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Micrurus mosquitensis SCHMIDT, 1933

IUCN Red List - Micrurus mosquitensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Misquito coral snake 
SynonymMicrurus nigrocinctus mosquitensis K.P. SCHMIDT 1933
Micrurus nigrocinctus mosquitensis — SCHMIDT 1955
Micrurus mosquitensis — MUDDE & VAN DIJK 1985
Micrurus nigrocinctus mosquitensis — WELCH 1994: 87
Micrurus nigrocinctus mosquitensis — ROZE 1996: 205
Micrurus mosquitensis — SOLÓRZANO 2004
Micrurus mosquitensis — PORRAS & SOLÓRZANO 2006 
DistributionAtlantic coasts of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama

Type locality: Limon, Costa Rica.  
TypesHolotype: MCZ 19741 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A coral snake with black, yellow, and red rings, not arranged in triads; supra-anal tubercles strongly developed in males; ventrals 182-194 in males, 203-209 in females; black rings 4-6 ventrals wide, 10 to 19 on the body, averaging 12 in males and 13 in females; black caudal rings 4-7 in males, 3-4 in females; yellow zones well developed; scales in red zones uniformly tipped with black.
Differs from M. n. nigrocinctus in its lower number of ventrals, lower number of black rings, and broader yellow zones; from M. n. divaricatus by the lower ventral count and the uniform distribution of black in the red zones [from SCHMIDT 1933].

Description (mosquitensis): Males have 182 to 192 (186.4) and females have 197 to 211 (206.2) ventrals; subcaudals 46 to 52 (48.1) in males and 35 to 43 (38.7) in females; 1+1 temporals. Examined: 61 males and 43 females, including the holotype.
The black snout coloration does not reach the parietals and has an irregular posterior border across the posterior part of the frontal and the supraoculars. It is followed by a broad yellow parietal band that can be brownish yellow and extends over the first or first and second dorsals. Below, the head is yellow or white with the mental and the first several infralabials black; sometimes black mottling is present on other shields. The black nuchal band is 1 to 2 dorsals behind the tips of the parietals. It is 7 to 11 dorsals and 6 to 10 ventrals long. Below, it frequently extends toward the snout onto the second pair of genials. The black bands are 4 to 8 dorsals and ventrals long. The red bands have large, more or less regular black tips on all scales, but are mostly immaculate ventrally. The yellow bands are long and conspicuous, about 1Y2 to 2 dorsals and ventrals long, without black tips. Only black and yellow bands are on the tail. In larger specimens the red and yellow bands are brownish dorsally.
The males have 10 to 13 (11.7) and the females have 10 to 15 (13.2) black body bands. On the tail, males have 4 to 5, nearly always 4, and the females have 3 to 4 (3.2) black bands (Roze 1996: 205). 
CommentSynonymy: listed as synonym of Micrurus nigrocinctus by WALLACH et al. 2014: 450. 
EtymologyMosquitensis in Latin is inhabitant of the Misquito coast on the Atlantic side of Nicaragua and Honduras in which the Mosquito, or Misquito, or Miskito Kingdom existed until the beginning of this century.
  • 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
  • Hilje B, Chaves G, Klank J, Timmerman F, Feltham J, Gillingwater S, Piraino T, Rojas E 2020. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Tirimbina Biological Reserve: a baseline for conservation, research and environmental education in a lowland tropical wet forest in Costa Rica. Check List 16(6): 1633-1655 - get paper here
  • Jowers, M.J., Smart, U., Sánchez-Ramírez, S. et al. 2023. Unveiling underestimated species diversity within the Central American Coralsnake, a medically important complex of venomous taxa. Sci Rep 13, 11674 - get paper here
  • McConnell, G.J. 2013. A field guide to the snakes of Costa Rica. Edition Chimaira, 233 pp. [review in Reptilia 114: 74, 2015]
  • Mudde, P, & VAN DIJK, M. 1985. Herpetologische waarnemingen in Costa Rica (13). Slangen (Serpentes). Lacerta 43: 176-180. - get paper here
  • Porras, L.W. & Solórzano, A. 2006. Costa Rica’s venomous snakes. Reptilia (GB) (48): 11-17 - 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, Karl P. 1955. Coral snakes of the genus Micrurus in Colombia. Fieldiana Zoology 34 (34): 337-359 - get paper here
  • Silva Jr, Nelson Jorge da; Marcus Augusto Buononato & Darlan Tavares Feitosa 2016. AS COBRAS-CORAIS DO NOVO MUNDO. In: Silva (ed) Cobras corais do Brasil. Goiânia, pp. 41-69
  • Solorzano, A. 2004. Serpientes de Costa Rica - Snakes of Costa Rica. Editorial INBio, Costa Rica, 792 pp.
  • Welch, K. R. G. 1994. Snakes of the World. A Checklist. I. Venomous snakes. KCM Books, Somerset, England.
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