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Tantilla atriceps (GÜNTHER, 1895)

IUCN Red List - Tantilla atriceps - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Serpentes (snakes) 
Common NamesMexican Blackhead Snake 
SynonymHomalocranium atriceps GÜNTHER 1895: 146
Tantilla atriceps — SMITH & TAYLOR 1945
Tantilla planiceps atriceps — JONES et al. 1981
Tantilla atriceps — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 223
Tantilla atriceps — LINER 1994
Tantilla atriceps — LINER 2007
Tantilla atriceps — WILSON & MATA-SILVA 2014: 15 
DistributionUSA (SE Arizona, S New Mexico, W Texas),
Mexico (Sonora, Chihuahua, NE Durango, Coahuila, NE Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, W Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas)

Elevation: 0-2,134 m (WILSON & MATA-SILVA 2014)

Type locality: "Nuevo Leon, Mexico." Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.8.81-82 (original numbers, respectively), both males, obtained in 1889 from W. Taylor. 
CommentCole and Hardy (1981) demonstrated that T. atriceps and T. hobartsmithi are sibling species, differing from one another in the structure of the hemipenis. Other features used to distinguish between these two species (number of postoculars, contact or lack thereof between mental and anterior chinshields) do not consistently do so (Robert G. Webb, in litt.). In addition, some specimens of T. nigriceps cannot be distinguished convincingly from these two sibiling species in areas of sympatry (Cole and Hardy, 1981) [from WILSON 1999]. 
EtymologyNamed after its color, Latin “ater, atra, atrum” = dark or black, and “-ceps”, a short form of “caput” = head. 
  • Blanchard, Frank N. 1938. Snakes of the genus Tantilla in the United States. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 20 (28): 369-376 - get paper here
  • Cole C J; Hardy L M 1983. Tantilla atriceps (Gunther). Mexican black-headed snake. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 317: 1-2 - get paper here
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Dixon, James R. 2000. Amphibians and reptiles of Texas, second edition. Texas A&M University Press, 421 pp.
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. 1885. Reptilia and Batrachia. Biologia Centrali-Américana. Taylor, & Francis, London, 326 pp. [published in parts from 1885-1902; reprint by the SSAR 1987] - get paper here
  • Jones, K.B.; Abbas, D.R. & Bergstedt, T. 1981. Herpetological records from Central and Northeastern Arizona. Herpetological Review 12 (1): 16 - get paper here
  • Liner, Ernest A. 2007. A CHECKLIST OF THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF MEXICO. Louisiana State University Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science 80: 1-60 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, Roy W. 1968. Variation, distribution and systematic status of the black-headed snake Tantilla yaquia Smith. The Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 67 (3): 159-177
  • Smith, Hobart M. & Taylor, Edward H. 1945. An annotated checklist and key to the snakes of Mexico. Bull. US Natl. Mus. (187): iv + 1-239 - get paper here
  • Tennant, A. & Bartlett, R.D. 2000. Snakes of North America - Eastern and Central Regions. Gulf Publishing, Houston, TX, 588 pp.
  • Valdez-Lares, R.; R. Muñiz-Martínez; E.Gadsden; G. Aguirre-León; G. Castañeda-Gaytán; R. Gonzalez-Tr 2013. Checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the state of Durango, México. Check List 9 (4):714-724 - get paper here
  • Werler, John E.&; James R. Dixon 2000. Texas Snakes. University of Texas Press, 544 pages
  • Wilson, L.D. 1999. Checklist and key to the species of the genus Tantilla (Serpentes: Colubridae), with some commentary on distribution. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (122): 1-34 - get paper here
  • Wilson, Larry David and Vicente Mata-Silva. 2014. Snakes of the genus Tantilla (Squamata: Colubridae) in Mexico: taxonomy, distribution, and Conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (1): 5-95 - get paper here
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