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Oxyrhopus formosus (WIED-NEUWIED, 1820)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesE: Beautiful calico snake, False Coral Snake 
SynonymColuber formosus WIED 1820: 109
Natrix occipitalis WAGLER 1824: 21
Oxyrhopus formosus — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1022
Oxyrhopus leucocephalus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1038
Oxyrhopus labialis JAN 1863: 93
Oxyrhopus submarginatus PETERS 1871: 401
Coluber formosus — GARCIA 1896: 32
Clelia peruviana GRIFFIN 1916: 204
Oxyrhopus iridescens WERNER 1927: 248
Oxyrhopus formosus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 232
Oxyrhopus formosus — GASC & RODRIGUES 1980
Oxyrhopus formosus — STARACE 1998: 300
Oxyrhopus formosus — WHITHWORTH & BEIRNE 2011
Oxyrhopus formosus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 518
Oxyrhopus formosus — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionColombia, Venezuela (HR 30: 54), Peru, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil (Pará etc.), Argentina

Type locality: Bahia, Brazil.  
TypesHolotype: unlocated, originally a 380 mm specimen (M. zu Wied-Neuwied, 1815-1817), present location unknown (fide V. Wallach, pers. comm.)
Lectotype: ZSM 2053/0, male [Natrix occipitalis] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: see Cunha & Nascimenta 1983: 17 (in Portuguese)  
CommentSynonymy that of PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA (1970: 232) who state that this is “obviously a complex of forms” and that it usually has been confused with Oxyrhopus melangenys. RIVAS et al. 2012 follow MacCulloch et al. (2009) and consider the specimens reported as O. formosus from Venezuela to be O. occipitalis.

Type: unknown fide PETERS 1960.

Coloration: variable, ontogenetic changes from banded (juvenile) to uniform (adult).

Distribution: not in Venezuela but occipitalis is (Luis Esqueda, pers. comm., 21 April 2016, see also Natera-Mumaw et al. 2015). Not confirmed for Guyana (Cole et al. 2013: 321). Not in Ecuador fide Torres-Carvajal et al. 2019: 299 ff). 
  • BERNARDE, P.S., ALBUQUERQUE, S., BARROS, T.O. & TURCI, L.C.B. 2012. Serpentes do Estado de Rondônia, Brasil. Biota Neotrop. 12(3): 1-29 - get paper here
  • Carvajal-Cogollo, Juan E., Vladimir A. Bernal-González and Nestor Nonzoque-López. 2011. Geographic Distribution: Oxyrhopus formosus (yellow-headed calico snake). Herpetological Review 42 (3): 395 - get paper here
  • CATENAZZI, A., LEHR, E. & VON MAY, R. 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Manu National Park and its buffer zone, Amazon basin and eastern slopes of the Andes, Peru. Biota Neotrop. 13(4): 269-283
  • Claessen, H. 2003. De slangen van de Guyanas Deel VII. Lacerta 61 (6): 221-234 - get paper here
  • Cunha, O.R. da and Nascimento, F.P. 1983. Ofidios da Amazonia. XIX. As expécies de Oxyrhopus Wagler, com uma subespécie nova, e Pseudoboa Schneider, na Amaônia orientale e Maranhão (Ophidia: Colubridae). Bol. Mus. Paraense Emilio Goeldi, zool. 112: 42 pp.
  • Duellman, W. E. 1978. The biology of an equatorial herpetofauna in Amazonian Ecuador. Misc. Publ. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. 65: 1-352 - get paper here
  • Duellman, W. E. 2005. Cusco Amazónico: The Lives of Amphibians and Reptiles in an Amazonian Rainforest. Comstock Pub Assoc.
  • Duellman, W.E., & Salas, A.W. 1991. Annotated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Cuzco Amazonico, Peru. Occas. Papers Mus. of Natur. Hist., Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence (143): 13 pp. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Garcia,E. 1896. Los Ofidios Venenosos del Cauca. Métodos empíricos y racionales empleados contra los accidentes producidos por la mordedura de esos reptiles. Cali: Librería Colombiana, xv + 102 pp.
  • Gasc & Rodrigues 1980. Liste preliminaire des Serpents de la Guyane francaise. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. Paris 2 (4): 559-598
  • Griffin, L.F. 1916. A catalog of the Ophidia from South America at present (June 1916) contained in the Carnegie Museum with descriptions of some new species. Mem. Carnegie Mus. 7 (3) [1915]: 163-228 - get paper here
  • Hamdan, B. & R. M. Lira-da-Silva 2012. The snakes of Bahia State, northeastern Brazil: species richness, composition and biogeographical notes. Salamandra 48 (1): 31-50 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1863. Elenco Sistematico degli Ofidi descriti e disegnati per l'Iconografia Generale. Milano, A. Lombardi. vii + 143 pp.
  • Mattei, Renato;Barrio, C_sar Luis 1999. Geographic distribution. Oxyrhopus formosus. Herpetological Review 30 (1): 55 - get paper here
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo,<br />Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins,<br />Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz0, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisnero 2019. Atlas of Brazilian snakes: verified point-locality maps to mitigate the Wallacean shortfall in a megadiverse snake fauna. South American J. Herp. 14 (Special Issue 1):1-274 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • Peters , J. A. 1960. The snakes of Ecuador; check list and key. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 122: 489-541 - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1871. Über eine von Hrn. Dr. Robert Abendroth in dem Hochlande von Peru gemachte Sammlung von Amphibien, welche derselbe dem Königl. zoologischen Museum geschenkt hat. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1871 (August): 397-404 - get paper here
  • Rabosky, Daniel L.; Rudolf von May, Michael C. Grundler and Alison R. Davis Rabosky 2019. The Western Amazonian Richness Gradient for Squamate Reptiles: Are There Really Fewer Snakes and Lizards in Southwestern Amazonian Lowlands? Diversity 11: 199; doi:10.3390/d11100199 - get paper here
  • Solé, Mirco 2012. Respekt vor Giftschlangen. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (2): 46-47 - get paper here
  • Starace, Fausto 1998. Guide des Serpents et Amphisbènes de Guyane. IBIS Rouge Editions, Guadeloupe, Guyane, 450 pp.
  • Starace, Fausto 2013. Guide des Serpents et Amphisbènes de Guyane. Ibis Rouge Editions, Matoury, Guyane, ISBN 978-2-84450-407-4 - get paper here
  • Wagler,J. 1824. Serpentum Brasiliensium species novae, ou histoire naturelle des espèces nouvelles de serpens. In: Jean de Spix, Animalia nova sive species novae. [NAtrix bahiensis: 27,. Monaco, Typis Franc. Seraph. Hübschmanni, vii + 75 pp.
  • 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. 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
  • Whithworth, A. & Beirne, C. 2011. Reptiles of the Yachana Reserve. Global Vision International, 130 pp. - get paper here
  • Wied-Neuwied, M. Prinz zu 1820. Über die Cobra coral oder Cobra coraes der Brasilianer. Nova Acta Acad. Leop. Carol. 10 (1): 105-110 - get paper here
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