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Tantilla olympia TOWNSEND, WILSON, MEDINA-FLORES & HERRERA-B, 2013

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymTantilla olympia TOWNSEND, WILSON, MEDINA-FLORES & HERRERA-B 2013 
DistributionHonduras (Atlántida)

Type locality: La Liberacio ́n (15.541° N, 87.294°W), 1,150 m elevation, Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texíguat, Departamento de Atlántida, Honduras.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: USNM] 574000, adult male, collected 31 July 2010 by Hermes Vega R. and Paul R. House. Original field number JHT 3269. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis.—A member of the Tantilla taeniata species group differentiated from all other congeners by possessing the combination of the following characteristics (Figs. 2, 3): 1) a medium-brown ground color; 2) a pale nuchal band that is medially divided; 3) a reduced pale brown mid-dorsal stripe that is restricted to the medial one-half to two-thirds of the vertebral scale row, consists of discrete pale spots (one per scale), and terminates at the level of the cloaca; 4) lateral stripes reduced to pale cream spots centrally located on each scale of the fourth scale row, with pigment on margins of each scale darker than dorsal ground color; 5) paraventral and second scale rows with cream spots on the center of each scale; 6) lateral edges of ventral scales dark brown; 7) 148 ventrals and 49 subcaudals (excluding 1 unpaired scale and terminal spine); and 8) tail length 20.7% of total length.
Tantilla olympia can be distinguished from the other members of the T. taeniata group by having (scutellational data for males only): 148 ventral scales (172 in Tantilla briggsi, 139–145 in Tantilla cuniculator, 154–166 in Tantilla flavilineata, 162–165 in Tantilla impensa, 144–147 in Tantilla jani, 153–163 in Tantilla psittaca, 158–159 in Tantilla reticulata, 140–144 in Tantilla tayrae, 157 in Tantilla tritaeniata, and 136–146 in Tantilla vulcani); 49 subcaudal scales (22–26 in Tantilla brevicauda, 68 in T. briggsi, 53– 58 in T. cuniculator, 51–56 in T. flavilineata, 68–72 in T. impensa, 44–47 in T. jani, 62 in Tantilla johnsoni, 63–73 in T. psittaca, 60–67 in T. reticulata, 33–42 in Tantilla striata, and 63–70 in T. taeniata); a pale middorsal stripe reduced to series of spots on vertebral scale row (pale middorsal stripe absent in T. briggsi, T. cuniculator, T. johnsoni; pale middorsal stripe occupying mid- dorsal and adjacent halves of paravertebral scale rows in T. flavilineata; pale middorsal stripe complete, but confined to middorsal scale row in Tantilla hendersoni; pale middorsal stripe occupying medial two-thirds of middorsal scale row in T. impensa; pale middorsal stripe occupying middorsal and adjacent halves of paravertebral scale rows in Tantilla oaxacae; pale middorsal stripe occupying middorsal and adjacent one- third to one-half of paravertebral scale rows in T. psittaca; pale middorsal stripe occupying middorsal and adjacent halves of paravertebral scale rows in T. reticulata; pale middorsal stripe confined to middorsal scale row, becoming increasingly obscured and fragmented posteriorly in Tantilla slavensi; pale middorsal stripe occupying middorsal and adjacent halves of paravertebral scale rows in T. striata; pale middorsal stripe occupying middorsal and adjacent halves of paravertebral scale rows in T. taeniata; pale middorsal stripe absent or barely indicated, consisting of series of disjunct slightly pale spots on anterior portion of middorsal scales for length of trunk or some portion of anterior end thereof in T. tayrae; pale middorsal stripe confined to middorsal scale rows on anterior half of trunk in Tantilla tecta; pale middorsal stripe continuous on middorsal scale row in Tantilla trilineata; pale middorsal stripe confined to middorsal scale row anteriorly, expanding to adjacent halves of paravertebral rows posteriorly in Tantilla triseriata; pale mid- dorsal stripe occupying middorsal and one third to two thirds of paravertebral rows in T. tritaeniata); by having a pale lateral stripe that is well-defined, consisting of spots on fourth scale row (poorly defined, occupying upper half of row 3, all of row 4, and sometimes lower portion of row 5 in T. brevicauda; pale lateral stripe on adjacent halves of scale rows 3 and 4, interrupted along its length in T. briggsi; pale lateral stripe barely discernible on adjacent halves of scale rows 3 and 4 in T. cuniculator; pale lateral stripe well-defined, on adjacent halves of scale row 4 and adjacent halves of rows 3 and 5 in T. flavilineata; pale lateral stripe well-defined, on adjacent thirds of scale rows 3 and 4 in T. hendersoni; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent halves of scale rows 3 and 4 in T. impensa; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent thirds of scale rows 3 and 4 in T. jani; pale lateral stripe absent or occupying portions of adjacent halves of scale rows 3 and 4, most