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Dendrophidion rufiterminorum CADLE & SAVAGE, 2012

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymDendrophidion rufiterminorum CADLE & SAVAGE 2012
Dendrophidion nuchale — CAMPBELL 1998
Dendrophidion rufiterminorum — WALLACH et al. 2014: 226
Dendrophidion rufiterminorum — SUNYER & MARTÍNEZ-FONSECA 2023 
DistributionBelize, Guatemala, N Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica

Type locality: 1 mi W Baldy Sibun, Cayo district, Belize [17°00’ N, 88°46’ W]  
Reproductionoviparous (not imputed, fide Zimin et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: LSUM 8901, an adult male; (Figs. 15, 28). Collected 19 July 1963 by Stephen M. Russell and Angelo W. Palmisano (Wilson 1966). An attached field tag has field number “A. Palmisano 177” but LSUM collection ledgers record only Russell as the collector (Christopher Austin, personal communication). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Dendrophidion rufiterminorum is characterized by (1) Dorsocaudal reduction from 8 to 6 occurring posterior to subcaudal 45 (range, 46–79); (2) anal plate nearly always single (divided in 1 of 25 specimens); (3) subcaudal counts > 135 in males and females; (4) head and tail of adults reddish brown to bright red; tail strongly differentiated in color from posterior body and lacking crossbands or ocelli (indistinct crossbands on the anterior part of the tail sometimes present in small individuals); (5) blackish nuchal collar absent in adults and juveniles (Figs. 16, 17, 22A); (6) dorsal coloration in adults anteriorly olive, greenish brown, or brownish, grading to dark brown or blackish posteriorly; dark crossbands or transverse rows of ocelli evident except on the anterior body of adults; (7) central part of ventral scutes usually immaculate (lateral dark pigment is present but no transverse ventral lines) (Fig. 15); (8) total number of enlarged spines on the hemipenis relatively great (> 80); spines in the distal row uniform in size and numbering > 20. 
CommentSimilar species: has been considered as D. dendrophis, D. clarkii, or D. nuchale previously.

D. rufiterminorum differs from D. clarkii and D. nuchale in coloration and hemipenial characters but all three species of the nuchale complex are very similar in scutellation characters.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyThe species name rufiterminorum is a Latin noun in genitive case meaning “of reddish ends”, referring to the most salient and diagnostic color characteristic of this species, its red head and tail. It is a compound word derived from rufus (red or reddish) + terminus (end or limit), a second declension masculine noun in genitive plural form (terminorum) to reflect the fact that both ends are red. 
  • Aguilar-López JL, Luría-Manzano R, Pineda E, Canseco-Márquez L 2021. Selva Zoque, Mexico: an important Mesoamerican tropical region for reptile species diversity and conservation. ZooKeys 1054: 127-153 - get paper here
  • CADLE, JOHN E. & JAY M. SAVAGE 2012. Systematics of the Dendrophidion nuchale complex (Serpentes: Colubridae) with the description of a new species from Central America. Zootaxa 3513: 1–50 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. 1998. Amphibians and reptiles of northern Guatemala, the Yucatán, and Belize. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, xiii + 380 pp. - 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
  • Hilje B, Chaves G, Klank J, Timmerman F, Feltham J, Gillingwater S, Piraino T, Rojas E 2020. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Tirimbina Biological Reserve: a baseline for conservation, research and environmental education in a lowland tropical wet forest in Costa Rica. Check List 16(6): 1633-1655 - get paper here
  • McCranie, James R. 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed. Zootaxa 3931 (3): 352–386 - get paper here
  • Morato, Sérgio Augusto Abrahão; Guilherme Nunes Ferreira; Michela Rossane Cavilha Scupino (eds.) 2018. Herpetofauna da Amazônia Central: Estudos na FLONA de Saracá-Taquera. Curitiba, Pr: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas, Pa: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A., 2018.<br />210p. - get paper here
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier 2014. An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Nicaragua. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 186–202. - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier & José́ Gabriel Martínez-Fonseca 2023. An updated country checklist to the amphibians and reptiles of Nicaragua. REVISTA NICARAGÜENSE DE BIODIVERSIDAD (100): 1-25 - 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.
  • Zimin, A., Zimin, S. V., Shine, R., Avila, L., Bauer, A., Böhm, M., Brown, R., Barki, G., de Oliveira Caetano, G. H., Castro Herrera, F., Chapple, D. G., Chirio, L., Colli, G. R., Doan, T. M., Glaw, F., Grismer, L. L., Itescu, Y., Kraus, F., LeBreton 2022. A global analysis of viviparity in squamates highlights its prevalence in cold climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 00, 1–16 - get paper here
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