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Micrurus spixii WAGLER, 1824

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesMicrurus spixii spixii (WAGLER, 1824)
Micrurus spixii martiusi (SCHMIDT 1953) 
Common NamesAmazon Coral Snake 
SynonymMicrurus spixii WAGLER 1824: 48
Elaps Marcgravii — FITZINGER 1826:901
Elaps corallinus — SCHLEGEL 1837 (in part)
Elaps ehrhardti MÜLLER 1926:198.
Micrurus spixii — KORNACKER 1999: 159
Micrurus spixii — GOWER et al. 2012: 94
Micrurus spixii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 454

Micrurus spixii spixii (WAGLER 1824)
Elaps spixii BOULENGER 1896
Elaps ehrhardti MÜLLER 1926: 198
Micrurus spixii spixii — SCHMIDT & WALKER 1943: 294
Micrurus spixii spixii — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 217
Micrurus spixii spixii — WELCH 1994: 89
Micrurus spixii spixii — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004: 228

Micrurus spixiii martiusi SCHMIDT 1953
Micrurus spixiii martiusi SCHMIDT 1953: 175
Micrurus spixii martiusi — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004: 228
Micrurus spixiii martiusi — FROTA et al. 2005
Micrurus spixiii martiusi — FEITOSA et al. 2007 
DistributionBrazil (Amazonas, Para, Tocantins, Mato Grosso),
S Venezuela, S Colombia, NW Bolivia

spixii: Brazil (Amazonas), S Venezuela

martiusi: Brazil (lower Amazon of Para, NE Mato Grosso); Type locality: Santarem, Pard, Brazil.

Type locality: “Habitat rarus ad flumen Solimöens” [Brazil, Rio Solimões] according to the original description and Vanzolini (1981) 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.
 
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesHolotype: ZSM 209/0, male, collected by Spix and Martius expedition to Brazil, 1817-1820.
HOLOTYPE: male, MCZ 2612 [martiusi]
Holotype: ZSM203/1925(incorrectlygivenasZSM 140/1925 in the original description), male, “Man- acapurú am Solimoëns, Brasilien”, collected by W. Ehrhardt, 08.06.1925 [ehrhardti] 
CommentType species: Micrurus spixii WAGLER 1824 is the type species of the genus Micrurus WAGLER in SPIX 1824. See also ICZN opinion 1201.

Synonymy mainly after PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970 and HARVEY et al. 2003 (who listed martiusi as synonym of spixii). Kaiser et al. 2013 rejected the (sub-) generic names Binghamus Hoser 2012, Hoserelapidea Hoser 2012, Hoserelapidea Hoser 2012, Troianous Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected their use instead of Micrurus.

Distribution: not in Peru (fide T. DOAN, pers. comm., 4 June 2012). Not in Venezuela (Luis Esqueda, pers. comm., 21 April 2016, Natera-Mumaw et al. 2015 say it is M. obscurus which is in Venezuela but not spixii);

Venomous!

Subspecies: Micrurus spixii obscurus (JAN 1872) has been elevated to full species status. Micrurus spixii princeps (BOULENGER 1905) is now considered as a synonym of M. obscurus.

Diagnosis.—(1) Dorsal pattern of yellow, red, and black triads; (2) hemipenis and tail relatively short; (3) two supralabials entering orbit; (4) mental usually

separated from chinshields by medial contact of first pair of infralabials; (5) anal scale usually divided; (6) first triad incomplete: one black ring on neck, its anterior margin nearly vertical; (7) dorsal scales of head (including parietals) black with light edges; (8) scales in yellow rings with heavier black apices than scales in red rings; (9) black rings about as long dorsally as ventrally, complete except for black ring straddling the vent; (10) mental usually immaculate, some black edging of more posterior scales on underside of head; (11) 5.33-7.67 (4-9 in specimens from outside Bolivia, Roze, 1996) triads on body and 0.67-1.33 triad on tail [HARVEY et al. 2003].

Mimicry: this species is mimiced by Simophis rhinostoma. 
EtymologyThe generic name is derived from the Greek words micro, meaning "little or short" and oura, meaning "tail," in reference to the relatively short tail in members of this genus.
Named after Johann Baptist von Spix (1781-1826), German zoologist. See Heinzeller (2006) and the Spixiana Supplement 1983 for detailed biographical data. 
References
  • 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
  • Boulenger, George A. 1905. Descriptions of new snakes in the collection of the British Museum. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (7) 15 (89): 453-456 - get paper here
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  • Duellman, W. E. 1978. The biology of an equatorial herpetofauna in Amazonian Ecuador. Misc. Publ. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. 65: 1-352 - get paper here
  • Feitosa, Darlan T., Paulo P. Passos and Ana Lúcia Prudente. 2007. Taxonomic status and geographic variation of the slender coralsnake Micrurus filiformis (Günther, 1859) (Serpentes, Elapidae). South American J. Herp. 2 (3): 149-156 - get paper here
  • Franca, F.G.R.; Mesquita, Daniel Oliveira and Guarino Rinaldi Colli 2006. A CHECKLIST OF SNAKES FROM AMAZONIAN SAVANNAS IN BRAZIL, HOUSED IN THE COLEÇÃO HERPETOLÓGICA DA UNIVERSIDADE DE BRASÍLIA, WITH NEW DISTRIBUTION RECORDS. Occ. Pap. Oklahoma Mus. Nat. Hist., Univ. Oklahoma 17: 1-13
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  • Heinzeller, T. 2006. Zum 225. Geburtstag des Begründers der ZSM: Spix und der Aufbruch der Zoologie in die Moderne. Spixiana 29 (3): 193-197 - get paper here
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  • Kornacker,P.M. 1999. Checklist and key to the snakes of Venezuela. PaKo-Verlag, Rheinbach, Germany, 270 pp.
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  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1881. Über das Vorkommen schildförmiger Verbreiterungen der Dornfortsätze bei Schlangen und über neue oder weniger bekannte Arten dieser Abtheilung der Reptilien. Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Freunde Berlin 1881 (3): 49-52 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl P. 1936. Preliminary account of coral snakes of South America. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 20 (19): 189-203 - get paper here
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  • Schmidt, Karl P. 1955. Coral snakes of the genus Micrurus in Colombia. Fieldiana Zoology 34 (34): 337-359 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, Karl P. & Walker, Warren F. 1943. Peruvian snakes from the University of Arequipa. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Zoology 24 (26): 279-296 - get paper here
  • Vogt, R.C.; Ferrara, C.R.; Bernhard, R.; Carvalho, V.T.; Balensiefer, D.C.; Bonora, L.; Novelle, S.M.H. 2007. Capítulo 9. Herpetofauna. p. 127-143. In: Rapp Py-Daniel, L.; Deus, C.P.; Henriques, A.L.; Pimpão, D.M.; Ribeiro, O.M. (orgs.). Biodiversidade do Médio Madeira: Bases científicas para propostas de conservação. INPA: Manaus, 244pp.
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  • 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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