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Boiruna maculata (BOULENGER, 1896)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mussurana
G: Mussurana
Portuguese: Cobra-de-Leite, Cobra-Preta, Coral (juvenil), Coral-Falsa, Limpa-Mato, Limpa-Pasto, Mamadeira, Muçurana, Muçurana-Comum, Mussurana 
SynonymBrachyruton occipito-luteum DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1009
Brachyrhytum occipitoluteum — BOETTGER 1885: 236
Oxyropus [sic] maculatus BOULENGER 1896
Pseudoboa occipitolutea — SERIÉ 1936
Clelia occipitolutea — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970
Clelia occipitolutea — SCOTT & LOVETT 1975
Clelia occipitolutea — FREIBERG 1982
Boiruna maculata — ZAHER 1996
Clelia occipitolutea — FRANCO et al. 1997
Boiruna maculata — LEYNAUD & BUCHER 1999: 15
Boiruna maculata — DOS SANTOS-COSTA et al. 2000
Boiruna maculata — CAMPOS NOGUEIRA 2001
Boiruna maculata — PIZZATTO 2005
Boiruna maculata — SCOTT et al. 2006
Boiruna maculata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 108
Boiruna maculata — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionS Bolivia, Brazil (W Mato Grosso do Sul, S Goias), N/W Argentina (Formosa, Santiago del Estero), Uruguay, Paraguay.

Type locality: Uruguay  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.9.33 ( (maculata) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis – Boiruna maculata in Paraguay and Argentina can generally be distinguished from all species of Clelia except C. plumbea by its larger number of ventrals (212-247; Appendix 4, Fig. 4). There is some overlap in the number of ventrals in female C. clelia (maximum 218) and female B. maculata (minimum 214), and male C. clelia (maximum 213) and male B. maculata (minimum 212). A lack of spines between the arms of the divided sulcus spermaticus (intrasulcal spines) was one of the diagnostic characters that Zaher (1996) used to distinguish the genus Boiruna from Clelia, and these spines were lacking in all of the B. maculata that we examined. However, two of our 7 males of C. clelia are missing one or both of the usual pair of intrasulcal spines (Appendix 2). Large juvenile and adult B. maculata have dark pigmentation on the entire scale in the posterior ventrals and subcaudals (Zaher, 1996; Giraudo, 2002). Clelia rustica may rarely have the posterior ventrals almost entirely black, but there is almost always a clear central portion. Other species of Clelia have mostly clear, ivory- colored ventrals; the dark dorsal coloration invades only the lateral tips and part of the free edges of the ventrals, never covering the entire scale. Among the larger species, the average B. maculata is slightly longer than C. rustica and shorter than C. clelia and C. plumbea (Fig. 3). The tail of B. maculata is relatively shorter than all others except female C. rustica (Fig. 5). Like C. clelia, C. plumbea, and C. rustica, B. maculata usually has 7 supralabials on each side (Appendix 1). The dark dorsal stripe distinguishes hatchling B. maculata from other hatchlings in our area except C. bicolor and C. quimi. The smaller size of hatchling C. bicolor (~180 mm total length) and C. quimi (~205 mm) should serve to separate them from B. maculata (~350 mm), as do the numbers of supralabials and ventrals [from SCOTT et al. 2006]. 
CommentSynonymy: Clelia occipitolutea has been synonymized with Clelia clelia clelia by Scrocci and Vinas (1990). However, FRANCO et al. (1997) argue that Clelia occipitolutea might be a valid species.

Type species: Boiruna maculata is the type species of the genus Boiruna.

The species of Clelia and Boiruna generally show a striking ontogenetic color change, from hatchlings with much orange or red to adults that are dark gray or black.

See ZAHER (1996) for the nomenclatural history of this species. 
EtymologyProbably named after color pattern in some specimens, possibly juveniles, which may show a different pattern than the adults.

The genus has been named after the Tupi-Guarani “Mboi+r+ú [= which eats snakes) +una [= black]”, in allusion to the ophiophagous habits of these black snakes. 
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