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Erythrolamprus cursor (LACÉPÈDE, 1789)

IUCN Red List - Erythrolamprus cursor - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Martinique Groundsnake, Lacépède's Ground Snake 
SynonymColuber cursor LACÉPÈDE 1789: 96 (nomen rejiciendum)
Coluber cursor BONNATERRE 1790
Coluber cursor — SHAW 1802: 510
Herpetodryas cursor — SCHLEGEL 1837: 199
Dromicus cursor — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 650
Dromicus cursor — GARMAN 1887: 280
Dromicus cursor — LAZELL 1968
Dromicus cursor —  MAGLIO 1970
Liophis cursor — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 622
Liophis cursor — POWELL et al. 1996: 88
Erythrolamprus cursor — GRAZIOTIN et al. 2012
Liophis cursor — WALLACH et al. 2014: 381 
DistributionMartinique, Rocher du Diamant (Lesser Antilles)

Type locality: Martinique.  
TypesSyntype: ANSP 5580; MNHN ?, other syntype(s) unlocated. This specimen also is the holotype of Liophis putnami Cope, 1862. 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION: Maximum SVL 671 mm; dorsal scale rows at midbody 17; ventrals 187-192; subcaudals 97-107; supralabials 8/8; infralabials 10/10; preoculars 1/1; postoculars 2/2; temporals 1+2/1+2; anal divided. Dorsal ground color (as preserved) black or brown; dorsal pattern variable: (1) dorsal ground color black, scale row 1 and half of scale row 2 with black margins and yellow or white centers, 6th, 7th, and 9th scale rows with small white or yellow dots on anterior of each scale; (2) as for (1), but dorsal ground color brown; (3) as for (1), but with irregular white streaks and/or broken lines on scale rows 6 and 7 to above vent, becoming white dots on tail; (4) dorsal ground color brown, scale rows 6 and 7 white continuing as white line to tip of tail; or anterior one-fourth of dorsum with irregular white spots on scale rows 6 and 7, becoming continuous lines to tip of tail; (5) as for (4), but with indication of white line on scale row 9; top and side of head black or dark brown, with white or yellow spots on edges of supraoculars, prefrontals, frontal, dorsal, and lateral edges of nasals, rostral, and frequently loreal; labials yellow or white, sometimes with dark edging along posterior borders; venter usually white or yellowish with anterolateral edges of ventrals with brown or black mark (Schwartz & Henderson 1991: 622). 
CommentFor illustrations see Maglio, 1970; Dixon, 1981.

Abundance: rare (Lazell 1968) 
  • Dixon, J.R. 1981. The neotropical colubrid snake genus Liophis: the eastern Caribbean complex. Copeia 1981 (2): 296-304 - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R. 1989. A key and checklist to the neotropical snake genus Liophis with country lists and maps. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (79): 1-40 - get paper here
  • Garman, S. 1887. On West Indian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Cambridge, Mass. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 24: 278-286. - get paper here
  • Grazziotin, Felipe G.; Hussam Zaher, Robert W. Murphy, Gustavo Scrocchi, Marco A. Benavides, Ya-Ping Zhang and Sandro L. Bonatto 2012. Molecular phylogeny of the New World Dipsadidae (Serpentes: Colubroidea): a reappraisal. Cladistics DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2012.00393.x - get paper here
  • Henderson R W & Bourgeois, R.W. 1993. Notes on the Diets of West Indian Liophis (Serpentes: Colubridae). Carib. J. Sci. 29 (3-4): 253-254
  • Jowers, Michael J.; Stephane Caut, Juan Luis Garcia-Mudarra, Samer Alasaad, and Ivan Ineich 2013. Molecular Phylogenetics of the Possibly Extinct Martinique Ground Snake. Herpetologica 69 (2): 227-236. - get paper here
  • Lacepède, B. G. E. 1789. Histoire Naturelle des Quadrupèdes Ovipares et de Serpens. Vol.2. lmprimerie du Roi, Hôtel de Thou, Paris, 671 pp. - get paper here
  • Lazell, J.D., Jr. 1967. Wiederentdeckung von zwei angeblich ausgestorbenen Schlangenarten der westindischen Inseln. Salamandra 3: 91-97 - get paper here
  • Maglio, Vincent J. 1970. West Indian Xenodontine colubrid snakes: Their probable origin, phylogeny, and zoogeography. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 141 (1): 1-54 - get paper here
  • Powell, R., R. W. Henderson, K. Adler, And H. A. Dundee. 1996. An annotated checklist of West Indian amphibians and reptiles. In R. Powell and R. W. Henderson (eds.), Contributions to West Indian Herpetology: A Tribute to Albert Schwartz, p.51-93. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca (New York). Contributions to Herpetology, volume 12. [book review in Salamandra 36 (2): 136]
  • Schlegel, H. 1837. Essai sur la physionomie des serpens. Partie Descriptive. La Haye (J. Kips, J. HZ. et W. P. van Stockum), 606 S. + xvi - get paper here
  • Schwartz, A. & Henderson, R.W. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, 720 pp.
  • Shaw, G. 1802. General Zoology, or Systematic Natural History. Vol.3, part 2. G. Kearsley, Thomas Davison, London: 313-615 - 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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