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Bothrocophias microphthalmus (COPE, 1875)

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesPortuguese: Jararaca, Jararaca-Bicuda, Jararaca-Nariguda 
SynonymBothrops microphthalmus COPE 1876: 182
Bothrops microphthalmus — COPE 1879: 277
Lachesis microphthalmus BOULENGER 1896
Lachesis pleuroxanthus BOULENGER 1912: 423
Bothrops microphtalmus [sic] — PÉREZ-SANTOS & MORENO 1988
Porthidium microphthalmum — SCHÄTTI & KRAMER 1993
Bothrops microphthalmus — WELCH 1994: 33
Bothrops microphthalmus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 267
Bothrocophias microphthalmus — GUTBERLET & CAMPBELL 2001
Bothrops microphthalmus — LEHR et al. 2002
Bothrocophias microphthalmus — HARVEY 2005
Bothrocophias microphthalmus — CARRASCO et al. 2012
Bothrocophias microphthalmus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 113
Bothrocophias cf. microphthalmus — LLANQUI et al. 2019
Bothrocophias microphthalmus — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionEcuador, Peru, NW Bolivia, W Colombia, Brazil (Rondônia)

Type locality: Between Balso Puerto and Moyabamba, Peru.  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 11515 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Bothrocophias microphthalmus is distinguished from all congeners and from species of Bothrops and Bothriopsis by the following combination of characters: (1) lacunolabial absent; (2) dorsal keels tuberculate on posterior of body; (3) infralabials and some gulars brown with cream round or C-shaped marks; (4) canthorostrals usually present; (5) most subcaudals divided; (6) ventrals fewer than 160; (7) loreal elongate; (8) canthals moderate and separated by 3–5 scales; (9) 1–3 scales usually present between internasals; (10) postocular stripe distinct; (11) dorsum brown to charcoal, pattern of bands with distinctive row of black spots on dorsal row 4 of neck and cream stripe on anterior paraventrals (Harvey 2005: 11). 

Synonymy: Lachesis pleuroxanthus has been synonymized with Bothrocophias microphthalmus by most recent authors (e.g. Campbell & Lamar 2004, Wallach et al. 2014). However, the NCBI taxonomy still has an entry for Bothrops pleuroxanthus (taxID 157557), based on an unpublished study by W. Wüster (submitted in Aug 2000.

Taxonomy: SCHÄTTI & KRAMER 1993 didn’t justify their allocation of microphthalmus to Porthidium, hence it has been assigned to Bothrops by some authors (W. Wüster, pers. comm.).

Subspecies: Bothrops microphthalmus colombianus has been elevated to species status.

