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Plesiodipsas perijanensis (ALEMAN, 1953)

IUCN Red List - Plesiodipsas perijanensis - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesAleman's Snail-eater 
SynonymTropidodipsas perijanensis ALEMAN 1953
Dipsas perijanensis — PETERS 1970
Dipsas perijanensis — KORNACKER 1999: 80
Plesiodipsas perijanensis — HARVEY et al. 2008
Plesiodipsas perijanensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 570 
DistributionVenezuela (Zulia), Colombia (Santander)

Type locality: Jamayau, Sierra de Perijia, Edo. Zulia, Venezuela, 1700 m elevation, (10°00’01’’N, 72°55’01’’W)  
TypesHolotype: MHNLS 655, female 
DiagnosisDiagnosis and definition (genus): Robust banded snakes probably not exceeding a meter in length and differing from other Dipsadinae by the following combination of characters: (1) eyes large, not visible from below, with elliptical pupils; (2) head distinct from neck, with subacuminate snout; (3) chinshields subrectangular and mental groove absent; (4) penultimate supralabial not greatly enlarged; (5) no infralabials greatly enlarged; (6) loreal excluded from orbit by lower preocular; (7) dorsals smooth, without keels or apical pits, usually in 17 rows at midbody reducing to 15; (8) chin tubercles present in males, supracloacal tubercles absent; (9) Harderian gland large and rhomboidal, medial to mm. levator anguli oris and adductor mandibulae externus, pars superficialis; (10) m. levator anguli oris inserting far anteriorly on dentary; (11) maxillary teeth directed inward, lacking grooves, and decreasing in size posteriorly; (12) posterior blade-like process of maxilla absent; (13) teeth extending posterior to notch in dorsolateral maxillary lamina; diastema and enlarged fangs absent; (14) pterygoid teeth numerous, reaching posterior point of divergence of pterygoids; (15) tracheal lung absent; (16) heart-liver gap large; (17) capitulum of hemipenis covered in papillate calyces; (18) sulcus spermaticus bifurcating within capitulum; (19) base of hemipenis encircled by rows of large spines separated from pair of basal hooks by asulcate patch; (20) nude basal pocket present on lateral side of hemipenis. 
CommentType species: Tropidodipsas perijanensis Alemán 1953 is the type species of the genus Plesiodipsas HARVEY et al. 2008. 
Etymologynamed after its type locality.

Etymology (genus): The new name is a feminine noun formed by adding the prefix plesio(derived from the Greek word plesios meaning near) to the generic name Dipsas (derived from the Greek word for thirst). 
  • Aleman G., César 1953. Apuntes sobre reptiles y anfibios de la region Baruta-El Hatillo. Memoria de la Sociedad de Ciencias naturales La Salle 12 (31): 11-30 [1952]
  • Harvey, Michael B.; Gilson Rivas Fuenmayor, José Rances Caicedo-Portilla, and José Vicente Rueda-Almonacid 2009. Systematics of the Enigmatic Dipsadine Snake Tropidodipsas perijanensis Alemán (Serpentes: Colubridae) and Review of Morphological Characters of Dipsadini. Herpetological Monographs 22 (1): 106-132 - get paper here
  • Kornacker,P.M. 1999. Checklist and key to the snakes of Venezuela. PaKo-Verlag, Rheinbach, Germany, 270 pp.
  • Lancini,A.R. & Kornacker,P.M. 1989. Die Schlangen von Venezuela. Armitano Editores C.A., Caracas, 1-381
  • Natera-Mumaw, Marco; Luis Felipe Esqueda-González & Manuel Castelaín-Fernández 2015. Atlas Serpientes de Venezuela Santiago de Chile, Dimacofi Negocios Avanzados S.A., 456 pp. - 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. 1970. Generic position of the South American snake Tropidodipsas perijanensis. Copeia 1970 (2): 394-395 - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • 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.
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