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Ninia franciscoi ANGARITA-SIERRA, 2014

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymNinia franciscoi ANGARITA-SIERRA 2014 
DistributionTrinidad

Type locality: ca. 7.2 km Arima, Simla Research Station, Province of St. George, Trinidad (10°41’1”N, 61°17’W)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: UTA-R 22316, male 
CommentThis species is known only from the (preserved) holotype. In addition, the primary external diagnostic character is a single scale.

Similar species: the only other Ninia species on Trinidad is N. atrata.

Diagnosis: Ninia franciscoi can be distinguished from all other congeners by the combination of the following characters: (1) an extremely long anterior temporal scale in contact with upper labials 5, 6, and 7; (2) temporal scale formula 1 + 2, with primary temporal scale 3x longer than lower posterior temporal (Fig. 4); (3) forked hemipenis (50−74%); (4) sulcus spermaticus centrolineal; (5) slender and acuminate-shaped lobes, strongly differentiated from the hemipenis body and homogenously ornamented with large calyces; (6) Basally the hemipenis possesses a small pocket-shaped structure covered with small hook-shaped spines. 
Etymologynamed after Francisco Sierra Corredor (1900−2005), the grandfather of the author, who taught him “how to find the secrets of the ‘nature goddess’”. 
References
  • Angarita-Sierra, Teddy 2014. Hemipenial Morphology in the Semifossorial Snakes of the Genus Ninia and a New Species from Trinidad, West Indies (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) . South American J. Herp. 9 (2): 114-130 - get paper here
 
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