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Atractus careolepis KÖHLER & KIECKBUSCH, 2014

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymAtractus careolepis KÖHLER & KIECKBUSCH 2014 
DistributionColombia (Magdalena)

Type locality: Punta de Betin (approximately 11.2522°, -74.2197°, 15 m asl), municipality of Santa Marta, province of Magdalena, Colombia.  
TypesHolotype: SMF 68413, male, collected on August 01, 1970 by M. Henning and F. Klaaßen. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A species of the genus Atractus that differs from all congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) 17 smooth dorsal scale rows; (2) preocular absent; (3) loreal absent; (4) temporals 1+2; (5) seven supralabials; (6) six or seven infralabials; (7) eight maxillary teeth; (8) three gular scale rows; (9) three pre- ventrals; (10) 146 ventrals in single male; (11) 31/32 subcaudals in single male; (12) dorsum of body and tail reddish brown with paired, occasionally slightly alternating lateral vertical cream blotches, approximately one dorsal scale broad, not contacting in vertebral region; (13) venter cream with reddish brown blotches, forming two parallel series on anterior body and a checkered pattern on the rest of body; (14) SVL of single known male 178 mm; (15) small to moderate tail length in single known male (16.3 % of SVL); (16) hemipenis morphology unknown.

Comparisons. Among all currently recognized congeners, Atractus careolepis is most similar in external morphology to A. lancinii, A. macondo, and A. sanctaemartae. Atractus careolepis differs from all of them by the absence of the loreal scale resulting in the contact of the prefrontals with the supralabials (vs. loreal scale present in A. lancinii, A. macondo, and A. sanctaemartae). Atractus careolepis further differs from A. lancinii by having seven supralabials and seven infralabials (vs. eight supralabials and eight infralabials in A. lancinii) and 146 ventrals in the single male (vs. 174–186 ventrals in A. lancinii). Atractus careolepis differs further from A. macondo by having a body pattern of pale transverse bands on a dark dorsum (vs. dorsum uniformly reddish brown in A. macondo); eight maxillary teeth (vs. nine maxillary teeth in A. macondo); three gular scale rows (vs. two rows in A. macondo); and 31–32 subcaudals in the single known male (vs. 29 subcaudals in the single known male). Atractus careolepis differs further from A. sanctaemartae by having a body pattern of pale transverse bands on a brown dorsum in the single known male (vs. black dorsum with alternate light transversal bands in males of A. sanctaemartae). 
EtymologyThe name careolepis is a compound noun derived from careo (Latin for “be without”) and lepis (Greek for “scale”) referring to the absence of the loreal scale in this species. 
  • KÖHLER, GUNTHER & MAX KIECKBUSCH 2014. Two new species of Atractus from Colombia (Reptilia, Squamata, Dipsadidae). Zootaxa 3872 (3): 291–300 - get paper here
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