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Micrurus paraensis DA CUNHA & NASCIMENTO, 1973

IUCN Red List - Micrurus paraensis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common Names 
SynonymMicrurus psiches paraensis [sic!] DA CUNHA & NASCIMENTO 1973
Micrurus psyches donosoi HOGE, CORDEIRO & ROMANO 1976
Micrurus paraensis — HOGE & ROMANO-HOGE 1981
Micrurus psyches donosoi - ROZE 1982: 334
Micrurus paraensis debruini ABUYS 1987
Micrurus psyches donosoi — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989: 140
Micrurus psyches paraensis — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989
Micrurus psyches paraensis — WELCH 1994: 89
Micrurus paraensis — ROZE 1994
Micrurus paraensis — STRUSSMAN & DE CARVALHO 1998
Micrurus paraensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 452 
DistributionBrazil (Mato Grosso, Para), S Surinam

Type locality: Icoaraci, Belém, Pará, Brasil. 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.
TypesHolotype: MPEG 0851 

Max total length: 70 cm.

M. psyches psyches has a higher number (23 to 37) of black body rings, besides

do not being registered for Brazilian territory, its distribution is limited to Venezuela, north Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana (Roze, 1996). In contrast, M. (psyches) paraensis has a lower number (13 to 20) of black body rings.

Diagnosis. Micrurus paraensis can be distinguished from other species of Micrurus by the following combination of characters: black cap beginning on rostral, passing from the first to fourth supralabials, behind the eyes on postoculars and half of first temporal; white rings beginning on 5, 6 and 7th supralabials, sometimes beginning on half of fourth supralabial, through temporals towards parietals; black cap joined to first black body rings (nuchal collar) to end of parietals; black body rings range from 12 to 21, bordered by a short white rings (comprising one, half scale, with black posterior margin), 12–20 red rings range from, about 4 to 6 times longer than black rings; body rings do not form triads; 2–11 black tail rings alternated by 1–11 white rings; black tail rings with white spots on dorsal and ventral surfaces; and males have no supraanal tubercles. Micrurus paraensis can be distinguished from the eastern Amazonian coralsnakes (M. filiformis, M. hemprichii hemprichii, M. lemniscatus lemniscatus, M. spixii, M. surinamensis) by the monadal color patterns, long tail, long and bifurcated hemipenis (vs. triad color patterns, short tail, short and bilobed hemipenis). In other Amazonian regions, M. paraensis can be distinguished from monadal color patterned species (M albicinctus and M. langsdorffi) by the tricolor pattern and lower number of black body rings. Bicolored patterns with higher number of black body rings (67 to 90 in males; 77 to 91 in females) on M. albicinctus, white spots on frontals and supraoculars, and white gular region with black spots. M. langsdorffi has a tricolor monadal patterns, higher number of black, white and red body rings (18 to 38 black, 38 to 57 white and 19 to 38 red in males; 29 to 47 black, 46 to 60 white and 20 to 46 red in females) with short red rings (3 to 4 dorsals and ventrals long). Finally, it can be distinguished from the M. psyches group (M. circinalis, M. mademi, M. psyches and M. remotus) by the black body rings and the number of ventrals and subcaudals. M. psyches has black body rings ranging from 22 to 29 in males and 27 to 41 in females (if the black and the original red rings that are blackish are counted as black, the males have 44 to 57 and the females have 51 to 81), original red and black rings are 3 to 5 dorsals and ventrals long, and ventrals ranges from 188 to 196 in males and 203 to 212 in females. M. circinalis has black body rings ranging from 21 to 31, with short red rings (4 to 7 dorsals and ventrals long), and ventrals ranges from 174 to 193 in males and 192 to 209 in females. M. medemi has black body rings ranging from 15 to 25 (if the black and the original red rings that are blackish are counted as black, has 35 black body rings), and ventrals ranges from 193 to 198 in males and 211 to 218 in females. M. remotus has black body rings ranging from 25 to 29 in males and ranging from 29 to 40 in females, and ventrals ranges from 202 to 203 in males and 214 to 225 in females. 
  • Abuys, A. 1987. A new coral snake (genus Micrurus) from Surinam. Litteratura Serpentium English Edition 7(5): 215-220
  • Ávila, R.W.; R.A. Kawashita-Ribeiro. 2011. Herpetofauna of São João da Barra Hydroelectric Plant, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Check List 7 (6): 750-755 - get paper here
  • BERNARDE, P.S., ALBUQUERQUE, S., BARROS, T.O. & TURCI, L.C.B. 2012. Serpentes do Estado de Rondônia, Brasil. Biota Neotrop. 12(3): 1-29 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • Claessen, H. 2005. De slangen van de Guyana’s, deel IX. Lacerta 63 (6): 228-241 - get paper here
  • Cunha, O. R. da; Nascimento, F. P. do 1973. Ofidios da Amazonia. 4. As cobras corais (genero Micrurus) da regiao leste do Pará (Ophidia: Elapidae) Nota preliminar. Publcoes avulsas Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi 20: 273-286
  • FEITOSA, DARLAN TAVARES; NELSON JORGE DA SILVA JR., MATHEUS GODOY PIRES, HUSSAM ZAHER & ANA LÚCIA DA COSTA PRUDENTE 2015. A new species of monadal coral snake of the genus Micrurus (Serpentes, Elapidae) from western Amazon. Zootaxa 3974 (4): 538–554
  • Frota, J.G. da; Pedroso dos Santos-Jr, Alfredo; Menezes-Chalkidis, H. de & Guimarães Guedes, A. 2005. AS SERPENTES DA REGIÃO DO BAIXO RIO AMAZONAS, OESTE DO ESTADO DO PARÁ, BRASIL (SQUAMATA). Biociências 13 (2): 211-220
  • Hoge & ROMANO-Hoge 1981. Poisonous snakes of the world. Part I. Check list of the pit vipers, Viperoidea, Viperidae, Crotalinae. Mem. Inst. Butantan 42/43 [1978-1979]: 179-309 - get paper here
  • Mendes-Pinto, T. J. & S. Marques de Souza 2011. Preliminary assessment of amphibians and reptiles from Floresta Nacional do Trairão, with a new snake record for the Pará state, Brazilian Amazon. Salamandra 47 (4): 199-206 - get paper here
  • Morato de Carvalho, C. 2002. Descrição de uma nova espécie de Micrurus do Estado de Roraima, Brasil (Serpentes, Elapidae). Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo 42(8):183-192 - get paper here
  • Nascimento F Paiva do; de Avila-Pires T C Sauer; da Cunha O Rodrigues 1987. Os repteis da area de Carajas, Para, Brasil (Squamata). 2. Boletim do Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi NOVA SERIE ZOOLOGIA 3(1) 1987: 33-65
  • Roze, J.A. 1994. Notes on the taxonomy of venomous coral snakes (Elapidae) of South America. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 30: 177-185.
  • Silva, F.M.; A.C. Menks; A.L.C. Prudente; J.C.L. Costa; A.E.M. Travassos; U. Galatti. 2011. Squamate Reptiles from municipality of Barcarena and surroundings, state of Pará, north of Brazil. Check List 7 (3): 220-226
  • Strussman,C. & de Carvalho,M.A. 1998. New herpetological records for the state of Mato Grosso, western Brazil. Herpetological Review 29 (3): 183-185 - get paper here
  • Tavares Feitosa, D.; da Costa Prudente, A.L. & de Lima, A.C. 2007. Redescription and variation of Micrurus paraensis Cunha & Nascimento 1973 (Serpentes: Elapidae). Zootaxa 1470: 35-45 - 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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