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Ninia franciscoi ANGARITA-SIERRA, 2014

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Simla Coffeesnake 
SynonymNinia franciscoi ANGARITA-SIERRA 2014
Ninia francisco — HEDGES et al. 2019 (in error) 

Type locality: ca. 7.2 km Arima, Simla Research Station, Province of St. George, Trinidad (10°41’1”N, 61°17’W)  
TypesHolotype: UTA 22316, male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: 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. 
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. 
Etymologynamed after Francisco Sierra Corredor (1900−2005), the grandfather of the author, who taught him “how to find the secrets of the ‘nature goddess’”. 
  • 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
  • Hedges SB, Powell R, Henderson RW, Hanson S, and Murphy JC 2019. Definition of the Caribbean Islands biogeographic region, with checklist and recommendations for standardized common names of amphibians and reptiles. Caribbean Herpetology 67: 1–53
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