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Thamnophis mendax WALKER, 1955

IUCN Red List - Thamnophis mendax - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Tamaulipan Montane Garter Snake
G: Mexikanische Berg-Strumpfbandnatter
S: Jarretera Tamaulipeca de Montaña 
SynonymThamnophis mendax WALKER 1955
Thamnophis mendax — LINER 1994
Thamnophis mendax — LINER 2007
Thamnophis mendax — WALLACH et al. 2014: 723 
DistributionMexico (Tamaulipas), elevation 1,100 to 2,100 m

Type locality: near La Joya de Salas, Tamaulipas, Mexico, elevation around 1800 m
 
Reproductionovovivparous 
TypesHolotype: UMMZ 104044, Collected by: William Z. Lidicker. Collection Date: July 28, 1951.
Paratypes: (n=6) UMMZ 101207, 101209-10, 104045, 104308, all taken along the mountain trail between Gomez Farias and La Joya de Salas, at various points between "Rancho del Cielo" and La Joya, and 108018, "Valle de la Gruta," about 1.5 miles northwest of "Rancho del Cielo." 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (identification): “Dorsal scales in a maximum of 17 rows (reducing to 15 anterior to ven)i supralabials usually 7 and infralabials usually 9 on at least one side of head, maxillary teeth 21 to 24, the dorsum, with a series of very broad,black-edged brown blotches separated by narrow interspaces, either with no stripe or with the blotches divided by a light vertebral stripe, a prominent black postocular stripe, tongue uniformly black.” (Rossman 1996: 213)

Original diagnosis: A narrow mid-dorsal stripe bounded on either side by a single row of black-edged blotches, their lower margins usually involving the lowermost body scale row or the outer edges of the ventrals; no lateral stripes; body scales in 17-17-15 rows; a low number of ventrals and subcaudals. Differs from T. phenax in having a lower body scale formula, fewer ventrals and subcaudals, and in the presence of a mid-dorsal stripe; from T. scalaris in the absence of lateral stripes, the great lateral extent of the blotches, greater number of maxillary teeth, and in details of head pattern. (Walker 1955)

Detailed description: Rossman 1996: 213. 
Comment 
EtymologyWalker's statement of, " In allusion to its peculiarly Natrix-like pattern and stocky build, features which at first sight belie the true generic relationships, this gartersnake may be known as Thamnophis mendax" suggests that mendax was derived from Latin mentior ("I lie, deceive") + -āx ("inclined to"). 
References
  • Hallmen, M. & Chlebowy, J. 2001. Strumpfbandnattern. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 192 pp. - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 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
  • Queiroz, Alan de; Robin Lawson and Julio A. Lemos-Espinal 2002. Phylogenetic Relationships of North American Garter Snakes (Thamnophis) Based on Four Mitochondrial Genes: How Much DNA Sequence Is Enough? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 22: 315-329 - get paper here
  • Rossman, Douglas A.; Ford, Neil B. & Seigel, Richard A. 1996. The Garter Snakes: Evolution and Ecology. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, xx + 332 + pp.
  • Terán-Juárez, Sergio A., Elí García Padilla, Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson and Larry David Wilson. 2016. The herpetofauna of Tamaulipas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (1): 43–113 - get paper here
  • Walker, Charles F. 1955. A new gartersnake (Thamnophis) from Tamaulipas. Copeia 1955 (2): 110-113 - 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, Larry David; Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson 2013. A conservation reassessment of the reptiles of Mexico based on the EVS measure. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 7 (1): 1–47 - get paper here
 
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