Tropidophis grapiuna CURCIO, SALES-NUNES, SUZART ARGOLO, SKUK & RODRIGUES, 2012
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Tropidophis grapiuna?
|Higher Taxa||Tropidophiidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Synonym||Tropidophis grapiuna CURCIO, SALES NUNES, SUZART ARGOLO, SKUK & RODRIGUES 2012|
Tropidophis grapiuna — WALLACH et al. 2014: 753
Type locality: ‘‘Serra da Pedra Lascada,’’ region of Itajuípe, state of Bahia, Brazil.
|Types||Holotype: MNRJ 19593, previous institutional number CZGB 3820 (latter abbreviation refers to Colecão Zoológica Gregório Bondar, Centro de Pesquisas-Comissa ̃o Executiva do Plano da Lavoura Cacaueira, Ilhéus, Bahia), not labeled in field, adult female, collected on 15 June 1995, collected by J.R. Martins. Paratype.—MZUESC 8153, adult female collected on 23 March 2010 at Serra Bonita, Fazenda Uirac ̧ u, in the vicinities of the municipality of Camacan, state of Bahia, by I. Dias e T. Medeiros.|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis.—Tropidophis grapiuna is distinguishable from all mainland congeners by the combination of the following characteristics: (1) low ventral counts (154–155 vs. 164–183 in T. paucisquamis and 200 in T. battersbyi); (2) 23 dorsals at midbody (vs. 21 or 23, rarely 25 in T. paucisquamis); (3) vertebral scale row not distinctly enlarged in size relative to remaining dorsals (vs. vertebral row of dorsals usually enlarged, wider than long at least on part of the trunk in T. paucisquamis); (4) dorsals strongly keeled except for first four rows on anterior two-thirds of trunk and first three rows on posterior one-third of trunk (dorsals smooth in T. battersbyi and smooth or feebly keeled in T. paucisquamis); (5) inter- parietals present, well developed (vs. usually lacking in T. paucisquamis); (6) parietals fully separated by interparietals (vs. parietals in full contact along middorsal line of head in T. paucisquamis); (7) 18 maxillary teeth (vs. 12 maxillary teeth in T. battersbyi); (8) body spotted, dorsal spots small, with approximately two dorsal scales in diameter and irregular in shape (vs. dorsal spots large, rounded or elliptical, up to four scales in diameter in T. battersbyi); and (9) eight spot rows around body, six on dorsum and two on venter (vs. six spot rows around body, four on dorsum and two on venter in T. battersbyi).|
Comparisons with other mainland Tropidophis.—Among the mainland species, the low ventral counts of T. grapiuna only overlap with those of T. taczanowski (146–160). Nonetheless, the difference in ventral counts between T. grapiuna and T. paucisquamis is not that great, because the highest counts recorded in T. grapiuna (155) are only nine scales below the lower limit reported for T. paucisquamis (164). Such variation could be interpreted as a cline, but we rejected this hypothesis because the variation is not continuous; T. grapiuna occurs to the north of T. paucisquamis, and some of the highest ventral counts reported for T. paucis- quamis are of specimens from the northernmost localities of its range (state of Esp ́ırito Santo: USNM 208281 with 183 scales and IBSP 10235 with 179 scales). Furthermore, the presence of well-developed interparietals in T. grapiuna (absent or weakly developed in T. paucisquamis) is another distinctive feature (Hedges, 2002) providing additional support to our taxonomic interpretation.
Subcaudal counts of T. grapiuna (26–30) are comparable to those of T. paucisquamis (29–38) and T. taczanowski (24–33), whereas the only known specimen of T. battersbyi has 41 subcaudals. The occipital light spots of T. grapiuna are more evident and conspicuous than those of any other adult mainland congeners (Fig. 5A, C, E). However, juveniles of T. paucisquamis may present conspicuous, although shorter occipital spots. The postocular stripe of T. grapiuna has somewhat irregular contours, in contrast to the straight- bordered structure of the other South Amer- ican species [CURCIO et al. 2012].
|Etymology||Etymology.—The specific epithet is a noun in apposition deriving from the Brazilian Portuguese ‘‘grapiúna,’’ as a reference to the inhabitants of the cocoa-producing region of the state of Bahia. The word derived from the native language Tupi Guarani (guirá = bird; piúna = dark skin).|