Micrurus hippocrepis (PETERS, 1862)
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|Higher Taxa||Elapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Belize coral snake, Mayan Coral Snake|
|Synonym||Elaps hippocrepis PETERS 1862|
Micrurus hippocrepis — STAFFORD 2000
Micrurus affinis hippocrepis
Micrurus hippocrepis — WELCH 1994: 85
Micrurus hippocrepis — LEE 2000: 358
Micrurus hippocrepis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 447
Micrurus hippocrespis — SILVA et al. 2016: 52 (in error)
Type locality: Santo Thomas de Guatemala” [= Puerto Matias de Galvez, Guatemala]
|Types||Holotype: ZMB 4065|
|Diagnosis||Definition: A single-banded coral snake with the upper part of the head black, followed by a white parietal band. The red bands are long; the first is 13 to 24 dorsals long, usually without black-tipped scales or with a few small and irregular black tips on some scales. Black and immaculate white bands are found on the tail. Males lack supraanal tubercles (Roze 1996: 183).|
Description: Males have 196 to 207 (201.5) and females have 213 to 226 (220.4) ventrals; subcaudals 49 to 55 (52.6) in males and 37 to 41 (38.2) in females; usually 1+2 temporals. Examined: 6 males and 6 females, including the holotype.
The snout is usually black, including the supraoculars and most of the frontal. The rostrum is occasionally light. The white or creamy-yellow parietal band extends over the parietals, the posterior tip of the frontal, and 3 to 5 supralabials. The chin is white with small black spots on the mental and first infralabials. The black nuchal band covers the tips of the parietals and 2 to 3 dorsals. It is usually reduced or interrupted ventrally. The black bands usually are 2 to 2% dorsals and ventrals long; they are sometimes interrupted ventrally. The red bands are long, encompassing 10 to 23 dorsals and ventrals. They are usually immaculate or have small, irregular black tips on some scales. The white or creamy-white bands are immaculate and 1 to 1% dorsals and 1 ventrallong. The black bands of the tail are longer than the white bands. The anterior white tail bands may have a red spot or a narrow red band with some black spots or irregular, black-tipped scales.
The males have 9 to 13 (11.7) and the females 14 to 18 (16.3) black body bands. The males have 5 to 6 (5.3) and the females have 4 to 5 (4.6) black tail bands (Roze 1996: 183).
|Comment||Color plate 77 in VILLA et al. 1988. Venomous!|
|Etymology||Greek from hippus meaning horse and crepis meaning a boot or sandal, apparently alluding to the horseshoe type of head coloration, formed by the white parietal band and black nostril band, reduced on the supralabials, that somewhat reminds one of a horse-shoe.|
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