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Bothrops monsignifer TIMMS, CHAPARRO, VENEGAS, SALAZAR-VALENZUELA, SCROCCHI, CUEVAS, LEYNAUD & CARRASCO, 2019

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymBothrops monsignifer TIMMS, CHAPARRO, VENEGAS, SALAZAR-VALENZUELA, SCROCCHI, CUEVAS, LEYNAUD & CARRASCO 2019
Bothrops andianus — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004 (Fig. 126, not text) (not AMARAL 1923)
Bothrops mattogrossensis — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004 (Plate 645, not text) [not Amaral 1925]
Bothrops sanctaecrucis — MIRANDA-CALLE & AGUILAR-KIRIGIN 2011, part [not Hoge 1966]
 
DistributionBolivia (Santa Cruz)

Type locality: 13 km southwest to Refugio Los Volcanes (18°11'51.10"S, 63°40'5.95"W; 1658 m above sea level, asl hereafter), Cuevas Ecological Center, province of Florida, department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. MNK 5556, adult female; (Figs. 5A, 7A, 8B, F in Timms et al. 2019) collected by local people on March 11, 2017. The specimen was legated to MNK by J. Timms.
Paratypes. Nine specimens. Subadult female (MNK 5557; Fig. 5B, 7B) collected by J. Timms on March 22, 2017 at El Palmar, (18°11'46.19"S, 63°40'1.82"W, 1629 m asl), Cuevas Ecological Center, province of Florida, department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia; adult male (MNK 4313) collected by H. Fernández and M. Amaya on April 22, 2007 at Laguna Volcan (18°7'19.9"S, 63°38'57.8"W; 1120 m asl), province of Florida, department of Santa Cruz, Bolivia; adult female (CBF 3359) collected by A. Apaza, date unknown, at Bajo Hornuni (16°12'54.4"S, 67°53'09.8"W; 1935 m asl), Cotapata National Park, province of Nor Yungas, department of La Paz, Bolivia; adult female (CORBIDI 10377; Figs. 5C, 6A, 7C, 8C) collected by local people on January 5, 2007 at San Juan del Oro (14°16'56.11"S, 69°13'14.71"W; 1993 m asl), district of Yanahuaya, province of Sandia, department of Puno, Peru; two juvenile males (CORBIDI 2058, 2067; Figs. 5E–F, 6B–C, 7F, 8A), offspring of CORBIDI 10377, born in captivity on February 3, 2007; subadult female (MUBI 5675; Figs. 7D, 8D–E) collected by J.C. Chaparro and A.J. Quiroz on November 15, 2006 at Pacopacuni (13°52'29.7"S, 69°40'05.4"W; 898 m asl), province of Sandia, depart- ment of Puno, Peru; subadult male (MUBI 5677; Figs. 7E) collected by J.C. Chaparro and A.J. Quiroz on November 16, 2006 at Chuine (14°1'9.20"S, 69°43'35.20"W; 1500 m asl), province of Carabaya, department of Puno, Peru; subadult female (MUSM 25600; Figs. 5D, 6D) collected by D. Rodríguez on September 30, 2006 at San Gabán (13°32'55.77"S, 70°26'24.69"W; 891 m asl), province of Carabaya, department of Puno, Peru. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Bothrops monsignifer may be distinguished from its congeners by the unique combination of the following morphological features: canthorostrals, a feature absent in the rest of Bothrops, present in some speci- mens; prelacunal fused or partially fused with 2nd supralabial; internasals 1/1, sometimes separated by one scale; rostral trapezoidal; canthals 1/1, oval to rounded, with similar size or slightly larger than internasals; medial inter- canthals 3–4; intersupraoculars 8–12; intercanthals and intersupraoculars keeled and frequently slightly keeled; supraoculars oval; suboculars 1–3; postoculars 2–3; loreal subtriangular; prefoveals 2–6; subfoveals absent; postfo- veals 0–2; scales between suboculars and 4th supralabial 1–2; supralabials 7–8; infralabials 9–11; middorsal scales 23–25; ventrals in females 189–195, in males 182–190; subcaudals in females 48–58, in males 54–63; subcaudals divided, exceptionally some of them entire; dorsal blotches triangular or subtriangular dark brown, usually fused on the vertebral line; additional markings between the blotches absent or faint in females, present and conspicuous in males; conspicuous and dark postocular stripe, 2.5–3.0 scales width, starting posteriorly to the eye, encroaching 2–3 supralabials and one infralabial, not bordered dorsally by a pale band (a feature displayed by many bothropoid species).

