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Micrurus steindachneri (WERNER, 1901)

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesMicrurus steindachneri steindachneri (WERNER 1901)
Micrurus steindachneri orcesi ROZE 1967 
Common NamesE: Piedmont coral snake, Steindachner's Coral Snake
E: Santiago Piedmont coral snake [steindachneri]
E: Pastaza Piedmont coral snake [orcesi] 
SynonymElaps Steindachneri WERNER 1901: 599
Elaps fassli WERNER 1927: 249
Micrurus steindachneri — ROZE 1967
Micrurus steindachneri — WELCH 1994: 89
Micrurus steindachneri steindachneri — FEITOSA et al. 2014
Micrurus steindachneri — WALLACH et al. 2014: 454

Micrurus steindachneri orcesi ROZE 1967
Micrurus steindachneri orcesi — KLUGE 1984
Micrurus steindachneri orcesi — FEITOSA et al. 2014 
DistributionE Ecuador, Peru

steindachneri: Ecuador (eastern slopes of the Andes, Macas-Mendez region)

orcesi: Ecuador (Pastaza); Type locality: Ecuador, Baños, Meta Trail, 1200 m elevation.  
TypesHolotype: NMW 15750, an 800 mm male (R. Haensch).
Holotype: UMMZ 88922 [orcesi] 
DiagnosisDefinition: A single-banded coral snake with a black cap and red bands partially or nearly completely obliterated by black dorsally. The males have no supraanal tubercles (Roze 1996: 220).

Description (steindachneri): Males have 200 to 210 (204.1) and females have 227 to 231 (229.0) ventrals; subcaudals 42 to 48 (44.8) in males and 35 to 38 (35.5) in females. Examined: 6 males and 2 females, induding the holotype.
The black cap is in contact with the black nuchal band; the latter is about 5 dorsals long and projects forward ventrally onto the second pair of genials. The temporals are light red and brownish, with dark spots. Mental and the first infralabials are black; the rest of the chin is mottled with blackish, brownish, and yellowish spots. The black body bands are 3 to 5 dorsals and 3 to 4 ventrals long. The red bands are 3 to 4 dorsals and ventrals long. They are heavily mottled with black so that the posterior bands are almost completely black, but ventrally they are immaculate. The white body bands are % to 1 dorsal and ventral long. The tail is almost completely black dorsally with irregular light bands or series of transversal white spots.
The males have 28 to 38 (34.2) and the females have 38 to 42 (40.0) black body bands. On the tail, the males have 8 to 12 (9.6) and the females have 7 black bands (Roze 1996: 220).

Description (orcesi): Males have 214 to 216 (215.0) and females have 224 to 231 (226.8) ventrals; subcaudals 47 to 49 (48.0) in males and 29 to 33 (30.8) in females. Examined: 3 males and 5 females, induding the holotype.
The black cap is occasionally reduced on the parietal tips, but it is always in contact with the black nuchal band. Below, the mental and the first infralabials are black, and there are black spots on several other shields. A black spot is usually present on the anterior part of the second pair of genials. The black nuchal band projects forward ventrally but usually does not cover the second pair of genials. The black body bands are 3 to 7 dorsals and 2 to 4 ventrals long. The red bands are usually 3 to 4 dorsals and 2 to 4 ventrals long, partially obliterated by black dorsally but immaculate ventrally. The white bands are faintly indicated by a series of transverse rows of white scales. The tail is black with faintly distinguishable, irregular white crossbands.
The males have 24 to 37 (31.1) and the females have 30 to 37 (33.5) black body bands. On the tail, the males have 7 to 9 and females have 4 to 6 black bands; at times these are difficult to distinguish (Roze 1996: 220). 
EtymologyNamed after Franz Steindachner (1834-1919), Austrian zoologist. Obituary in Pietschmann (1919). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • 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
  • Lee, Justin L.; Cristian Hernández-Morales, Roy W. McDiarmid 2018. First report on the reproductive biology and diet of two Coral Snake species (Micrurus) from the Western Amazon of Peru and Ecuador (Serpentes: Elapidae) using x-radiography. Herpetology Notes 11: 409-412 - get paper here
  • Pietschmann, V. 1919. Franz Steindachner. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien 33: 47-48 - 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.
  • Werner, F. 1901. Ueber Reptilien und Batrachier aus Ecuador und Neu-Guinea. Verh. Zool.-bot. Ges. Wien 51: 593-614 - get paper here
  • Werner, F. 1927. Neue oder wenig bekannte Schlangen aus dem Wiener naturhistorischen Staatsmuseum (III. Teil). Sitzungsb. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math. Naturwiss. Kl. 143 [135?]: 243-257 [1926] - get paper here
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