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Adelphicos nigrilatum SMITH, 1942

IUCN Red List - Adelphicos nigrilatum - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Burrowing Snake
S: Ocotera 
SynonymAdelphicos veraepacis nigrilatus SMITH 1942: 182
Adelphicos latifasciatus SMITH 1942
Adelphicos veraepacis nigrilatus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 16
Adelphicos veraepacis — ALVAREZ DEL TORO 1982 (fide VILLA et al. 1988)
Adelphicos nigrilatus — LINER 1994
Adelphicos nigrilatum — LINER 2007
Adelphicos nigrilatum — WALLACH et al. 2014: 9
Adelphicos nigrilatus — HEIMES 2016: 204 
DistributionMexico (Chiapas)

Type locality: San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico (fide SMITH & TAYLOR 1950)  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 100110 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. The most variable member of the veraepacis group; most easily distinguished from A. daryi and A. veraepacis by its bright orange, red, or pale brown ground color. The vertebral scale row is pale in coloration when the middorsal stripe is absent, thereby distinguishing this species from A. daryi and A. veraepacis: when present, it involves only the vertebral scale row, thereby distinguishing this species from A. latifasciatus. In most specimens the venter is unpigmented, distinguishing A. nigrilatus from A. daryi and A. veraepacis, whereas in a few specimens the possession of heavy pigmentation midventrally distinguishes A. nigrilatus from A. latifasciatus, and it lacks the dark anterior edging characteristic of A. daryi and A. veraepacis. Adelphicos nigrilatus may be distinguished from A. latifasciatus by having fewer subcaudals (21-26) and 26—36 in males and females, respectively) and relatively shorter tail in males and females, 13.5—18.9% (16.2%) and 10.3— 12.9% (11.6%) of the total length, respectively. Female A. nigrilatus generally have fewer ventrals than do those of A. veraepacis and A. latifasciatus (Campbell & Ford 1982).

Coloration: The ground color of this species is generally bright orange in life, fading to a pale beige or tan in preservative. Black lateral stripes frequently involve the upper portion of scale row 2, all of 3, and the lower portion of scale row 4 (33 of 53 specimens), but also may be located on scale row 3 (7), upper 3 and lower 4 (6), upper 1, 2, lower 3 (3), upper 1, 2, 3, lower 4 (2), upper 3, 4, lower 5 ( 1 ) . The paravertebral stripes may be absent ( 16 or 53 specimens), but usually are present on scale row 6 (18), upper 6 and lower 7 (10), upper 5 and lower 6 (7), 5 (1), or lower 7(1). The vertebral stripe is absent in 11 specimens, present but broken in three, and unbroken in 39 (Campbell & Ford 1982). 
EtymologyThe name nigrilatus is derived from the Latin nigri meaning black, and lotus meaning side, and refers to the distinctive lateral stripes on the body. 
  • Campbell J A; Brodie E D Jr 1988. A new colubrid snake of the genus Adelphicos from Guatemala. Herpetologica 44 (4): 416-422 - get paper here
  • Campbell J A; Ford L S 1982. Phylogenetic relationships of the colubrid snakes of the genus Adelphicos in the highlands of Middle America. OCCASIONAL PAPERS OF THE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS (No. 100): 1-22 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Johnson, Jerry D.; Vicente Mata-Silva, Elí García Padilla, and Larry David Wilson 2015. The Herpetofauna of Chiapas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (3): 272–329. - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 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
  • Smith, H.M. 1942. A review of the snake genus Adelphicos. Proc. Rochester Acad. Sci. 8: 175-195 - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M. & Taylor, Edward H. 1950. Type localities of Mexican reptiles and amphibians. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 33 (8): 313-380 - 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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