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Bothrops ammodytoides LEYBOLD, 1873

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Yararanata
G: Yararanata 
SynonymBothrops ammodytoides LEYBOLD 1873: 80
Rhinocerophis nasus GARMAN 1881
Bothrops patagonicus MÜLLER 1885
Bothrops burmeisteri KOSLOWSKY 1895: 369
Lachesis ammodytoides — BOULENGER 1896
Bothrops ammodytoides — AMARAL 1929
Bothrops ammodytoides — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970
Bothrops ammodytoides — CEI 1993
Bothrops ammodytoides — WELCH 1994: 31
Bothrops ammodytoides — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 253
Rhinocerophis ammodytoides — FENWICK et al. 2009
Bothrops ammodytoides — CARRASCO et al. 2012
Rhinocerophis ammodytoides — WALLACH et al. 2014: 648 
DistributionArgentina (Tucuman to Chubut and Patagonia, Neuquén, Rio Negro, Mendoza, La Pampa, Buenos Aires, San Juan, San Luis, La Rioja, Córdoba, Catamarca).

Type locality: Norte de Argentina  
TypesHolotype: MCZ R-2063, but unlocated fide MCDIARMID et al. 1999. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Rhinocerophis differs from other South American pitvipers in 27 mitochondrial characters, and in having few (1 or 2) palatine teeth (versus 3–6 teeth), which is a morphological synapomorphy (Table 4). Distribution in southern South America, combined with terrestrial habitat in open areas, grasslands, swamps, or broad-leaf and Araucaria forests, distinguishes this genus from others (see Table 4). Rhinocerophis individuals have the maxillary fang shorter than the height of the maxilla, and show black bars on the gular scales of some species (R. alternatus, R. cotiara, R. fonsecai, and R. jonathani). Rhinocerophis have fewer subcaudals (25– 55) than the other genera (31–86), and some specimens have high numbers of supralabials (7–10, also seen in Bothropoides; other South American genera have 7–8). Rhinocerophis differs from Bothrops and Bothriopsis in having the prelacunal scale separated from the second supralabial. It differs from Bothriopsis in the lack of green coloration, and in the lack of a prehensile tail. It differs from Bothrocophias in the lack of tuberculate keels on posterior dorsal scales. Almost all species differ from Bothrocophias in colour pattern: whereas Bothrocophias species have spadeshaped dorsal markings lacking spots between the spades, Rhinocerophis species have spots between the spades (R. alternatus, R. cotiara, and R. fonsecai), have trapezoidal markings with spots between them (R. itapetiningae), or have a checkered pattern (R. ammodytoides). Only R. jonathani lacks spots between spades, but it can be distinguished by the presence of black bars on the gular scales, as mentioned above. 

This species might be the southernmost snake species worldwide (to 47°).

Type species: Rhinocerophis nasus GARMAN 1881 is the type species of the genus Rhinocerophis GARMAN 1881. Note, however, that Rhinocerophis has been synonymized with Bothrops by CARRASCO et al. 2012. 
EtymologyNamed after Greek ammodutēs = sand-dweller (Bodson 2014), from ammos = “sand”, and dutes = “burrower” or “diver”.

The genus name Rhinocerophis is derived from the Latin Rhinoceros, meaning ‘nose-horn’, referring to the strongly upturned snout of R. ammodytoides, and ophis, meaning ‘snake’. Names ending in this suffix are masculine. 
  • BRIZIO, M. V., MINOLI, I., PÉREZ, D. R., & AVILA, L. J. 2023. Reptiles of the Auca Mahuida natural protected area, Argentina. Rev. Mus. Argentino Cienc. Nat., n.s. 25(1): 133-142 - 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, P.A.; Harvey, M.B. & Muñoz Saravia, A. 2009. The rare Andean pitviper Rhinocerophis jonathani (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae): redescription with comments on its systematics and biogeography. Zootaxa 2283: 1–15 - 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
  • FENWICK, ALLYSON M.; RONALD L. GUTBERLET JR, JENNAFER A. EVANS, CHRISTOPHER L. PARKINSON 2009. Morphological and molecular evidence for phylogeny and classification of South American pitvipers, genera Bothrops, Bothriopsis, and Bothrocophias (Serpentes: Viperidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 156 (3): 617-640 - get paper here
  • Koslowsky,J. 1895. Batracios y reptiles de Rioja y Catamarca. Rev. Mus. La Plata 6: 359-370 - get paper here
  • Leybold, F. 1873. Excursión a las Pampas argentinas, Hojas de mi diario. Santiago, 108 pp. - 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.
  • Minoli I, Morando M, Avila LJ 2015. Reptiles of Chubut province, Argentina: richness, diversity, conservation status and geographic distribution maps. ZooKeys 498: 103-126. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.498.7476 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Scrocchi, G.J. 1997. Acerca de la localidad tipo de Bothrops ammodytoides Leybold (Serpentes, viperidae) y Pseudotomodon trigonatus (Leybold) (Serpentes: Colubridae). Cuadernos de Herpetologia 11 (1-2):69-70 - get paper here
  • Scrocchi, G.J.; Moreta, J.C. & Kretzschmar, S. 2006. Serpientes del Noroeste Argento [Jujuy, Salta, Tucumán, Catamarca, La Rioja, Santiago del Estero]. Fundación Miguel Lillo, Tucumán, 178 pp.
  • Scrocchi, Gustavo J.; Cristian S. Abdala,Javier Nori, Hussam Zaher 2010. Reptiles de la provincia de Río Negro, Argentina. Fondo Ed. Rionegrino, 249 pp.
  • Vera, David G, Diego O Di Pietro, Clara Trofino Falasco, Germán Tettamanti, Luciana Iriarte, Micaela Harkes, Federico P Kacoliris, and Igor Berkunsky. 2022. Identifying Key Conservation Sites for the Reptiles of the Tandilia Mountains in Pampas Highlands. Journal for Nature Conservation, 126321 - 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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