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Echinanthera cyanopleura (COPE, 1885)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae, Echinantherini), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesPortuguese: Cobrinha-Cipó, Corredeira-Grande-do-Mato, Papa-Rã 
SynonymAporophis cyanopleurus COPE 1885: 191
Echinanthera cyanopleura
Dromicus melanostigma — BOULENGER 1885
Liophis melanostigma — BOULENGER 1894
Leimadophis melanostigma — AMARAL 1930
Dromicus melanostigmus — LEMA 1980
Echinanthera cyanopleura — GIRAUDO & SCROCCHI 2002
Echinanthera cyanopleura — WALLACH et al. 2014: 253
Echinanthera cyanopleura — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionBrazil (Espirito Santo, Rio Grande do Sul, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina),
Argentina (Misiones)

Type locality: Montenegro, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.  
TypesSyntypes: ANSP 11198-99 (2) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Echinanthera can be recognized by (1) usually eight supralabials, with 2nd–3rd or 2nd only touching the loreal and 3rd–5th touching the orbit; (2) 17/17/17 dorsal scale rows usually with one or two apical pits; (3) middorsal pattern composed by an undulating dark-brown stripe (vestigial in E. cephalostriata, E. cyanopleura and E. melanostigma); (4) midventral portion with transverse bands at the base of the ventral scales, especially observable in adults; (5) hemipenis unilobed, unicalyculate and semicapitate, with an asulcate interspinal gap extending from the distal to the proximal region of the organ; in its distal end, it terminates in a homogeneous group of small to medium-sized papillae; (6) dorsolateral crests of the parietal bone inconspicuous in the region close to the contact with supraoccipital; (7) parabasisphenoid lateral crests conspicuous; (8) large number of maxillary (24–35), palatine (19–21), pterygoid (30–37) and dentary teeth (34–40) (Figures 4A–E, 5L–O, 7D, 8B–E and Table 1).” (Abegg et al. 2022)

Original description from COPE (1885): The species of Aporophis (Cope, Proceeds. Amer. Philos. Soc. 1877, p. 18, Lygophis olim, nec. Fitzingeri = Philodryas) are sometimes referred to Dromicus and sometimes to Liophis. They may be readily distinguished from the latter genus by the absence of scale-fossae (sometimes called scale pores), while they differ from Dromicus in the shorter tail. This portion represents a fourth or a little more of the total length in Aporophis, and a third or mere in Dromicus. It is quite possible that the groups may have to be united in one genus in future, but I have not yet met with intermediate forms. The species of Aporophis known to me are : A. conirostris Gthr.; A. lineatus Linn.; A. dilepis Cope (This species differs from A. lineatus in color, and not only in its two pre-ocular plates, as supposed by Dr. Fischer); A. flavifrenatus Cope (= Coronella pulchella Jan.); A. anomalus Gthr. (= L. rutilus Cope); A.nicagus Cope; A. undulatus Wied. (Dromicus Peters); A. juliae Cope; A. melanocephalus Peters (Dromicus melanocephalus, Mo- natsber. Berl. Acad., 1863, 277; dentition not described). Aporophis only differs from Rlladin~a in its diacranterian dentition; a character which will probably prove to be not entirely constant.
The present species is quite nearly allied to the A. undulatus of Wied.
The scales are in seventeen rows, and those of the first row are longer than deep. The rostral plate is transverse, and its apex visible from above. The internasal and prefrontal pair are wider than long. The frontal is elongate and with parallel sides, and its length exceeds that of the muzzle in front of it, and equals that of the common occipital suture. The occipital plates are long, equaling the width between the posterior exterior angles of the superciliary plates. The loreal plate is higher than long. The single preocular reaches the summit of the front, but not the frontal plate. Two postoculars, each deeper than wide. Temporals 1-2-3. Superior labials eight, eye resting on fourth and fifth; all longer than high, excepting the fifth. Inferior labials eight, fifth largest and in contact with postgeneials; all longer than deep. Postgeneials considerably longer than pregeneials. Total length, .805; length of head to rictus oris, .021; length of tail, .245. Gastrosteges, 150; urosteges, 88; anal divided.
Color above bluish olive, with a median dorsal brown band with ill-defined borders, of four scales in width. Sides, up to the front row of scales inclusive, dark slate blue, which forms a band from the canthus oris to the end of the tail, which extends also on the ends of the gastrosteges and urosteges. On the anterior third of the length in the larger specimen, and on the greater part of the body in the smaller, this part of the band isolates itself into dark round spots; on the upper edge of the lateral band every other scale has a pale spot in the centre. Head dark brown above. A black band passes through each eye from the end of the muzzle, and following the edge of the occipitals unites on the nape into a single median band which continues as the dorsal band. Belly yellow, gastrosteges bluish at the bases and edges, forming cross-lines.

For a morphological comparison of the genera Adelphostigma, Amnisiophis, Dibernardia, Echinanthera, Sordellina, and Taeniophallus see Abegg et al., 2022: 10 (Table 1). 
CommentType species: Aporophis cyanopleurus COPE 1885: 191 is the type species of the genus Echinanthera COPE 1894.

Type genus: Echinanthera COPE 1894 is the type genus of the tribus Echinantherini which contains Adelphostigma, Amnisiophis, Dibernardia, Echinanthera, Sordellina, and Taeniophallus, fide Abegg et al. 2022. For a comparison of morphological characters of these genera see Abegg et al. 2022: 10 (Table 1). 
EtymologyNot given by Cope (1894), but Abegg et al. 2022 assume that the genus may be named after the Greek words εχις (echis = adder, viper) and ανθηρóς (antheros = flowery, blooming) (Liddell and Scott, 1883; Carreira et al., 2005), probably in reference to the color pattern. The genus name is feminine. 
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  • Abegg, A. D., Gomes, C. A., Entiauspe-Neto, O. M., & Passos, P. 2020. Does a Defensive Pseudoautotomy Mechanism Exist in the Subfamily Xenodontinae? A Study of the Genus Echinanthera. South American Journal of Herpetology 18 (1): 24-32 - get paper here
  • Bérnils, R.S.; Batista, M.A. & Bertelli, P.W. 2001. Cobras e lagartos do Vale: levantamento das espécies de Squamata (Reptilia, Lepidosauria) da Bacia do Rio Itajai, Santa Catarina, Brasil. Rev. Est. Ambientais (Blumenau) 3 (1): 69-79
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  • Cope, E.D. 1894. The classification of snakes. The American Naturalist 28 (334): 831–844 - get paper here
  • Di Bernardo,M. 1992. Revalidation of the gênero Rhadinaea Copegenus Echinanthera COPE 1894 and its conceptual amplification (Serpentes, Colubridae). Comun. Mus. Ciênc. PUCRS, sér. zool., Porto Alegre 5 (13): 225-256
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