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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Diaphorolepidini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Zaher's Shadow Snake
S: Culebra Andinas de la Sombra de Zaher 
DistributionEcuador (El Oro)

Type locality: vicinity of Buenaventura Reserve (Fundación Jocotoco), near Piñas, El Oro Province, SW Ecuador, 874 m elevation (-3.65, -79.76; Fig. 5), in a narrow band of cloud forest on the Pacific versant of the Andes.  
TypesHolotype: MZUTI 3353 (Fig. 3A), an adult male collected on 30 December 2013 at ~2200h by Alejandro Arteaga, Lucas Bustamante, Rita Hidalgo, Daniel Mideros, and Diana Troya. Paratype. MZUTI 3355 (Fig. 3B), adult male collected a few minutes after the holotype, a few meters away. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Synophis zaheri can be differentiated from Diaphorolepis by an un- modified vertebral scale row with a single weak keel (versus a laterally expanded verte- bral scale row, bicarinate or smooth); from Emmochliophis by the presence of a loreal (versus absence); from S. bicolor by having 166–169 ventrals (versus 174–183) and 111–112 subcaudals (versus 129–143); from S. aff. bicolor by having 8 or 9 infralabials (versus 10 or 11) and lighter brown dorsal coloration in life (versus darker black); from S. cf. bicolor by having 166–169 ventrals (versus 184–193), 111–112 subcaudals (ver- sus 127–131), and 8 or 9 infralabials (versus 10–12); from S. calamitus by having two postoculars (versus one typically) and internasals in contact (versus divided typically); from S. lasallei by having 166–169 ventrals (versus 144–165), 19 dorsal scale rows at midbody (versus 21–23 typically), 8 or 9 infralabials (versus 10 or 11), and by having the anteriormost dorsal scale rows smooth (versus keeled); and from S. plectrovertebra- lis by absence of a nuchal collar (versus presence) and two postoculars (versus one). 
EtymologyNamed after the preeminent Brazilian herpetologist Hussam El-Dine Zaher, for his innumerable contributions to South American herpetology and snake systematics. 
  • Pyron RA, Guayasamin JM, Peñafiel N, Bustamante L, Arteaga A 2015. Systematics of Nothopsini (Serpentes, Dipsadidae), with a new species of Synophis from the Pacific Andean slopes of southwestern Ecuador. ZooKeys 541: 109-147, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.541.6058 - get paper here
  • PYRON, R. ALEXANDER; ALEJANDRO ARTEAGA, LOURDES Y. ECHEVARRÍA, OMAR TORRES-CARVAJAL 2016. A revision and key for the tribe Diaphorolepidini (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) and checklist for the genus Synophis. Zootaxa 4171 (2): 293–320 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - get paper here
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