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Arrhyton vittatum (GUNDLACH, 1861)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Alsophiini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Cuban Short-tailed Racerlet, Common Island Racer 
SynonymCryptodacus vittatus GUNDLACH in PETERS 1861: 1003
Arrhyton bivittatum COPE 1862: 82
Arrhyton vittatum — SCHMIDT 1920: 6
Arrhyton vittatum — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 591
Arrhyton vittatum — CROTHER 1999
Arrhyton vittatum — ZAHER et al. 2009
Arrhyton vittatum — WALLACH et al. 2014: 56
Arrhyton vittatum — DÍAZ et al. 2021 
DistributionCuba, Isla de la Juventud

Type locality: Cárdenas, Matanzas Province, Cuba.  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 4096.
Holotype: USNM 5784 [Arrhyton bivattatum] 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Maximum SVL 207 mm; ventrals 107-123 in males, 108-122 in females; subcaudals 52-76 in males, 52-81 in females; ventrals + subcaudals 155-198 in males, 165-195 in females; dorsal scale rows at midbody 17; supralabials 7; infralabials 8; preoculars 1/1; postoculars 2/2; loreals 1/1; rostral not distinctly upturned; head neither conspicuously flattened nor broad; anal divided. Dorsal pattern a series of 3 dark brown longitudinal lines, the lateralmost lying on dorsal scale rows 3 and 4 (occasionally on 2 to 5), and much darker than median line; lined pattern of similar intensity in juveniles and adults; dorsal cephalic pattern a dark brown blotch, margins ill defined and not outlined distinctly with white; brown median dorsal line begins at posterior edge of cephalic cap and usually joins it; brown lorealline extends from naris through eye and temporals, thence along scale rows 3 and 4 (usually); ventral color white to pale pinkish; some brown stippling or suffusion on infralabials and chin in general (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 591). 
CommentFor illustrations see Barbour and Ramsden, 1919; Grant, Smith, and Dalmau, 1959; Schwartz and Garrido, 1981.

Distribution: see map in Díaz et al. 2021: Fig. 5. 
  • Amaro-Valdés, Seriocha and Ernesto Morell-Savall 2017. First notes on reproduction of Cuban snakes in the endemic genus Arrhyton Günther 1858 (Squamata: Dipsadidae). IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 24 (1): 47–50 - get paper here
  • Barbour, T. and C. T. Ramsden. 1919. The herpetology of Cuba. Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., Harvard Coll. 47: 69-213. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1862. Synopsis of the species of Holcosus and Ameiva, with diagnoses of new West Indian and South American Colubridae. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 14: 60-82. - get paper here
  • DÍAZ, L. M., FONG G., A., SALAS, D., & HEDGES, S. B. 2021. A new semifossorial snake of the genus Arrhyton (Squamata: Dipsadidae) from eastern Cuba, with taxonomic comments on other species. Zootaxa, 5052 (3): 406-418 - get paper here
  • FUNDORA, DAYLON & JAVIER TORRES LÓPEZ. 2022. Agregating behavior in the Cuban Short-Tailed Racerlet, Arrhyton vittatum (Squamata: Dipsadidae). Reptiles & Amphibians 29(1): 33–34. - get paper here
  • Grant, C.,Smith, H.M., and (Alayo) Dalmau, P. 1959. The status of snakes of the genus Arrhyton in Cuba. Herpetologica 15 (3): 129-33. - get paper here
  • Maglio, Vincent J. 1970. West Indian Xenodontine colubrid snakes: Their probable origin, phylogeny, and zoogeography. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 141 (1): 1-54 - get paper here
  • Peters, W. 1861. Über zwei neue von Hrn. Dr. Gundlach auf Cuba entdeckte Schlangen, Tropidonotus cubanus und Cryptodacus vittatus. Monatsb. Königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1861 : 1001-1004. - get paper here
  • Rodríguez Schettino, Lourdes, Carlos A. Mancina & Vilma Rivalta González 2013. REPTILES OF CUBA: CHECKLIST AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTIONS. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (144): 1-96 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K. P. 1920. Some new and rare amphibians and reptiles from Cuba. Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New York 33: 3–6
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Schwartz, A. and O. H. Garrido. 1981. A review of the Cuban members of the genus Arrhyton (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae). Annals of the Carnegie Museum 50: 207-230.
  • 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.
  • Zaher, Hussam; Grazziotin, Felipe Gobbi; Cadle, John E.; Murphy, Robert W.; Moura-Leite, Julio Cesar de; Bonatto, Sandro L 2009. Molecular phylogeny of advanced snakes (Serpentes, Caenophidia) with an emphasis on South American Xenodontines: a revised classification and descriptions of new taxa. Pap. Avulsos Zool. (São Paulo) 49 (11): 115-153 - get paper here
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