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Ninia teresitae ANGARITA-SIERRA & LYNCH, 2017

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymNinia teresitae ANGARITA-SIERRA & LYNCH 2017
Ninia atrata — CASTAÑO et al. in RANGEL 2004
Ninia maculata — CASTAÑO et al. in RANGEL 2004 
DistributionColombia (Nariño)

Type locality: Santa Helena oil palm plantation (01°37 ́30”N, 78°44 ́20”W; 20 m asl), municipality of Tumaco, Km 28 of the Tumaco–Llorente road, 1 km S of Tumaco, department of Nariño, Colombia  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. ICN 12527, Adult male, collected by Lucas Barrientos on April 9 2010.
Paratypes. Nine specimens: adult female (ICN 10661) collected at La Cabaña (6°3’7.82”N, 76°15’4,7”W; 1404m asl), near Calles River, Parque Natural Nacional Las Orquideas, municipality of Urrao and adult female (MHUA 14860) collected at the Hydroelectric dam San Carlos (06°12’39.00”N, 74°50’26.00”W; 740 m asl), vereda Juarez, municipality of San Carlos, both of department of Antioquia; adult male (ICN 7927) collected between vereda La Cristalina and Dosquebradas near the Police station of Puerto Romero (05°54’41.83”N, 74°21’8.65”W; 704 m asl), municipality of Puerto Boyacá, department of Boyacá; five specimens all from the municipality of Tumaco, department of Nariño, male (ICN 12528) same provenance as the holotype, females (ICN 12523–25) and male (ICN 12526) collected at Santa Fé oil palm plantation (1°24 ́8.5”N; 78°33 ́30” W; 105 m), Km 63 of the road Tumaco–Llorente, 4 km west near Llorente; and adult female (ICN 6906) from corregimiento de Santa Cecilia (5°11 ́25.22”N, 76°24 ́16.41”W), municipality of Pueblo Rico, department of Risaralda. 
CommentSynonymy: This species has been reported as a distinct population of N. maculata or as N. atrata from the western slopes of the Cordillera Occidental of Colombia.

Diagnosis. Ninia teresitae can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: ventral surfaces of head and body spotted without regular pattern (Fig. 3), subcaudal surface homogenously black or dark brown; two nasal scales; bilobed hemipenis (50−74% respect to hemipenial body); centrifugal, bifurcation of the sulcus spermaticus proximal to midpoint of the hemipenial body; lateral projection ornamented with a large basal hooked spine that is larger than any other spine on the hemipenial body.

Comparisons. Ninia teresita was previously identified as N. atrata and N. maculata by Castaño-M et al. (2004). Nevertheless, conspicuous characters distinguish it from both these species, such as the uniformly black or dark brown dorsal ground color (vs. dark body bands in N. maculata), ventral surfaces of head and body spotted without regular pattern, chin surface black or dark brown (vs. ventral surfaces of head and chin homogeneously cream in N. atrata or arranged in checkered patterns in N. maculata); subcaudal surface homogenously black or dark brown (vs. subcaudal surface cream in N. atrata, or arranged in checkered pattern in N. maculata), hemipenis with a lateral projection ornamented with a large basal hook-shaped spine that is larger than any other spine on the hemipenial body (vs. hemipenial body without lateral projection), and two nasal scales (vs. one nasal scale in N. atrata) (Table1). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet teresitae represent the Latin translation of the nickname from the Spanish “Teresita” and is given in honor to the grandmother of the first author, Maria Teresa Guerrero (1915−2013). “Teresita” was one of the most influential persons in her grandson’s life, who never failed to support him and encouraged his endless passion for snakes. 
References
  • ANGARITA-SIERRA, TEDDY & JOHN D. LYNCH 2017. A new species of Ninia (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from Chocó-Magdalena biogeographical province, western Colombia. Zootaxa 4244 (4): 478–492
  • Rangel-Ch, O.J. (Ed.) 2004. Colombia Diversidad Biótica. IV. El Chocó biogeográfico/ Costa Pacífica. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales-Ocnservación Internacional, Bogotá, pp. 39–82
 
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