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Porthidium ophryomegas (BOCOURT, 1868)

IUCN Red List - Porthidium ophryomegas - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Slender Hognose Viper
G: Westliche Stülpnasenotter 
SynonymBothrops ophryomegas BOCOURT 1868: 201
Bothrops lansbergii ophryomegas BOCOURT 1868
Trimeresurus ophryomegas — BOCOURT 1909
Trimeresurus lansbergii — SCHMIDT & ANDREWS 1936
Trimeresurus lansbergii annectans SCHMIDT 1936 (fide WILSON & MEYER 1982)
Bothrops lansbergii annectens (SCHMIDT 1936) (fide WILSON & MEYER 1985)
Bothrops lansbergii annectens — HOGE 1966: 123
Bothrops lansbergii annectens — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 48
Bothrops ophryomegas — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 53
Bothrops ophryomegas — VILLA et al. 1988
Porthidium ophryomegas — WELCH 1994: 101
Porthidium ophryomegas — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 323
Porthidium ophryomegas — SAVAGE 2002
Porthidium ophryomegas — WALLACH et al. 2014: 577 
DistributionW Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico (Chiapas)

Type locality: "les terres chaudes du versant occidental de la Cordillere Escuintla (Guatemala)" [= warm regions on western slope of Cordillera, Escuintia, Guatemala]. The Pacific slope of the Department of Guatemala is actually the southern slope
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 1593 and MNHN-RA 1991.1440 (formerly MNHN-RA 1593A)
Holotype: MCZ 38782 (also given as 38783) [annectens] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis/Similar Species. “Porthidium ophryomegas can be distinguished from all other Honduran snakes, except fellow viperids, a by having a thermosensitive pit located between the eye and nostril. Agkistrodon bilineatus has 9-15 enlarged plates on top of the head (versus many small scales on top of head in P. ophryomegas). Atropoides indomitus and A. mexicanus have extremely narrow supraoculars or the supraoculars broken into small scales and usually 4-5 scale rows between the chinshields and first preventral (versus single, large supraocular scale on each side and 2-3 scale rows between chinshields and first preventral in P. ophryomegas). The species of Bothriechis have prehensile tails (versus non-prehensile tail in P. ophryomegas). In addition, B. marchi and B. thalassinus have green dorsal surfaces in life in adults and B. schlegelii has enlarged superciliary scales forming "eyebrows" (versus brown to black dorsal surfaces with darker blotches and no enlarged superciliary scales in P. ophryomegas). Bothrops asper has mostly paired subcaudals that usually number more than 50 (versus single subcaudal scales that number fewer than 50 in P. ophryomegas). Cerrophidion godmani has 21 dorsal scale rows at midbody, fewer than 150 ventrals, and usually 4-5 rows of scales separating the chinshields from the first preventral (versus 23-27 dorsal scale rows at midbody, more than 150 ventrals, and 2-3 rows of scales separating chinshields from first preventral in P. ophryomegas). Crotalus simus has a rattle or button on the end of the tail (versus no rattle or button in P. ophryomegas). Porthidium nasutum has fewer than 150 ventrals, one canthal scale on each side of the head, and a dorsal extension on the tip of the snout (versus more than 150 ventrals, paired canthals on each side, and no dorsal extension on tip of snout in P. ophryomegas).” (McCranie 2011: 518) 

Synonymy partly after VILLA et al. 1988 and PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970.

Distribution: erroneously reported from Panama (Smith 1958; Peters & Orejas-Miranda 1970; Auth 1994; Young et al. 1999; Perez-Santos 1999; Fundación PA.NA.M.A. 2007). However, this was based on MCZ 26873, thought to be from Progreso in Chiriquí, but actually collected in the Progreso district of Honduras (Campbell & Lamar 2004; McCranie 2011, S. Lotzkat, pers. comm., 23 Dec 2015), Reports from Mexico (Yucatan) are also in error; not in Mexico (Wallach et al. 2014, Heimes 2016).

Habitat: terrestrial 
EtymologyNamed after the Greek ophrys (= brow, eyebrow) and megas (large, great), in reference to the supraocular scales forming an eyebrow-like shelf. 
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  • Espinal, Mario; José M. Solís, Carlos M. O’Reilly, Leonel Marineros, and Hermes Vega 2014. New distributional records for amphibians and reptiles from the department of Santa Bárbara, Honduras. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 300 - get paper here
  • Grünwald, Christoph I., Karen I. Morales-Flores, Héctor Franz-Chávez, Alexander I. Hermosillo-López, and Jason M. Jones. 2016. First report of Porthidium ophryomegas (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from Mexico, with comments on the status of an endangered biogeographical formation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(4): 1104–1107 - get paper here
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