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Micrurus petersi ROZE, 1967

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mountain coral snake, Peters' Coral Snake
G: Peters' Korallenotter 
SynonymMicrurus steindachneri petersi ROZE 1967
Micrurus petersi — ROZE 1983
Micrurus petersi — WELCH 1994: 87
Micrurus petersi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 452 
DistributionE Ecuador

Type locality: 1 mile south of Plan de Milagro on the trail to Pan de Azücar, Morona-Santiago Province, Ecuador, 5,600 ft elevation.  
TypesHolotype: USNM 158295, a female 
DiagnosisDefinition: A single-banded coral snake with a black cap but with a light blue snout. Posteriorly, the black head and parietals are surrounded by a row of light scales. The red bands are longer than the black bands but obscured by large grayish or black tips. Males probably lack supraanal tubercles (Roze 1996: 208).

Description: Males unknown; females have 231 to 232 (231.5) ventrals; subcaudals are around 31 in females; 1+1 temporals. Examined: 2 females, one of which is the holotype.
The head is all black to the parietal tips but the snout has light blue spots on the rostral, internasals, and prefrontals as well as on the first supralabials. Temporals and postparietals are yellowish or whitish with dark tips or dark borders. The chin is white except for the first 3 infralabials, which are black. There are black spots on the mental and genials. The black nuchal band starts 1 dorsal behind the parietals, forming a black arch around them. Below, the nuchal band projects forward onto the genials. The black bands are 4 to 5 dorsals and 2 to 4 ventrals long. They are bordered by yellow or white scales, forming an irregular band about 1 dorsallong, giving an impression of a string of altemating light spots around the body. The red bands are darkened dorsally by large grayish-black tips and grayish-blue overtones that make them appear grayish-bluish-red. They are 5 to 7 dorsals and ventrals long, but the first red band is about 9 dorsals long. Ventrally, the red is pale or yellowish white. The black bands on the tail are about 3 times longer than the light bands.
The only 2 known females have 20 and 21 body bands and 4 black bands on the tail. 
EtymologyNamed after James A. Peters (1922-1972), American herpetologist, specializing on South American reptiles. 
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • 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
  • Páez, V.P. et al. 2002. Guía de campo de algunas especies de anfibios y reptiles de Antioquia. Universidad de Antioquia, - get paper here
  • Roze, Jánis A 1967. A checklist of the New World venomous Coral Snakes (Elapidae), with descriptions of new forms. American Museum Novitates (2287): 1-60 - get paper here
  • 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]
  • 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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