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Taeniophallus nicagus (COPE, 1868)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae, Echinantherini), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymLygophis nicagus COPE 1868: 201
Rhadinaea nicaga — COPE 1885: 102
Liophis undulatus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 180
Taeniophallus nicagus — MYERS & CADLE 1995
Taeniophallus nicagus — MYERS & MCDOWELL 2014: 41
Taeniophallus nicagus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 697
Taeniophallus nicagus — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionSuriname, Brazil (Pará, Amazonas), French Guiana

Type locality: None given. “Brésil,” fide Jan and Sordelli, 1860-66: 11.  
TypesHolotype: unlocated, a 922 mm specimen (Wallach et al. 2014). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): “Taeniophallus can be recognize by (1) usually eight supralabials, with the 2nd–3rd or 2nd only touching the loreal and 3rd–5th touching the orbit; (2) 17/17/15 dorsal scale rows usually with one or two apical pits; (3) midventral portion immaculate; (4) hemipenis unilobed or slightly bilobed and unicapitate, with an asulcate interspinal gap interrupted by an enlarged central spine approximately at the midorgan; (5) sulcus spermaticus asymmetrically divided, with shortening of one of the branches (T. brevirostris) or undivided (T. nicagus); (6) a pair of nude pockets delimited by small spines immediately below the capitulum on the asulcate face (7) dorsolateral crests of the parietal bone inconspicuous close the contact with supraoccipital (Figures 5B,C, 7F and Table 1).” (Abegg et al. 2022)

For a morphological comparison of the genera Adelphostigma, Amnisiophis, Dibernardia, Echinanthera, Sordellina, and Taeniophallus see Abegg et al., 2022: 10 (Table 1). 
CommentGroup: This genus corresponds to the brevirostris group of Taeniophallus (sensu Schargel et al., 2005). Although the type species is T. nicagus, the description of the genus was based on the morphology of the hemipenis of T. brevirostris (Myers, 1974). There has been some debate about species allocation to Taeniophallus. Not listed by GASC & RODRIGUES 1980. Most species of the genus have been assigned to Echinanthera until Abegg et al. 2022 re-assigned many species within the group fo various new genera (see also Echinanthera cyanopleura, the type species of Echinanthera).

Distribution: Not listed for French Guiana by STARACE 1998. See map in Nogueira et al. 2019.

Type species: Lygophis nicagus COPE 1868: 201 is the type species of the genus Taeniophallus COPE 1895.
EtymologyThe genus was named after the Greek words ταινíα (taenia = band, fillet) and φαλλóς (phallus = penis) (Liddell and Scott, 1883; Brown, 1954). The genus name is masculine. 
  • 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
  • Cope, E.D. 1868. An examination of the Reptilia and Batrachia obtained by the Orton Expedition to Equador and the Upper Amazon, with notes on other species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 20: 96-140 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1886. Catalogue of the species of batrachians and reptiles contained in a collection made at Pebas, Upper Amazon, by John Hauxwell. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 23: 94-103 [1885] - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1895. The classification of the ophidia. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 18: 186-219 [1894] - get paper here
  • Di BERNARDO, M. 1996. A new species of the neotropical snake genus Echinanthera COPE 1894 from southeastern Brazil (Serpentes, Coluridae). The Snake 27: 120-126
  • Fraga, R., Lima, A. P., Prudente, A. L. C., & Magnusson, W. E. 2013. Guia de cobras da região de Manaus – Amazônia Central. Manaus: INPA - get paper here
  • Gasc & Rodrigues 1980. Liste preliminaire des Serpents de la Guyane francaise. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. Paris 2 (4): 559-598
  • Jairam, Rawien 2017. The distribution of Taeniophallus nicagus (Colubridae) in Suriname with some information on morphology. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 24 (3): 177–179 - get paper here
  • Morato, S.A.A.; Calixto, P.O.; Mendes, L.R.; Gomes, R.; Galatti, U.; Trein, F.L.; Oliveira, F.S.; Ferreira, G.N. 2014. Guia fotográfico de identificação da herpetofauna da Floresta Nacional de Saracá-Taquera, Estado do Pará. Curitiba: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A.; 213 p. - get paper here
  • Morato, Sérgio Augusto Abrahão; Guilherme Nunes Ferreira; Michela Rossane Cavilha Scupino (eds.) 2018. Herpetofauna da Amazônia Central: Estudos na FLONA de Saracá-Taquera. Curitiba, Pr: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas, Pa: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A., 2018.<br />210p. - get paper here
  • Myers, C W. Cadle J E. 1994. A new genus for South American snakes related to Rhadinaea obtusa Cope (Colubridae) and resurrection of Taeniophallus Cope for the "Rhadinaea" brevirostris group. American Museum Novitates (3102): 1-33 - get paper here
  • Myers, Charles W. and Samuel B. McDowell 2014. New Taxa and Cryptic Species of Neotropical Snakes (Xenodontinae), with Commentary on Hemipenes as Generic and Specific Characters. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 385 (1) : 1-112. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Starace, Fausto 2013. Guide des Serpents et Amphisbènes de Guyane. Ibis Rouge Editions, Matoury, Guyane, ISBN 978-2-84450-407-4 - 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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