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Ptychophis flavovirgatus GOMES, 1915

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Fanged Water Snake
Portuguese: Cobra-D’água, Cobra-D’água-Serrana, Cobra-Espada-de-Água 
SynonymPtychophis flavovirgatus GOMES 1915: 127
Paraptychophis meyeri LEMA 1967
Paratychophis flavovirgatus
Ptychophis flavovirgatus — SCARTOZZONI & MARQUES 2004
Ptychophis flavovirgatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 618
Ptychophis flavovirgatus — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019
Ptychophis flavovirgatus — TREVINE et al. 2022 
DistributionBrazil (Santa Catarina, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul)

Type locality: "São Bento, Estado de Santa Catharina, Brazil." [=São Bento do Sul, northeastern Santa Catarina State, southern Brazil, 26˚15'S, 49˚23'W].  
TypesHolotype: IBSP (= IB) 526, a 510 mm male (A. Swarowsky, April 1914). 
DiagnosisDescription / diagnosis of genus: “Opistholglyph. Cylindric body; head slightly distinct from the neck; tail conical moderate; maxillary teeth 17, posterior slightly and gradually increasing in size, followed after and interspace by two large grooved fangs situated behind the vertical of the posterior border of the eye; mandibular teeth subequal. Moderate eye with round pupil. Nasal semidivided. Scales keeled, with double apical pits, in 17 longitudinal rows. Ventrals rounded; anal divided; subcaudals pairs.” (Gomes 1915)

Diagnosis (genus). “Dorsal scales in 17/17/15 rows, markedly keeled; keels present in 15–17 rows; preoculars 1 or 2; infralabials 10; circular pupil; light longitudinal stripe on each side of the body.” (Trevine et al. 2022: Appendix 3)

Synapomorphies (genus). “Dorsal scales keeled; infralabials 10; Harder gland completely covered by adductor musculature; parietal dorso-lateral crests continue in an enlarged central crest; anterior process of prefrontal expanded; foramen on the lateral lamina of prefrontal bone absent; maxillary process of palatine bone long (longer than larger); entoglossus process of the hyoid apparatus absent” (Trevine et al. 2022: Appendix S4–S5).

Description of the type specimen. “Adult male. Head slightly distinct from body, plain above; body cylindrical; tail moderate, conical. Maxillary teeth 17, slightly increasing in size posteriorly, followed after a distinct interspace by two large grooved fangs, situated behind the vertical of the posterior border of the eye: mandibular teeth subequal. Diameter of the eye a little longer than the distan ce of the eye from the mouth, one half the length of the snout; pupil round. Rostral a little broader than high, slightyl visible from above; internasals as long as broad, as long as the prefrontals; frontal almost twice as long as broad, as long as its distance from tip of snout; parietals almost twice as long as broad, a little longer than the frontal; nasal rectangular, semidivided by a suture which does not attain the nostril, which is very small and circular; loreal trapezoid, almost as high as long; preoculars 2; post oculars 2; temporals 2 + 3; 8 supralabials, 3 rd 4th and 5th entering the eye; 10 lower labials, 5 in contact with the anterior chin-shield which is somewhat shorter than the posterior. Scales strongly keeled, with double apical pits, in 17 rows (19 on the neck); outer row smooth, second row feebly keeled. Ventrals 132, rounded; anal divided; subcaudals 61 pairs. Color, dark brown above, with a yellow lateral streak running along the fourth and fifth rows of scales, covering only the half of each scale. Lower parts of dirty yellow colour (olive in alcohol) with dark, linear, short spots, more or less regulary disposed, in two rows on the nape and tail, in four three and two rows on the belly. Lower part of the head yellow, the shields with some points and dark edges; one dark line from the eye to the angle of the mouth; another short in the middle of the rostral.

Dimensions: Total length 510 mm.; tail 123, circumference 45 mm.” (Gomes 1915) 
CommentBelongs to the Tachymenini, together with 6 other genera (BAILEY 1967).

Type species: Ptychophis flavovirgatus GOMES 1915 is the type species of the genus Ptychophis GOMES 1915. 
  • Bailey, Joseph R. 1967. The synthetic approach to colubrid classification. Herpetologica 23 (2): 155-161 - get paper here
  • Gomes, J.F. 1915. Contribuição para o conhecimento dos ophidios do Brasil. 1. Descrição de quatro especies novas e um novo Gênero de opisthóglyphos. 2. Ophidios do Museu Rocha (Ceará). Ann. Paulistas Med. & Chirurg. 4 (6): 121-129
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira 9 (2): 121 – 214 - get paper here
  • Kunz, Tobias Saraiva;<br />Ivo Rohling Ghizoni-Jr.,<br />Walter Luis Alves dos Santos & Paulo Afonso Hartmann 2007. Nota sobre a coleção herpetológica da Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC). Biotemas, 20 (3): 127-132 - get paper here
  • Lema, Th. de 1967. Novo gênero e espécie de serpente opistoglifodonte do Brasil Meridional (Colubridae, Boiginae). Iheringia (Zool.) (35): 61-74
  • Lema, Thales de;Hofstadler Deiques, Clarice 1992. Contribuicao ao conhecimento da "Cobra espada d'Agua", Ptychophis flavovirgatus Gomes, (Serpentes, Colubridae, Xenodontinae, Tachymenini). Comun. Mus. Cienc. PUCRS, ser. zool. 5 (6): 55-83
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo, Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins, Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, 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
  • Porto,M. & Caramaschi,U. 1988. Notes on the taxonomic status, biology, and distribution of Ptychophis flavovirgatus GOMES 1915 (Ophidia, Colubridae). Ann. Acad. bras. Ci. 60 (4): 471-475 - get paper here
  • Scartozzoni, Rodrigo R. & Otavio A. V. Marques 2004. Sexual dimorphism, reproductive cycle, and fecundity of the Brazilian water snake Ptychophis flavovirgatus (Serpentes, Colubridae). Phyllomedusa 3 (1): 69-73 - 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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