Roberto & Orejas-Miranda, Braulio 1970. Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: Part I Snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 297: 347 pp. - get paper here
  • Rivas, G. A., Lasso-Alcalá, O. M., Rodríguez-Olarte, D., De Freitas, M., Murphy, J. C., Pizzigalli, C., ... & Jowers, M. J. 2021. Biogeographical patterns of amphibians and reptiles in the northernmost coastal montane complex of South America. Plos one, 16(3): e0246829 - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Roux-Estève, R. 1982. Les spécimens-types du genre Micrurus (Elapidae) conservés au Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle de Paris. Mém. Inst. Butantan, 46: 79-94. - get paper here
  • Roze, J. A. 1996. Coral Snakes of the Americas. Krieger, Malabar, Florida
  • 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
  • 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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