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Philodryas amaru ZAHER, ARREDONDO, VALENCIA, ARBELÁEZ, RODRIGUES & ALTAMIRANO-BENAVIDES, 2014

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymPhilodryas amaru ZAHER, ARREDONDO, VALENCIA, ARBELÁEZ, RODRIGUES & ALTAMIRANO-BENAVIDES 2014 
DistributionEcuador

Type locality: private land owned by Manuel Merchan, Termas de Aguas Calientes-Soldados (2°555'55'' S, 79°12'37'' W, ca. 3196 m elevation), Parroquia San Joaquín, Cantón Cuenca, Province of Azuay, Ecuador.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: FHGO 4749, adult male, collected by Ernesto Arbeláez on 6 June 2006 (Fig. 1).
Paratypes. Two adult females (FHGO 6399 and FHGO 6400) collected along with the holotype. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A Philodryas that differs from all other species of the genus by the following combination of characters: Snout not acuminate anteriorly; maxilla with 14 to 15 prediastemal maxillary teeth and two ungrooved postdiastemal teeth; dorsal pattern with three stripes, one vertebral and two paravertebrals of similar width; ventral scales 184 in male (N=1) and 200 in females (N=2); subcaudal scales 119 in male and 102–112 in females; supralabial scales 7 or 8; nasal scale completely divided; loreal scale present; infralabial scales 9 or 10; dorsal scale rows 19/19/15; cloacal scale divided; dorsal scales with two apical pits; hemipenial body with a basal constriction and an asulcate surface ornamented by two parallel rows of enlarged body calyces extending from the tip of the lobes to the base of the hemipenial body. 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet amaru is derived from the Ecuadorian Kichwa dialect, meaning snake. Along the Andean region of Ecuador, Amaru is often known to represent a snake deity related to the economy and vitally of the water that allows the existence of Andean people. Also, “Amaru” or “snake” is considered to represent the first mother of the pre Inca Cañari culture that lived where presently is the city of Cuenca. 
References
  • ZAHER, HUSSAM; JUAN C. ARREDONDO, JORGE H. VALENCIA, ERNESTO ARBELÁEZ, MIGUEL T. RODRIGUES & MARCO ALTAMIRANO-BENAVIDES 2014. A new Andean species of Philodryas (Dipsadidae, Xenodontinae) from Ecuador. Zootaxa 3785 (3): 469–480 - get paper here
 
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