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Tantilla tjiasmantoi KOCH & VENEGAS, 2016

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common Names 
SynonymTantilla tjiasmantoi KOCH & VENEGAS 2016 
DistributionPeru (Libertad)

Type locality: Pías, Province Pataz, Department of La Libertad, Peru (07°53′56.6′′S, 77°34′43.8′′W, 1,726 m elevation)  
TypesHolotype: CORBIDI 7726, collected by E. Hoyos Granda, A. Beraún and C. Koch on 15 January 2010. Paratype: ZFMK 95238, from Santa Rosa/El Tingo (Marcamachay), Province Cajabamba, Department of La Libertad, Peru (07°21′59.3′′S, 77°53′53.0′′W, 1,154 m a.s.l.), collected by M. Palacios Panta and C. Koch on 13 October 2010. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This comparatively large Tantilla is distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) maximum known SVL of 513 mm and total length of 638 mm; (2) 179–182 ventrals; (3) 57–65 paired subcaudals; (4) 7 supralabials; (5) eyes small, not visible from below, with round pupils; (6) dorsals smooth, without keels or apical pits, rhomboid, in 15 rows throughout the body; (7) loreals absent; (8) suboculars absent; (9) 2 postoculars; (10) 1 + 1 temporals; (11) cloacal plate divided; (12) hypapophyses absent on posterior vertebrae; (13) hemipenes single; (14) body with dark bands that are not closed on ventral side; (15) conspicuous sexual dimorphism present.
With a maximum known total length of 638 mm Tantilla tjiasmantoi sp. nov. is among the largest species in the genus, only T. shawi, T. impensa, and T. semicincta reach similar or even larger total length. It can further be easily distinguished from all congeners except for T. shawi, T. semicincta, and T. supracincta by having a transversely-banded color pattern on the dorsal part of the body. The higher number of subcaudals (57–65) differentiates the new species from T. shawi (48–50) and the higher number of ventrals (179–182) further distinguishes it from T. impensa (162–172), T. semicincta (161–176) and T. supracincta (138–151), as well as from the Peruvian species T. capistrata (130–156) and T. melancocephala (125–177). From the other species occurring in mainland South America, it can further be distinguished by a higher number of ventrals as compared to T. alticola (128–145), T. andinista (157), T. boipiranga (156–167), T. miyatai (165–172), T. nigra (137), T . petersi (172), T. insulamontana (144–157), T. reticulata (158–173).
CommentHabitat: This species is so far known from the southern portion of the seasonally dry forest along the Marañón River and its tributaries, from near Santa Rosa de Marcamachay at the Río Crisnejas, Province Cajabamba, and from near Laguna de Pías, Province Pataz, both Department of La Libertad, at elevations of 1,154 m and 1,726 m a.s.l., respectively (Figs. 8 & 9 in Koch & Venegas 2016). The female CORBIDI 7726 was detected on 7th of January 2010 at 12.30 pm resting on a stone. The male ZFMK 95238 was detected on 12th of October 2010 at 8.15 pm on pebbly-clayey ground. Air temperature when animals were sighted was 33.3°C and 28.1°C, respectively. 
EtymologyThe species is dedicated to Wewin Tjiasmanto (Indonesia) in recognition of his support of nature conservation and taxonomic research through the BIOPAT initiative. 
  • Koch, C. and Venegas, P. 2016. A large and unusually colored new snake species of the genus Tantilla (Squamata; Colubridae) from the PeerJ 4:e2767; DOI 10.7717/peerj.2767 - get paper here
  • KOCH, CLAUDIA; PABLO J. VENEGAS, ROY SANTA CRUZ, WOLFGANG BÖHME 2018. Annotated checklist and key to the species of amphibians and reptiles inhabiting the northern Peruvian dry forest along the Andean valley of the Marañón River and its tributaries Zootaxa 4385 (1): 001–101 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2017. Neue Arten: Liste der im Jahr 2016 neu beschriebenen Reptilien Terraria-Elaphe 2017 (3): 54-70 - get paper here
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