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Micrurus diastema (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

IUCN Red List - Micrurus diastema - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesMicrurus diastema diastema (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)
Micrurus diastema aglaeope (COPE, 1859)
Micrurus diastema alienus (WERNER, 1903)
Micrurus diastema affinis (JAN 1858)
Micrurus diastema apiatus (JAN 1858)
Micrurus diastema macdougalli ROZE 1967
Micrurus diastema sapperi (WERNER 1903) 
Common NamesE: Variable Coral Snake, Diastema Coral Snake
S: Coral Diastema 
SynonymElaps diastema DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1222
Elaps epistema DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1222
Elaps corallinus var. crebripunctatus PETERS 1869: 877
Elaps fulvius var. epistema — GARMAN 1884: 106
Elaps fulvius var. diastema — GARMAN 1884: 106
Elaps fulvius var. cerebripunctatus [sic] — GARMAN 1884: 106
Micrurus diastema — SCHMIDT 1933: 36
Micrurus diastema — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 204
Micrurus diastema — LINER 1994
Micrurus diastema — MATA-SILVA et al. 2015
Micrurus diastema — WALLACH et al. 2014: 445

Micrurus diastema affinis (JAN 1858)
Elaps affinis JAN 1858: 525
Elaps fulvius var. affinis — GARMAN 1884: 106
Micrurus affinis affinis — SCHMIDT 1933
Micrurus diastema affinis — ROZE 1967
Micrurus diastema affinis — LINER 2007

Micrurus diastema aglaeope (COPE 1859)
Elaps aglaeope COPE 1859: 344
Micrurus diastema aglaeope — ROZE 1967: 15
Micrurus diastema aglaeope — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 205
Micrurus diastema aglaeope — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989
Micrurus diastema aglaeope — WELCH 1994: 79
Micrurus affinis aglaeope — SCHMIDT 1936

Micrurus diastema alienus (WERNER 1903)
Elaps alienus WERNER 1903: 249
Micrurus afinis mayensis SCHMIDT 1933: 37 (fide ROZE 1967)
Micrurus affinis alienus — STUART 1935: 54
Micrurus affinis alienus — SCHMIDT 1936
Micrurus affinis alienus — SCHMIDT 1941
Micrurus affinis alienus — LAURENT 1949: 18
Micrurus diastema alienus — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989
Micrurus diastema alienus — WELCH 1994: 79
Micrurus diastema alienus — LINER 2007

Micrurus diastema apiatus (JAN 1858)
Elaps apiatus JAN 1858: 522
Elaps fulvius var. apiatus — GARMAN 1884: 106
Micrurus affinis apiatus — SCHMIDT 1933: 37
Micrurus diastema apiatus — ROZE 1967: 15
Micrurus diastema apiatus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 205
Micrurus diastema apiatus — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989
Micrurus diastema apiatus — WELCH 1994: 79
Micrurus diastema apiatus — LINER 2007

Micrurus diastema diastema (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854)
Elaps diastema DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854
Elaps corallinus var. gastrostictus JAN 1863 (fide TIEDEMANN & GRILLITSCH 1999)
Elaps corallinus var. crebripunctatus PETERS 1870
Micrurus diastema diastema — SCHMIDT 1933: 38
Micrurus diastema diastema — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989
Micrurus diastema diastema — WELCH 1994: 79
Micrurus diastema diastema — LINER 2007

Micrurus diastema macdougalli ROZE 1967
Micrurus diastema macdougalli — LINER 2007

Micrurus diastema sapperi (WERNER 1903)
Elaps fulvius var. sapperi WERNER 1903: 350
Elaps guatemalensis AHL 1927: 251
Micrurus affinis stantoni SCHMIDT 1933: 36
Micrurus diastema sapperi — ROZE 1967: 17
Micrurus diastema sapperi — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 205
Micrurus diastema — WELCH 1994: 81
Micrurus diastema sapperi — LINER 2007 
DistributionS Mexico (Veracruz, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Chiapas),
Belize, Guatemala, Honduras (elevation 100-1680 m)

diastema: C Veracruz to W Tabasco; Type locality: Mexico (restricted to Colima by SCHMIDT 1933).

