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Micrurus latifasciatus SCHMIDT, 1933

IUCN Red List - Micrurus latifasciatus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Long-banded coral snake, Broad-ringed Coral Snake
S: Coralillo de Bandas Largas 
SynonymMicrurus latifasciatus SCHMIDT 1933
Micrurus nuchalis SCHMIDT 1933
Micrurus nuchalis — TAYLOR 1939
Micrurus nuchalis nuchalis — LAURENT 1949: 17
Micrurus latifasciatus — LINER 1994
Micrurus latifasciatus — LINER 2007
Micrurus latifasciatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 448 
DistributionMexico (Oaxaca, Chiapas), W Guatemala

Type locality: Finca El Cipres, Volcan Zunil, Suchetepequez, Guatemala.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 22135; 17 additional paratypes in NMBA, SMF, MNHN, AMNH, USNM, and MCZ according to the original description. Paratype: ZSM 2263/0 
DiagnosisDiagnosis [altifasciatus]: A coral snake with black, yellow, and red rings; well-developed supra-anal tubercles in adult males; black rings few, 6 to 9, and broad, covering 6 to 11 ventrals; red rings very broad, covering 17 to 26 ventrals; scales in red rings uniformly black-spotted; yellow rings well developed; black rings on tail 2-3; temporals invariably 1-1; very rarely a few caudals entire; ventrals 192-197 in males, caudals 50-55; 204-214 and 40-46 in females.

Closely allied to the nigrocinctus group, but apparently specifically distinct and within the range of M. n. zunilensis; no other coral snake has such broad black and red zones. Its nearest ally may prove to be M. nuchalis of Oaxaca [from SCHMIDT 1933].

Diagnosis [nuchalis]: A coral snake with black, yellow, and red rings, the black rings not arranged in triads, or with a narrow black accessory ring bordering the red zones next to the yellow; supra-anal tubercles distinct in males; ventrals 201-208, caudals 40-51 in males, 203-209 and 37-40 in females; temporals invariably 1-1; no entire caudals recorded; black bands few, 8 to 9 in both sexes, 2-3 ventrals wide; nuchal black ring much broader; black bands on tail 2-3; scales in red zones heavily and uniformly black-spotted.

Apparently allied to M. latifasciatus of the Pacific slope of Guatemala; the coral snakes of Chiapas are unknown. It is the western most and northernmost species with supra-anal tubercles, and overlaps the range of the very distinct M. ephippifer, which, however, is only known from females [from SCHMIDT 1933]. 
EtymologyLatin from lati- meaning broad or wide and fasciatus meaning banded, alluding to the long body bands. 
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • 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.
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • 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
  • 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]
  • 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
  • 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
  • Taylor, Edward H. 1939. Some Mexican serpents. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 26 (13): 445-487 - 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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