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Phrynonax poecilonotus (GÜNTHER, 1858)

IUCN Red List - Phrynonax poecilonotus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesPhrynonax poecilonotus argus (BOCOURT 1888)
Phrynonax poecilonotus chrysobronchus COPE 1875
Phrynonax poecilonotus poecilonotus (GÜNTHER 1858) 
Common NamesE: Puffing Snake
G: Zischnatter 
SynonymSpilotes poecilonotus GÜNTHER 1858: 100
Spilotes poecilonotus — GARMAN 1884: 50
Phrynonax poecilonotus — BOULENGER 1894: 20
Phrynonax poecilonotus — SCHMIDT & ANDREWS 1936
Pseustes poecilonotus — BRONGERSMA 1937: 6
Pseustes shropshirei — TAYLOR 1954
Spilotes poecilonotus — GÜNTHER 1894
Pseustes poecilonotus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 257
Pseustes poecilonotus — LINER 1994
Psuestes poecilonotus — FRANKLIN & FRANKLIN 1999 (in error)
Pseustes poecilonotus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 612
Phrynonax poecilonotus — JADIN et al. 2013
Phrynonax poecilonotus — SOLIS et al. 2014
Phrynonax poecilonotus — MCCRANIE 2015

Phrynonax poecilonotus argus (BOCOURT 1888)
Spilotes argus BOCOURT 1888 in DUMÉRIL et al. 1870-1909: 692
Phrynonax guentheri BOULENGER 1894: 20
Spilotes guentheri — BARBOUR 1905: 101
Phrynonax poecilonotus argus — AMARAL 1929: 313
Pseustes poecilonotus argus — BRONGERSMA 1937: 6
Pseustes poecilonotus argus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970
Pseustes poecilonotus argus — LINER 2007

Phrynonax poecilonotus chrysobronchus (COPE 1875)
Spilotes chrysobronchus COPE 1875: 136
Synchalinus corallioides COPE 1893: 345
Phrynonax chrysobronchus — BOULENGER 1894: 22
Synchalinus corallioides — BOULENGER 1894: 70
Phrynonax chrysobronchus — WERNER 1927: 246
Phrynonax poecilonotus chrysobronchus — AMARAL 1929: 315
Pseustes poecilonotus chrysobronchus — BRONGERSMA 1937: 6
Pseustes poecilonotus chrysobronchus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970

Phrynonax poecilonotus poecilonotus (GÜNTHER 1858)
Tropidodipsas lunulata COPE 1861: 517
Phrynonax lunulatus — BOULENGER 1894: 21
Phrynonax poecilonotus poecilonotus — AMARAL 1929: 311
Pseustes poecilonotus poecilonotus — BRONGERSMA 1937: 6
Pseustes poecilonotus poecilonotus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970
Pseustes poecilonotus poecilonotus — LINER 2007 
DistributionS Mexico (incl. Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo), Guatemala, El Salvador ?, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia,
Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana; Brazil (Pará),elevation (Honduras): 100 m

Type locality: “Honduras,” (probably in error) (lectotype locality). Corrected to British Honduras [= Belize] fide K.P. Schmidt (1941: 499)

argus: Mexico (San Luis Potosi etc.) south to Guatemala; Type locality: “Mexico” (PETERS et al. 1970: 258)

chrysobronchus: Costa Rica, Nicaragaua;  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: MCZ R-18819 
CommentSynonymy partly after VILLA et al. 1988 and PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970. FRANKLIN & FRANKLIN 1999 in [HR 30: 114]. The record of P. poecilonotus polilepis by Lemoine et al (1998) is based on mistake of Pseustes shropshirei (Marco Natera, pers. comm.).

Distribution: Not listed for Venezuela by NATERA-MUMAW et al. 2015 (who list only P. lyoni and P. polylepis). Luis Esqueda says this species occurs only in Central America but not South America (pers. comm., 21 April 2016).

Max. total length: 1.8 m

Diet: birds, bird eggs, small mammals, lizards, frogs, insects (with a preference for birds and their eggs)

Abundance: Rare in Honduras.

This is an extremely variable species. Attempts to define subspecies based on these patterns have not been satisfactory.

Illustration: Fig. 369 in Heimes 2016 doesn’t show Sibon sp., as indicated, but a juvenile of Phrynonax poecilonotos.

Type species: Tropidodipsas lunulata COPE 1861 is the type species of the genus Phrynonax COPE 1862. 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is derived from the Greek word poikilos, meaning "pied, mottled, or spotted," and the Latin word notus, meaning "note or mark," in reference to the dorsal pattern (or alternatively from the Greek noton, notos = back, dorsum) 
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