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Xenopholis werdingorum JANSEN, ÁLVAREZ & KÖHLER, 2009

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesPortuguese: Cobra-Barriga-de-Fogo 
SynonymXenopholis werdingorum JANSEN, ÁLVAREZ & KÖHLER 2009
Xenopholis werdingorum — WALLACH et al. 2014: 803
Xenopholis werdingorum — PIATTI et al. 2019
Xenopholis werdingorum — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionBolivia (Santa Cruz: Cerrado), Brazil

Type locality: Hacienda San Sebastián (S 16°21.676’, W 62°00.017’, 550 m), Province of Ñuflo de Chávez, Department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  
TypesHolotype: MNK R 4700, adult female; collected about 2300 hours on 25 October 2006 by M. Jansen and A. Schulze. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: The new species can be identified as a member of the genus Xenopholis by its characteristic vertebral morphology (see Boulenger (1896): Externally, the new species differs from all other species of Xenopholis and all members of Clelia by having a unique dorsal color pattern (dorsal and dorsolateral surfaces of head and body dark brown with an iridescent sheen, grading to yellowish orange laterally and onto venter). The new species can be distinguished from all other species of Xenopholis and all members of Clelia by the following combination of characters: (1) 19-19-17 dorsal scale rows; (2) 171–179 ventrals (mean 176, n = 3); (3) 38–40 subcaudals (mean 39, n = 3); (4) no apical pits on dorsal scales; (5) two to three supralabials in contact with the eye; (6) eye diameter 0.35 times the distance between the eye and the tip of the snout; (7) one anterior and two posterior temporals; (8) two prefrontals; (9) a narrow septum within the neural spine and perpendicular to its long axis, as seen in x-ray images. Xenopholis werdingorum differs from X. scalaris (features of X. scalaris in parentheses) in color pattern (dirty brick red above, narrow black spots on the sides; Fig. 8 in Jansen et al. 2009); number of prefrontals (one prefrontal); shape of loreal (loreal as long as wide or only slightly longer); number of supralabials in contact with the eye (two); number of ventrals (127–146); dorsal scale rows at midbody (17-17-17); number of subcaudals (28–36); and vertebral morphology (no narrow septum within the neural spine visible in x-ray images, Fig. 7). From X. undulatus, the new species is distinguished (features of X. undulatus in parentheses) in body color pattern (dorsal ground color yellowish, with a brown or black undulating band and lateral series of black spots; Fig. 9); coloration of head (dark streak behind the eye present; upper lip yellowish); and number of supralabials entering the eye (usually two, rarely three). From the superficially similar species of the genus Clelia (C. bicolor, C. clelia, C. equatoriana, C. errabunda, C. hussami, C. langeri, C. montana, C. plumbea, C. rustica, C. scytalina, and C. quimi) the new species of Xenopholis differs (characters of Clelia in parentheses) by number of subcaudals (more than 43 in all species of Clelia); number of ventrals in females (more than 192, except C. bicolor); supralabials in contact with the eye (two); anterior temporals (usually two, rarely one in C. rustica and C. bicolor; Fig. 10); and eye diameter (0.5 times the distance between the eye and the tip of the snout). (JANSEN et al. 2009). 
EtymologyThe name werdingorum is a noun in the genitive case, proposed to honor the family Werding, owners of type locality Hacienda San Sebastián. Lutz Werding provided great hospitality and encouragement for Jansene et al. and their inventories of the flora and fauna on their property. Furthermore, the family Werding generously provided broad logistic and financial support for the building of a biological research station (Centro de Investigaciónes Ecológicas Chiquitos) on their grounds. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Costa, Henrique Caldeira & Renato Silveira Bérnils 2015. Répteis brasileiros: lista de espécies 2015. Herpetologia Brasileira 4 (3): 75-93
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira 9 (2): 121 – 214 - get paper here
  • JANSEN, MARTIN; LUCINDO GONZALES ÁLVAREZ & GUNTHER KÖHLER 2009. Description of a new species of Xenopholis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from the Cerrado of Bolivia, with comments on Xenopholis scalaris in Bolivia. Zootaxa 2222: 31-45 - get paper here
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo, Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins, Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, 2019. Atlas of Brazilian snakes: verified point-locality maps to mitigate the Wallacean shortfall in a megadiverse snake fauna. South American J. Herp. 14 (Special Issue 1):1-274 - get paper here
  • Piatti, Liliana; Rosauer, Dan F; de C. Nogueira, Cristiano; Strussmann, Christine; Ferreira, Vanda Lúcia; Martins, Marcio 2019. Snake diversity in floodplains of central South America: Is flood pulse the principal driver? Acta Oecologica 97, 34–41 (2019). - get paper here
  • Powell, Randy L.; Cord Blake Eversole, Ashton V. Crocker, Dennis Lizarro, Reinaldo Cholima Bravo 2016. Xenopholis werdingorum, Jansen, Álvarez & Köhler, 2009 (Squamata: Dipsadidae): range extension with comments on distribution. Check List 12 (5): - 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.
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