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Micrurus multiscutatus RENDAHL & VESTERGREN, 1940

IUCN Red List - Micrurus multiscutatus - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Cauca Coral Snake 
SynonymMicrurus multiscutatus RENDAHL & VESTERGREN 1940: 9
Micrurus multiscutatus — WELCH 1994: 87
Micrurus multiscutatus — YÁNEZ-MUÑOZ et al. 2006
Micrurus multiscutatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 450 
DistributionColombia (incl. Valle del Cauca), Ecuador, elevation 200 m

Type locality: El Tambo, Cauca, Colombia  
TypesHolotype: NRM 3131 
DiagnosisDefinition: A bicolor coral snake with only red and black bands on the body and tail and a large red frontoparietal band (Roze 1996: 200).

Description: Males have 295 and females have 325 to 329 (327.3) ventrals; subcaudals about 30 in males and 26 to 31 (28) in females. Examined: the only four known specimens: 1 male and 3 females, including the holotype.
The snout is black up to the frontal, followed by a red fronto-parietal band. Below, the head is red, but heavily mottled with black. The black nuchal band is 6 dorsals long and barely reaches the tips of the parietals. The body is covered by alternating red and black bands. The black bands are 3 to 4 dorsals and 2 to 3 ventrals long. The red bands are 2 to 3 dorsals and 3 to 4 ventrals long, with irregularly black-tipped scales.
The males have about 59 and the females have 65 to 68 (66.7) black body bands. Both sexes have 3 tö 4 black tail bands (Roze 1996: 201). 

Micrurus multiscutatus is very similar to M. multifasciatus but the difference is in the V shape on the posterior border of the supracephalic band in M. multiscutatus. 
EtymologyLatin from multi meaning many, and scutum meaning shield or scale; thus multiscutatus means with many shields or scales, alluding to the high number of ventrals. 
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • Castro-Herrera, F. & Vargas-Salinas, F. 2008. Anfibios y reptiles en el departamento del Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Biota Colombiana 9 (2): 251 - 277 - get paper here
  • Cortés Gómez, Angela María; Anyelet Valencia Aguilar, Diana Marcela Torres Domínguez, Lina María García Calderón, Diego Fernando Villaquirán Martínez, Andrea del Pilar Cáceres Franco, Fernando Castro Herrera 2010. Guía de los anfibios y reptiles. Área en conservación de la microcuenca Quebrada Pericos. [Valle de Cauca, Colombia]. Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca, Santiago de Cali: CVC, 37 pp. - get paper here
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • Rendahl, H. & VESTERGREN,G. 1940. Notes on Colombian snakes. Arkiv för Zoologi 33A [1941?] (5): 1-16
  • RENJIFO, J. M. & M. LUNDBERG 2003. Una especie nuevo de serpiente coral (Elapidae, Micrurus), de la region de Urra, municipio de Tierra Alta, Cordoba, noroccidente de Colombia. Revista de la Academia Colombiana Ciencias Exactas Fisicas y Naturales, 27 (102): 141-144.
  • 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
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - get paper here
  • Valencia, J. H., K. Garzón-Tello & M. E. Barragán-Paladines 2016. Serpientes venenosas del Ecuador: sistemática, taxonomía, historia natural, conservación, envenenamiento y aspectos antropológicos. Quito, Ecuador, Fundación Herpetológica Gustavo Orcés, Universidad de Texas, Fondo Ambiental Nacional, 652 pp. [review in HR 49 (1): 152, 2018]
  • Valencia-Zuleta A, Jaramillo-Martínez AF, Echeverry-Bocanegra A, Viáfara-Vega R, Hernández-Córdoba O, Cardona-Botero VE, Gutiérrez-Zúñiga J, Castro-Herrera F. 2014. Conservation status of the herpetofauna, protected areas, and current problems in Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8 (2): 1–18 (e87) - 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.
  • Yánez-Muñoz, M. & Altamirano, M.A. 2006. Primer registro de una coral de dos colores (Squamata-Ofidia: Elapidae), reportada para el Chocó Ecuatoriano. Bol. Tec. Ser. Zool. 2:1-6
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