Comparisons (conditions for other species in parentheses) (Fig. 9). Bothrops monsignifer is easily distin- guished from the species of Bothrocophias by the pattern of subtriangular and conspicuous dorsolateral blotches along the body (vs. crossbands irregularly outlined), the absence of upturned snout (vs. presence) and the absence of tuberculate keels in body scales (vs. presence). However, Bothrops monsignifer is similar to Bothrocophias mi- crophthalmus and B. hyoprora by the presence of canthorostrals, tiny scales located between the rostral, nasal, in- ternasal and/or canthal (Fig. 8D). Although not present in all the specimens of Bothrops monsignifer, these unusual scales distinguish the new species from its congeners, as they were not observed in any other species of Bothrops.
Bothrops monsignifer is easily distinguished from the species of the “B. alternatus” and “B. neuwiedi” groups by the condition of the prelacunal scale fused with 2nd supralabial (Figs. 8B–D) (vs. not fused), and the absence of subfoveals (vs. presence). They are also distinguished by the pattern of subtriangular and conspicuous dorsolateral blotches on the body (vs. C-shaped or rectangular in “Bothrops alternatus” and trapezoidal in “B. neuwiedi”). Some immature males of Bothrops monsignifer may be confused with B. mattogrossensis (geographically close member of “B. neuwiedi”), because of their dark spots between dorsolateral blotches and labial scales (which tend to fade in adult males), features present in B. mattogrossensis.
The new species is distinguished from species of the “Bothrops atrox” and “B. jararaca” groups by the oval to rounded canthals (Figs. 8E–F) (vs. elongated). It can be distinguished from Bothrops atrox (a geographically close member of the “B. atrox” group) by its pattern of subtriangular and conspicuous dorsolateral blotches (vs. trapezoi- dal with diffuse and pale edges), the presence of white bands over a dark ground color on the tail (vs. absence) and the ventral speckling (vs. ventral checkerboard pattern). Bothrops monsignifer can be easily distinguished from the species of the “B. taeniatus” group by the pattern of dorsolateral subtriangular body blotches (vs. banded) and the absence of black-greenish or brown-greenish coloration (vs. presence).
Bothrops monsignifer is similar to species of the “B. atrox”, “B. jararaca”, “B. jararacussu”, and “B. taeniatus” groups in the presence of a lacunolabial (i.e. prelacunal fused with 2nd supralabial) and the absence of subfoveals. They also share the general shape of supralabials, which are bigger in size than those of species of the “Bothrops alternatus” and “B. neuwiedi” groups. The new species is most similar to Bothrops sanctaecrucis and B. brazili, geographically close species of the “B. jararacussu” group. They resemble each other in having oval to rounded internasals and canthals, and dark, conspicuous, triangular or subtriangular dorsolateral blotches. The absence of additional markings between dorsolateral blotches has only been observed in Bothrops muriciencis (a member of “B. jararacussu”, endemic to northeastern Brazil). Bothrops monsignifer can be distinguished from B. brazili by numbers of ventrals, prefoveals, medial intercanthals and gulars (Table 2), larger dorsolateral blotches, and broad dark brown postocular stripe (vs. thin light brown or gray). It can be distinguished from Bothrops sanctaecrucis by numbers of ventrals, prefoveals, medial intercanthals, gulars and intersupraoculars (Table 2), and by the relative size of canthals (small vs. large). The new species may be confused with Bothrops sanctaecrucis given their simi- lar pattern of body coloration, but they are easily distinguished by the condition of the postocular stripe, which is conspicuous and wide in B. monsignifer and faint or absent in B. sanctaecrucis. We refer to Table 2 for additional comparisons between Bothrops monsignifer and geographically close species of Bothrocophias and Bothrops. 
Comment 
References
  • Koch, C. 2020. Schon die zweite neue Grubenotter aus Peru in diesem Jahr. Elaphe 2020 (1): 66-67
  • 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
 
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