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Sibon noalamina LOTZKAT, HERTZ & KÖHLER, 2012

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymSibon noalamina LOTZKAT, HERTZ & KÖHLER 2012
Dipsas articulata — KÖHLER 2008: 219
Dipsas articulata — STADLER 2010
Sibon noalamina — WALLACH et al. 2014: 669 

Type locality: headwaters of Río Chiriquí Malí, approximately 6.4 km NW Fortuna dam (8.7891°N, 82.2155°W, 1050 m elevation), Bosque Protector Palo Seco, Comarca Ngöbe-Buglé (formerly province of Bocas del Toro), Panama.  
TypesHolotype: SMF 91539 (original field number SL 775; Figs. 1A–C, 2–3), adult male; collected by Andreas Hertz and Sebastian Lotzkat on 10 August 2010. Paratypes. SMF 90180 (original field number SL 494; Fig 1D), juvenile male, same locality as holotype; collected by Andreas Hertz and Sebastian Lotzkat on 29 October 2009; SMF 89550 (original field number LSt 015; Fig 1E), juvenile, from Cerro Mariposa near Alto de Piedra, approx. 3.5 km W of Santa Fé, 8.5001°N, 81.1170°W, 1260 m, province of Veraguas, Panama; collected by Sebastian Lotzkat and Andreas Hertz on 28 May 2008. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Sibon noalamina differs from all described species of Sibon, and from all other Central American snail-eaters, in its slight keeling on the third to fifth dorsal row at midbody in adults, and, most obviously, in having only five supralabials, with the fifth and ultimate one being the only supralabial posterior to the orbit (versus two supralabials posterior to orbit in all other species of Sibon) and exhibiting a peculiar shape: Its anterior portion is almost twice as high as the remaining supralabials, resembling the enlarged penultimate supralabial of other Sibon. Then it decreases in height towards the posterior portion that is about as high as the third supralabial, resembling the ultimate, usually moderately-sized, supralabial of other Sibon.
Additionally, its contrasting color pattern of complete dark rings on light background distinguishes S. noalamina from all Lower Central American Sibon except S. anthracops (Cope), from which it differs by having 15 dorsal rows throughout the body (vs. 13 in S. anthracops). At first sight, especially the more contrastingly colored juveniles of the new species might be confused with the coral snake-mimics Dipsas articulata, D. bicolor (Günther), D. temporalis (Werner), or D. viguieri (Bocourt). From these, S. noalamina is distinguished by the presence of a mental groove (lacking in the genus Dipsas), lower ventral counts (164–177 vs. 196–217 in D. articulata, 186–199 in D. bicolor, 170–208 in D. temporalis, and 190–203 in D. viguieri), the unique supralabial condition (5 supralabials with only the ultimate, peculiarly shaped one posterior to orbit versus 9–10 supralabials in D. articulata, 10–11 in D. bicolor, 7–8 in D. temporalis, and 9–10 in D. viguieri, all shaped similarly, with three or more, rarely two, posterior to orbit), and fewer infralabials (6–7 infralabials versus 11–12 in D. articulata, 10–11 in D. bicolor, 8–13 in D. temporalis, and 9–11 in D. viguieri). Furthermore, S. noalamina differs from D. temporalis in retaining the contrast between light and dark rings throughout body and tail (Fig. 1), whereas in D. temporalis the light portions grade into medium to dark brown posteriorly (Fig. 5H) [from LOTZKAT et al. 2012]. 
CommentHabitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a contraction of the exclamation “no a la mina!”, Spanish for “no to the mine”, in the sense of “no mining”. This affirmation was and is used by members of the indigenous Ngöbe communities living in the Serranía de Tabasará in the course of their protests against mining interests aiming to exploit their territory, especially around Cerro Colorado. The specific name is given in recognition and support of the Ngöbe’s struggle to protect their territory and environment, which is home to the new species described herein and many others, from profit-driven destructive interventions [from LOTZKAT et al. 2012]. 
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2013. Liste der im Jahr 2012 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (3): 52-67 - get paper here
  • Lotzkat, S.; A. Hertz; G. Köhler. 2012. A new species of Sibon (Squamata: Colubroidea: Dipsadidae) from the Cordillera Central of western Panama, with comments on other species of the genus in the area. Zootaxa 3485: 26–40 - get paper here
  • Lotzkat, Sebastian 2012. Neue Schneckennatter setzt Zeichen gegen Raubbau. Terraria-Elaphe 2013 (1): 54-55 - 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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