clearly on anterior portion of the trunk in T. johnsoni; pale lateral stripe well-defined, occupying row 4 and adjacent halves of rows 3 and 5 in T. oaxacae; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent halves of rows 3 and 4 in T. psittaca; pale lateral stripe well-defined, occupying row 4 and adjacent halves of rows 3 and 5 in T. reticulata; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent halves of rows 3 and 4 in T. slavensi; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent halves of rows 3 and 4 in T. striata; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent halves of rows 3 and 4 in T. taeniata; pale lateral stripe absent or barest indication of one on adjacent halves of scale rows 3 and 4 on anterior portion of trunk in T. tayrae; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent halves of rows 3 and 4 in T. tecta; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent halves of rows 3 and 4 in T. trilineata; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent halves of rows 3 and 4 in T. triseriata; pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent two thirds of rows 3 and 4 in T. tritaeniata; and pale lateral stripe occupying adjacent two thirds of rows 3 and 4 in T. vulcani); nuchal band interrupted dorsally (complete dorsally in T. brevicauda, T. cuniculator, T. flavilineata, T. hendersoni, T. johnsoni, T. tecta, T. trilineata, and T. triseriata; usually complete dorsally in T. taeniata and T. vulcani; interrupted dorsally and laterally in T. jani; nuchal band reduced to two nuchal spots in T. striata; nuchal band poorly indicated, interrupted dorsally or dorsally and laterally, confined to scale posterior to parietals in T. tayrae; dorsally and sometimes laterally interrupted in T. tritaeniata); by having nuchal band extending onto parietals (nuchal band confined to scales posterior to parietals in T. slavensi); by a paraventral scale with pale center and edged with dark pigment (paraventral scale uniformly pale to dark brown in T. brevicauda, T. cuniculator, T. jani, T. reticulata, T. striata, T. tayrae, T. tecta, and T. vulcani; lower half of paraventral scale pale, distinctly set off from dark upper half in T. briggsi; paraventral scale with dark streak on posterior portion of otherwise pale-colored scale in T. flavilineata; lower half of paraventral scale pale, distinctly set off from dark upper half in T. hendersoni; paraventral scale with cream to yellow lower half and dark brown upper half in T. impensa; paraventral scale primarily uniformly tan to dark tan in T. johnsoni; paraventral scale uniformly tan in T. oaxacae; lower two-thirds of paraventral scale pale, slightly decreasing in amount posteriorly on body in T. psittaca; lower half of paraventral scale pale, distinctly set off from dark brown upper half in T. slavensi; lower half of paraventral scale pale, distinctly set off from dark upper half in T. taeniata; paraventral scale unpigmented on anterior half or more of trunk, upper half of scale darkly pigmented thereafter in T. triseriata; lower tip of paraventral scale pale, decreasing in amount of coverage posteriorly in T. tritaeniata); and by lateral ventral edges darkly pigmented (sometimes lightly pigmented in T. brevicauda; venter immaculate in T. briggsi, T. cuniculator, T. flavilineata, T. hendersoni, T. impensa, T. johnsoni, T. psittaca, T. slavensi, T. striata, T. taeniata, T. trilineata, T. triseriata, T. tritaeniata; slight extension of tan coloration of first scale row onto lateral edges of ventrals in T. oaxacae). 
Comment 
Etymology“The specific name is derived from Mount Olympus, the mythological home of the Greek gods, and is feminized to agree in gender with the generic name Tantilla. This name is given to honor the collectors of the holotype, our colleagues Dr. Paul House and Hermes Vega Rodr ́ıguez of Herbario ‘‘Cyril Hardy Nelson Sutherland’’ (TEFH), Universi- dad Nacional Auto ́ noma de Honduras, and is intended to recognize both of these individuals with a single name, roughly connoting the ‘‘House of Hermes.’’ The mythological Hermes was one of twelve resident deities of Mount Olympus and was one of the few gods able to enter and leave the underworld freely. This name holds further significance in that the type locality is in the Cordillera de Nombre de Dios (‘‘Name of God Mountain Range’’), whose forested peaks and endemic biota are protected by difficult terrain, persistent cloud cover, and frequent rain.” 
References
  • McCranie, James R. 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed. Zootaxa 3931 (3): 352–386 - get paper here
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - 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
  • Wilson, Larry David and Vicente Mata-Silva 2015. A checklist and key to the snakes of the Tantilla clade (Squamata: Colubridae), with comments ondistribution and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (4): 418 - get paper here
 
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