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Micrurus laticollaris PETERS, 1870

IUCN Red List - Micrurus laticollaris - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesMicrurus laticollaris laticollaris (PETERS, 1870)
Micrurus laticollaris maculirostris ROZE 1967 
Common NamesBalsas Coral Snake 
SynonymMicrurus laticollaris laticollaris (PETERS 1870)
Elaps macgravii var. laticollaris PETERS 1870
Elaps marcgravii laticollaris PETERS 1869
Elaps laticollaris — GARMAN 1884: 107
Micrurus laticollaris — LINER 1994
Micrurus laticollaris laticollaris — LINER 2007
Micrurus laticollaris — WALLACH et al. 2014: 448

Micrurus laticollaris maculirostris ROZE 1967
Micrurus laticollaris maculirostris — LINER 2007 
DistributionMexico (Michoacan, Guerrero, Jalisco, Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca, Mexico)

laticollaris: Mexico (Michoacan, Guerrero, Puebla, Morelos)
maculirostris: Mexico (Colima, Jalisco)

Type locality: Puebla, by implication; “probably Matamoros, Puebla” fide SMITH & TAYLOR (1945); explicitely restricted to “Matamoros (Izúcar)” by SMITH & TAYLOR (1950) [cited after BAUER 1995]. 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.
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 6659A-B, FMNHG 95836 (fide MARX 1958). 
CommentMARX 1958 listed FMNH 95836 as cotype, implying that the “type” was among the remaining ZMB specimens. DIXON et al. (in GOLAY et al. 1993) regarded ZMB 6659 as the lectotype, apparently accepting MARX’s action as an implicit designation. However, as two specimens remain under this number in Berlin, no action to date has selected a single lectotype and all members of the type series should be regarded as syntypes (from BAUER 1995). Venomous!

Diagnosis.—A small coral snake of usual cylindrical form and normal Micrurus scale pattern, with black rings arranged in triads, the middle broader in each group, one separated from the outer ones by broad yellow rings, the first triad incomplete, ventrals in males about 210, in females 218, caudals respectively 43 and 39; temporals uniformly 1-2 [from SCHMIDT 1958].

Original description (free translation from the German).—Head black, including the anterior part of the parietals, so that the posterior angle of the frontal is light. A yellow ring on the posterior part of the head, extending to the second dorsal scale row; this is followed by a broad black ring that extends over 12 to 13 scale rows; followed by a yellow ring 3 to 4 scales wide, and this in turn by a black ring 4 to 5 scales wide. This is then followed by a red ring 6 to 9 scales in width, in which the tips of the scales are black. Behind this are black rings arranged in threes, the outer separated from the middle one by yellow rings, the middle ring being about twice as wide as the outer ones. Each group of three rings is separated from the next by a broad red black-spotted ring. Including that of the head, there are 7 or 8 such triads on the body. The tail has three broad black rings separated by narrower yellow ones [from SCHMIDT 1958].

The common name is derived from the Balsas river in south-central Mexico, along which this species appears to occur. 
  • 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.
  • Castro-Franco, Rubén, María Guasalupe Bustos-Zagal 1994. List of reptiles of Morelos, Mexico, and their distribution in relation to vegetation types. Southwestern Naturalist 39 (2): 171-175 - get paper here
  • Castro-Frankco, R. & Guadalupe Bustos Zagal, M. 2004. Additional records and range extensions of reptiles from Morelos, México. Herpetological Review 35 (2): 196-197 - get paper here
  • Davis, William B.; Smith, Hobart M. 1953. Snakes of the Mexican state of Morelos. Herpetologica 8: 133-149 - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R. 1965. Micrurus laticollaris Peters, from Jalisco, Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist 10 (1): 77 - get paper here
  • Flores-Leyva, X. & J. I. Campos-Rodríguez. 2010. Presencia de Micrurus laticollaris Peters, 1969 en el Estado de México. Boletín de la Sociedad Herpetologica Mexicana 18(1):17-21 - get paper here
  • Frost, D.R. 1978. Geographic distribution: Micrurus laticollaris. Mexico, Oaxaca. Herpetological Review 9 (2): 62 - 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
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 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
  • 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
  • Preißler, D. 2004. Alles über Schlangen. Draco 5 (17): 4-21 - get paper here
  • Roze J A 1989. New species and subspecies of coral snakes, genus Micrurus (Elapidae), with notes on type specimens of several species. American Museum Novitates (2932) : 1-15 - 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, Karl P. 1958. Some rare or little-known Mexican coral snakes. Fieldiana: Zoology 39 (19): 201-212 - 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.
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