aglaeope: NW Honduras; Type locality: Honduras

alienus: N Yucatán peninsula including Yucatán and NE Quintana Roo; Type locality: Unknown, restricted to Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico by ROZE 1967.

affinis: Atlantic versant of N Oaxaca; Type locality: Mexico.

apiatus: Atlantic versant of the uplands of N Guatemala and E Chiapas; Type locality: Vera Paz, Guatemala.

macdougalli: Atlantic slopes of the highlands of extreme SE Oaxaca

sapperi: S Yucatán peninsula, including Campeche and N Chiapas,Type locality: “Guatemala” Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
 
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesLectotype: MHNP 7657, a female from Mexico, (designated by Schmidt)
Holotype: ANSP 6858 [aglaeope]
Holotype: ZSM, uncatalogued (lost), male [sapperi]
Paratype: ZSM 8/1922 (?), adult, “Insel Corozal (Brit. Honduras)” [Belize], no further collection data [stantoni] 
CommentColor plate 76 in VILLA et al. 1988. This species is highly variable and some authors therefore question the validity of several of the subspecies (CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989: 106; FRASER 1973). Synonymy and subspecies partly after PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970. Micrurus diastema bernadi is listed here as valid species. Micrurus diastema alienus has been synonymized with M. diastema sapperi by some authors (fide STAFFORD 2000). Micrurus diastema affinis (JAN 1858) is listed as separate subspecies by WELCH 1994). A photo of M. d. sapperi is shown in SMITH & CHISZAR (2001).

Venomous!

