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Crotalus ericsmithi CAMPBELL & FLORES-VILLELA, 2008

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Guerreran Long-tailed Rattlesnake
S: Cascabel Cola-larga de Guerrero 
SynonymCrotalus ericsmithi CAMPBELL & FLORES-VILLELA 2008
Cummingea ericsmithi — HOSER 2009
Crotalus ericsmithi — REYES-VELASCO et al. 2013
Crotalus ericsmithi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 190 
DistributionSW Mexico (Guerrero)

Type locality: Carretera La Laguna–Bajitos de la Laguna, Guerrero, Sierra Madre del Sur, Mexico, 1037 m elevation, 17.55330° N, 100.77472° W.  
TypesHolotype: UTA R-55372, adult male. The type was collected as it crawled along the 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Distinguished from all other rattlesnakes except C. stejnegeri and C. lannomi in having a long tail (15.9% of TL in adult male holotype) with a tiny rattle (proximal rattle segment 2.2 mm in holotype). Canthals relatively large and separated by two (anteriorly) or a single (posteriorly) small scales (canthals moderately small and sepa- rated by two or three large scales in C. stejnegeri and C. lannomi); intersupraoculars relatively small, 5 (somewhat smaller, 6–8, rarely 5, in C. stejnegeri; large and flat, 4, in C. lannomi); first pair of infralabials mostly separated by the mental (in broad contact in C. stejnegeri and C. lannomi); the second pair of infralabials in broad contact with chin-shields (often excluded or in narrow contact in C. stejnegeri); ventrals 172 in single male (172–178 in male C. stejnegeri); subcaudals 41 (42–45 in male C. stejnegeri); hemipenis with spines on proximal portion of lobes grading abruptly to calyces and large ridged calyces covering apex of each lobe (spines gradually grading to calyces and distal portion of lobe smooth in C. stejnegeri). The type of C. ericsmithi has a longer tail (15.9% of TL) and proportionally smaller rattle (proximal segment 2.2 mm) than any known species of rattlesnake. In C. lannomi the dorsal head and body markings appear to be slightly more boldly outlined in black than the other two species of long-tailed rattlesnakes and the dark lower border of the postocular stripe continues beneath and in front of the eye to merge with the dark border of the snout blotch; the postocular stripe reaches the rictus, whereas it is separated from the rictus by the ultimate supralabial in C. ericsmithi. In C. lannomi the pale bar across the middle third of the supraocular is not well defined and black markings on these scales are irregular. Crotalus lannomi has two (vs. one in C. ericsmithi) occipital spots. Crotalus lannomi differs from C. stejnegeri by having fewer prefoveals (5 vs. 7–8), fewer intersupraoculars (4 vs. 7–8), and fewer middorsal body blotches (31 vs. 34–43). Crotalus lannomi appears to have a somewhat stouter body than either C. ericsmithi or C. stejnegeri.

Nomenclature: Hoser’s 2009 classification and nomenclature has been rejected as unnecessary and unavailable by WÜSTER & BERNILS 2011. 
EtymologyNamed for Eric N. Smith. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Campbell, Jonathan A. and Oscar Flores-Villela 2008. A New Long-Tailed Rattlesnake (Viperidae) From Guerrero, Mexico. Herpetologica 64 (2): 246-257 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Hoser, R. 2009. A reclassification of the rattlesnakes; species formerly exclusively referred to the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus. Australasian J. Herpetol. 3: 1-21 - get paper here
  • Jadin, Robert C.; Jacobo Reyes Velasco and Eric N. Smith 2010. Hemipenes of the long-tailed rattlesnakes (Serpentes: Viperidae) from Mexico. Phyllomedusa 9 (1): 69-74 - get paper here
  • Meik, Jesse M and André Pires-daSilva 2009. Evolutionary morphology of the rattlesnake style. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2009, 9:35 - get paper here
  • OLIVEIRA-DALLAND, LUIS G.; LAURA R.V. ALENCAR, LEANDRO R. TAMBOSI, PAOLA A. CARRASCO, RHETT M. RAUTSAW, JESUS SIGALA-RODRIGUEZ, GUSTAVO SCROCCHI & MARCIO MARTINS. 2022. Conservation gaps for Neotropical vipers: Mismatches between protected areas, species richness and evolutionary distinctiveness. Biological Conservation 275(109750). - get paper here
  • Palacios-Aguilar, Ricardo & OSCAR FLORES-VILLELA 2018. An updated checklist of the herpetofauna from Guerrero, Mexico. Zootaxa 4422 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Reyes-Velasco, Jacobo; Jesse M. Meik, Eric N. Smith, Todd A. Castoe 2013. Phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic longtailed rattlesnakes (Crotalus ericsmithi, C. lannomi, and C. stejnegeri). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 69 (3): 524–534 - 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.
  • Wüster, W. & Bérnils, R.S. 2011. On the generic classification of the rattlesnakes, with special reference to the Neotropical Crotalus durissus complex (Squamata: Viperidae). ZOOLOGIA 28 (4): 417–419 - get paper here
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