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Micrurus tikuna FEITOSA, DA SILVA Jr, PIRES, ZAHER & COSTA-PRUDENTE, 2015

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymMicrurus tikuna FEITOSA, DA SILVA Jr, PIRES, ZAHER & COSTA-PRUDENTE 2015
Micrurus ornatissimus — SILVA-HAAD 1994: 82.
Micrurus ornatissimus — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004: Plate 159 
DistributionBrazil (Amazonas), Colombia (Amazonas), Peru ?

Type locality: INCRA neighborhood, municipality of Tabatinga (04°14’36’’S, 69°54’15’’W; elevation ca. 80 m above sea level), state of Amazonas, Brazil Map legend:
Type locality - Type locality.
 
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. Adult female, MPEG 18199 (formerly Hospital Regional de Leticia-HRL 10101), collected by Juan Silva Haad, on 1991 (Figs. 1–2).
Paratype. Adult male, ICN 10853, collected by Maria Cristina Ardila, (field number MC 8531), on November 23 1996 at Km 9.5 from Leticia-Tarapacá road, Quebrada La Arenosa (02°57’58’’S, 69°48’58’’ W, ca. 110 m asl), municipality of Leticia, department of Amazonas, Colombia. 
CommentDiagnosis. Micrurus tikuna can be distinguished from all congeners by the combination of the following characters: (a) white scales or a white transversal band posterior to parietal scales present; (b) dorsum of head black, forming a conspicuous cephalic-cap; (c) black nuchal collar absent; (d) ventral part of the head black with irregular white blotches followed by red scales on the gular region; (e) ventral scales 205 in the single male and 225 in the single female; (f) subcaudal scales 47 in the male and 38 in the female; (g) 27 to 31 black body rings in both sex (with 3 to 4 dorsal scales long) bordered by narrow, black tipped white rings (with 1/2 to one dorsal scale long), alternated by 27 to 31 wider red body rings (4 to 6 dorsal scales long); (h) tricolor tail with six to seven black rings (four to six dorsal scales long) bordered by narrow irregular white rings (1/2 dorsal scale long) alternated by six to seven red rings of the same length as the black rings; (i) lateral view of head with black coloration covering first four supralabials and postoculars and the last three supralabials, temporal and occipital regions red (Figs. 1–2).

Distribution: not recorded from Peru but the type locality is very close to the Peruvian border, hence the species is likely present there as well. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet “tikuna” is a name in apposition derived from Tupi indigenous word “tacouma,” meaning a men with their face or nose painted with black (Gregório 1980). Tikuna also refers to the native Indian nation that originally occupied the western Amazon region along the upper Solimões River near the boundaries between Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Similar to the Tikuna Indians, the new species of Micrurus has a head predominantly black. 
References
  • 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
 
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