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Tantilla cuniculator SMITH, 1939

IUCN Red List - Tantilla cuniculator - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Peten Centipede Snake
S: Centipedívora Maya 
SynonymTantilla moesta cuniculator SMITH 1939:32
Tantilla cuniculator — SMITH 1942: 33
Tantilla cuniculator — LINER 1994
Tantilla cuniculator — LINER 2007
Tantilla cuniculator — WILSON & MATA-SILVA 2014: 29
Tantilla cuniculator — WALLACH et al. 2014: 700 
DistributionMexico (Yucatan, Quintana Roo), N Belize, Guatemala

Elevation: 10-200 m (WILSON & MATA-SILVA 2014)

Type locality: Mexico, Yucatan, Merida.  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 19408, juvenile female 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Similar to Tantilla moesta, having seven supralabials, two postoculars, rostral scarcely visible from above, a broad frontal and a light, dark-bordered nuchal collar; differing from moesta in number of subcaudals (49 to 53), absence of pigment on ventral scales, presence of a dark lateral area sharply differentiated from a somewhat lighter dorsal color, snout light, and a small or large light spot behind eye [from SMITH 1939]. 
EtymologyThe name cuniculator is derived from “the Latin cuniculus, meaning ‘a rabbit or underground passage’ and by extension, a ‘burrow’ and –ator, meaning ‘of or characterized by,’ in reference to the semifossorial habits of this snake” (Wilson, 1985). 
  • Aguilar-López JL, Luría-Manzano R, Pineda E, Canseco-Márquez L 2021. Selva Zoque, Mexico: an important Mesoamerican tropical region for reptile species diversity and conservation. ZooKeys 1054: 127-153 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. 1998. Amphibians and reptiles of northern Guatemala, the Yucatán, and Belize. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, xiii + 380 pp. - get paper here
  • Cedeño-Vázquez, J. Rogelio, Pablo M. Beutelspacher-García and Nidia Gabriela Blanco-Campos. 2016. Distribution Notes. Tantilla cuniculator Smith, 1939. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (1): 192 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Lee, J. C. 2000. A field guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the Maya world. Cornell University Press, Ithaca,
  • Lee, J.C. 1996. The amphibians and reptiles of the Yucatán Peninsula. Comstock, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 500 pp.
  • 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
  • NAHUAT, P. E., A. E. ROSS, AND J. A. L. BARAO-NOBREGA 2020. Tantilla cuniculator (Yucatán Centipede Snake). Arboreal Behavior. Herpetological Review 51: 629.
  • Ortiz-Medina, Javier A., Daniel E. Chan-Espinoza and Elí García-Padilla. 2016. Distribution Notes. Tantilla cuniculator Smith, 1939. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (1): 193 - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M. 1942. A resume of Mexican snakes of the genus Tantilla. Zoologica 27: 33-42. - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M. 1939. Notes on Mexican reptiles and amphibians. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 24 (4): 15-35 - get paper here
  • Stafford, P.J. 2004. A new speciesof Tantilla (Serpentes; Colubridae) of the taeniata group from Southern Belize. Journal of Herpetology 38 (1): 43-52 - get paper here
  • Townsend, Josiah H.; Larry David Wilson, Melissa Medina-Flores, and Luis A. Herrera-B. 2013. A New Species of Centipede Snake in the Tantilla taeniata Group (Squamata: Colubridae) from Premontane Rainforest in Refugio De Vida Silvestre Texíguat, Honduras. Journal of Herpetology Mar 2013, Vol. 47, No. 1: 191-200. - 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.
  • 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 2015. A checklist and key to the snakes of the Tantilla clade (Squamata: Colubridae), with comments on distribution and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (4): 418 - 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
  • Wilson,L.D. 1982. A Review of the Colubrid Snakes of the Genus Tantilla of Central America. Milwaukee Publ. Mus. Contr. Biol. Geol. (52): 1-77 - get paper here
  • Wilson,L.D. 1985. Tantilla cuniculator. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 367: 1 - get paper here
  • Wilson,L.D. & McCranie,J.R. 1999. The systematic status of Honduran populations of the Tantilla taeniata group (Serpentes: Colubridae), with notes on other populations. Amphibia-Reptilia 20 (3): 326-329 - get paper here
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