Distribution: see map in Haprvey 2005: 12 (Fig. 7). See map in Nogueira et al. 2019. 
EtymologyNamed after the Greek micros (= small) and Greek ophthalmos = eye, face. 
  • Bentley, A & Reyes, J P; 2019. Bothrocophias microphthalmus (Small-eyed Toad-headed Pitviper) Diet. Herpetological Review 50 (1): 149 - get paper here
  • BERNARDE, P.S., ALBUQUERQUE, S., BARROS, T.O. & TURCI, L.C.B. 2012. Snakes of Rondônia State, Brazil. Biota Neotropica 12 (3): - get paper here
  • BERNARDE, P.S., ALBUQUERQUE, S., BARROS, T.O. & TURCI, L.C.B. 2012. Serpentes do Estado de Rondônia, Brasil. Biota Neotropica 12 (3): 1-29 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1912. Descriptions of new reptiles from the Andes of South America, preserved in the British Museum. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (8) 10: 420-424 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • Carrasco, P.A., C.I. Mattoni, G.C. Leynaud, and G.J. Scrocchi. 2012. Morphology, phylogeny and taxonomy of South American bothropoid pitvipers (Serpentes, Viperidae). Zoologica Scripta 41: 109-124 - get paper here
  • Carrasco, Paola A.; Leynaud, Gerardo C.; Scrocchi, Gustavo J 2010. Redescription of the southernmost snake species, Bothrops ammodytoides (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae). Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 323-338 - get paper here
  • CATENAZZI, A., LEHR, E. & VON MAY, R. 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Manu National Park and its buffer zone, Amazon basin and eastern slopes of the Andes, Peru. Biota Neotropica 13 (4): 269-283
  • Cisneros-Heredia, Diego F., Maria Olga Borja, Proaño and Jean Marc Touzet. 2006. Distribution and natural history of the Ecuadorian Toad-headed Pitvipers of the genus Bothrocophias. Herpetozoa 19 (1/2):17-26. - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1875. Report on the Reptiles brought by Professor James Orton from the middle and upper Amazon and western Peru. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia N.S. (2) 8: 159-183 [sometimes thought to be published 1876 but see Murphy et al. 2007 for clarification] - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1879. Eleventh contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 18: 261-277. - get paper here
  • Dueñas, M R & Valencia, J H 2018. Bothrocophias microphthalmus (Small-eyed Toad-headed Pitviper) Habitat use and diet. Herpetological Review 49 (3): 542 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Gutberlet, R.L. & Campbell, J.A. 2001. Generic recognition for a neglected lineage of South American pitvipers (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae), with the description of a new species from the Colombian Chocó. American Museum Novitates (3316): 1-15 - get paper here
  • Harvey, M.B.; et al. 2005. Revision of the venomous snakes of Bolivia. II. The pitvipers (Serpentes: Viperidae). Annals of the Carnegie Museum 74 (1): 1-38. - get paper here
  • KUCH, U. & FREIRE, A. 1995. Notes on morphology, reproduction and medical importance of the poorly known Small-eyed Lancehead, Bothrops microphthalmus COPE, 1876 in Ecuador. Herpetozoa 8 - get paper here
  • Lehr, E. 2002. Amphibien und Reptilien in Peru. Natur und Tier-Verlag (Münster), 208 pp. - get paper here
  • Lehr, E. & Lara, J. 2002. Die Schlangenfauna von Pozuzo (Peru) (Reptilia: Serpentes). Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 22 (2): 353-359 - get paper here
  • Llanqui IB, Salas CY, Oblitas MP 2019. A preliminary checklist of amphibians and reptiles from the vicinity of La Nube Biological Station, Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, Peru. Check List 15 (5): 773–796 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Monzel, Markus & Wolfgang Wüster 2008. Neotropische Grubenottern – Evolution, Biogeographie und Ökologie. Draco 8 (33): 4-27 - get paper here
  • MURPHY R. W., SMITH A. and NGO A. 2007. The versions of Cope's Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica. Bibliotheca Herpetologica 7 (1): - 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
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • Schätti B; Kramer E 1993. Ecuadorianische Grubenottern der Gattungen Bothriechis, Bothrops und Porthidium (Serpentes: Viperidae). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 100 (2): 235-278 - get paper here
  • TIMMS, JUAN; JUAN C. CHAPARRO, PABLO J. VENEGAS, DAVID SALAZAR-VALENZUELA, GUSTAVO SCROCCHI, JAIRO CUEVAS, GERARDO LEYNAUD, PAOLA A. CARRASCO 2019. A new species of pitviper of the genus Bothrops (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from the Central Andes of South America. Zootaxa 4656 (1): 099–120 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - get paper here
  • Valencia, J. H., K. Garzón-Tello & M. E. Barragán-Paladines 2016. Serpientes venenosas del Ecuador: sistemática, taxonomía, historia natural, conservación, envenenamiento y aspectos antropológicos. Quito, Ecuador, Fundación Herpetológica Gustavo Orcés, Universidad de Texas, Fondo Ambiental Nacional, 652 pp. [review in HR 49 (1): 152, 2018]
  • 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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