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Chironius spixii (HALLOWELL, 1845)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Sipo 
SynonymColuber Spixii HALLOWELL 1845: 241
Coluber pickeringii HALLOWELL 1845: 242
Chironius spixii — DONOSO-BARROS 1969: 193
Chironius carinatus spixii — MARKEZICH 2002
Chironius spixi — HOLLIS 2006
Chironius spixi — RIVAS et al. 2012
Chironius spixii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 162 
DistributionColombia, Venezuela (Falcon etc.)

Type locality: None designated. Restricted to Venezuela by Roze (1958: 2).  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 5641 
CommentSynonymy partly after PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970.

Max. total length: 175 cm

Subspecies: Ch. (carinatus) spixi is the only taxon in Chironius that does not undergo an ontogenetic change in eye size, perhaps because it is also the only Chironius species that does not spend the majority of its time in closed-canopy forests (DIXON et al. 1993). Ch. carinatus spixi intergrades with carinatus carinatus in Venezuela (Dixon et al., 1993: 69, 72).

Habitat: Ch. carinatus flavopictus prefers evergreen rainforest while carinatus spixi inhabits dry forests and savannas (Dixon et al., 1993). Semi-arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018).

Distribution: Map: Dixon et al. 1993: 69. 
  • Hallowell, E. 1845. Descriptions of reptiles from South America, supposed to be new. Proc. Acad. nat. Sci. Philad., 2: 241-247 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Hollis, J.L. 2006. Phylogenetics of the genus Chironius Fitzinger 1826 (Serpenes, Colubridae) based on morphology. Herpetologica 62 (4): 435-452 - get paper here
  • Markezich, A.L. 2002. New distribution records of reptiles from Western Venezuela. Herpetological Review 33 (1): 69-74 - get paper here
  • Natera-Mumaw, Marco; Luis Felipe Esqueda-González & Manuel Castelaín-Fernández 2015. Atlas Serpientes de Venezuela. Santiago de Chile, Dimacofi Negocios Avanzados S.A., 456 pp. - get paper here
  • Rabosky, Daniel L.; Rudolf von May, Michael C. Grundler and Alison R. Davis Rabosky 2019. The Western Amazonian Richness Gradient for Squamate Reptiles: Are There Really Fewer Snakes and Lizards in Southwestern Amazonian Lowlands? Diversity 11: 199; doi:10.3390/d11100199 - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Roberto, I. J. and Souza, A. R. 2020. Review of prey items recorded for snakes of the genus Chironius (Squamata, Colubridae), including the first record of Osteocephalus as prey. Herpetology Notes 13: 1-5. - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal, O., Echevarría, L.Y., Lobos, S.E., Venegas, P.J., Kok, P.J.R. 2018. Phylogeny, diversity and biogeography of Neotropical sipo snakes (Serpentes: Colubrinae: Chironius). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 130: 315-329 - 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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