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Taeniophallus nebularis SCHARGEL, RIVAS & MYERS, 2005

IUCN Red List - Taeniophallus nebularis - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae, Echinantherini), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymTaeniophallus nebularis — SCHARGEL, RIVAS & MYERS 2005
Taeniophallus nebularis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 697 
DistributionNE Venezuela (Peninsula de Paria), elevation 800

Type locality: “from trail between Las Melenas and Cerro
Humo, 800 m elevation (108399N, 628349W), Peninsula de Paria, Estado Sucre, Venezuela.”  
TypesHolotype: MHNLS 15743 
DiagnosisDEFINITION AND DIAGNOSIS: Distinguished from all other species of New World ‘‘xenodontine’’ colubrids by the following combination of characters (based on the one known specimen, a male). Size and proportions: Small terrestrial colubrid more or less 500 mm in total length, with tail comprising about a third of total. Head distinct from neck, body slightly higher than wide, ventrolaterally rounded, with 19-19-17 rows of smooth dorsal scales; paired apical pits anteriorly.
Color pattern: Dorsally brown with dark vertebral line from anterior body onto
tail, sides gray; white postocular stripe to corner of mouth and lower neck. Midventer yellow between serrated edges of two parallel rows of triangular dark markings.
Scutellation: Ventrals 156, subcaudals 92 pairs, anal plate divided. Normal complement of colubrid head plates. Supralabials 8, with labials 2–3 touching loreal, 3–5 touching eye; one preocular, no small subpreocular. Dentition:
Moderately high number (20) of maxillary teeth followed by diastema and two enlarged, offset, ungrooved fangs.
Hemipenis: Noncapitate, approximately distal 30% bilobed. Sulcus spermaticus dividing about halfway up the organ, with centrolineal branches. Sulcate side calyculate to flounced above sulcus fork and on lateral sides of lobes, with large papillae tending to have spinulate tips. Lobes tipped with one or more
enlarged apical calyces. Asulcate side of hemipenis with wide interspinal gap that becomes a broad nude area on eversion, extending distally from a transverse pair of large spines onto medial sides of lobes, flanked by dense clusters of small spines. Basal nude pocket present. Readily distinguished from all other named Taeniophallus and also from species of Echinanthera s.s. by the presence of 19 rows of dorsal scales at midbody (vs. 17 or 15 rows) and unique hemipenis. 
CommentThere is some debate about species allocation to Taeniophallus. Most species have been assigned to Echinanthera now. See links to photos under this genus. 
EtymologyNamed after the Latin noun nebula (mist, fog), thus nebularis meaning ‘‘belonging to the mist’’. The suffix (a variant of -alis), for stems ending in l, is declined -aris (masculine and feminine), -are (neuter). 
  • Abegg AD, Santos AP Jr, Costa HC, Battilana J, Graboski R, Vianna FSL, Azevedo WS, Fagundes NJR, Castille CM, Prado PC, Bonatto SL, Zaher H and Grazziotin FG 2022. Increasing taxon sampling suggests a complete taxonomic rearrangement in Echinantherini (Serpentes: Dipsadidae). Front. Ecol. Evol. 10:969263 - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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
  • Schargel, Walter E., Gilson Rivas Fuenmayor and Charles W. Myers 2005. An Enigmatic New Snake from Cloud Forest of the Península de Paria, Venezuela (Colubridae: Genus Taeniophallus?). American Museum Novitates 3484:1-22. - 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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