Mimicry: Micrurus diastema is mimicked by Lampropeltis triangulum, Ninia sebae, Clelia scytalina (juvenile), Geophis juliai, Geophis semidoliatus, Oxyrhopus petola, Pliocercus wilmarai, Scaphiodontophis annulatus, and Pliocercus elapoides (TORRE-LORANCA et al. 2006). 
References
  • Blaney, R. M. ;Blaney, P. K. 1978. Notes on three species of Micrurus (Serpentes: Elapidae) from Mexico. Herpetological Review 9 (3): 92 - get paper here
  • Blaney, Richard M. and Patricia Kimmich Blaney 1979. Variation in the Coral Snake, Micrurus diastema, in Quintana Roo, México. Herpetologica 35 (3): 276-278 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • Campbell,J.A. 2000. A new species of venomous coral snake (Serpentes: Elapidae) from high desert in Puebla, Mexico. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 113 (1): 291-297 - get paper here
  • Casas-Andreu, G., F.R. Méndez-De la Cruz and X. Aguilar-Miguel. 2004. Anfibios y Reptiles; pp. 375–390, in A.J.M. García-Mendoza, J. Ordoñez and M. Briones-Salas (ed.). Biodiversidad de Oaxaca. Instituto de Biología, UNAM-Fondo Oaxaqueño para la Conservación de la Naturaleza-World Wildlife Fund, México, D. F.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Fraser, D. F. 1973. Variation in the coral snake Micrurus diastema. Copeia 1973 (1): 1-17. - get paper here
  • Garman,Samuel 1884. The reptiles and batrachians of North America. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 8 (3): xxxiv + 185 pp. [1883] [CNAH reprint 10] - get paper here
  • Guerra Centeno, Dennis; Héctor Fuentes Rousselin & David Morán Villatoro 2012. Serpientes de Guatemala: Guía para didentificación de especies. Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, 186 pp.
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • 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
  • Johnson, Jerry D.; Vicente Mata-Silva, Elí García Padilla, and Larry David Wilson 2015. The Herpetofauna of Chiapas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (3): 272–329. - get paper here
  • Laurent, R. 1949. Note sur quelques reptiles appartenant à la collection de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. III. Formes americaines. Bull. Inst. roy. Sci. nat. Belgique, Bruxelles, 25 (9): 1-20 [4]
  • Lee, J. C. 2000. A field guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the Maya world. Cornell University Press, Ithaca,
  • Lee, J.C. 1996. The amphibians and reptiles of the Yucatán Peninsula. Comstock, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 500 pp.
  • Liner, Ernest A. 2007. A CHECKLIST OF THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF MEXICO. Louisiana State University Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science 80: 1-60 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Jerry D. Johnson, Larry David Wilson and Elí García-Padilla. 2015. The herpetofauna of Oaxaca, Mexico: composition, physiographic distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (1): 6–62 - get paper here
  • McCranie J R 2011. The snakes of Honduras. SSAR, Salt Lake City, 725 pp.
  • McCranie, James R. 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed. Zootaxa 3931 (3): 352–386 - get paper here
  • Peters, James A.; Donoso-Barros, Roberto & Orejas-Miranda, Braulio 1970. Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: Part I Snakes. Part II Lizards and Amphisbaenians. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 297: 347 pp. - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1870. Über mexicanische Amphibien, welche Hr. Berkenbusch in Puebla auf Veranlassung des Hrn. Legationsraths von Schlözer dem zoologischen Museum zugesandt hat. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1869 (December): 874-881 - 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, K. P. 1933. Preliminary account of the coral snakes of Central America and Mexico. Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool. Ser. 20: 29-40. - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K. P. 1936. Notes on Central American and Mexican coral snakes. Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool. Ser. 20: 205-216. - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K.P. 1941. The amphibians and reptiles of British Honduras. Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool. Ser. 22 (8): 475-510. - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M. and David Chiszar 2001. Pliocercus elapoides Cope Variegated False Coral Snake. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (739): 1-11 - get paper here
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
  • Stafford, P.J. 2000. The distributional status of the coral snake Micrurus nigrocinctus (Serpentes: elapidae) in Belize and eastern Guatemala. Herpetological Review 31 (2): 78-82 - get paper here
  • Stuart, L. C. 1935. A contribution to a knowledge of the herpetology of a portion of the savanna region of Central Peten, Guatemala. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology Miscellaneous Publications 29: 1-56 - get paper here
  • Talley, Brooke L., Larry D. Wilson and Josiah H. Townsend. 2013. Micrurus diastema (variable coralsnake) defensive behavior. Herpetological Review 44 (4): 693-694
  • Tiedemann,F. & Grillitsch,H. 1999. Ergänzungen zu den Katalogen der Typusexemplare der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien. Herpetozoa 12 (3-4): 147-156 - get paper here
  • Torre-Loranca, M.A. de la; Aguirre-León, G. & López-Luna, M.A. 2006. Coralillos verdaderos (Serpentes: Elapidae) y Coralillos falsos (Serpentes: Colubridae) de Veracruz, México. Acta Zool. Mex. 22 (3): 11-22
  • Urbina-Cardona, J. Nicolás; Mario Olivares-Pérez, Víctor Hugo Reynoso 2006. Herpetofauna diversity and microenvironment correlates across a pasture–edge–interior ecotone in tropical rainforest fragments in the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve of Veracruz, Mexico. Biological Conservation 132: 61–75
  • Valencia-Herverth, Jorge, Leonardo Fernández-Badillo and Guadalupe Vargas Licona. 2016. Micrurus diastema (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854). Arboreal behavior. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (2): 501-502 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. 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.
  • Werner, F. 1903. Neue Reptilien und Batrachier aus dem naturhistorischen Museum in Brüssel. Zool. Anz. 26: 246-253 - get paper here
  • Wilson, L.D. & McCranie, J.R. 2003. The herpetofauna of the cloud forests of Honduras. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 3 (1): 34-48 - get paper here
 
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