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Ficimia ramirezi SMITH & LANGEBARTEL, 1949

IUCN Red List - Ficimia ramirezi - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Ramirez's Hooknose Snake
S: Nariz de Gancho de Ramirez 
SynonymFicimia ramirezi SMITH & LANGEBARTEL 1949: 411
Ficimia ramirezi — LINER 1994
Ficimia ramirezi — LINER 2007
Ficimia ramirezi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 296 
DistributionSE Mexico

Type locality: Mexico: 1 league N Niltepec, Oaxaca  
TypesHolotype: INHS (= UIMNH) 3767; adult male, J. Ramirez; March 6, 1949. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A member of the genus Ficimia, with 20 poorly defined chocolate-brown blotches on back, separated from one another by spaces two to three times their own length, very incom­ pletely bordered with black; no dark markings on
head; two internasals; two postoculars; ventrals 136, caudals 38 in single known male (Smith & Langebartel 1949: 411).

Description of type. Rostral large, in contact with frontal, suture with latter one-half maximum width of rostral; internasals well developed, about size of preocular; anterior half of nasal fused with 1st supralabial; prefrontal broadly in contact with second supralabial; 1-1 preoculars; 2-2 postoculars; eye relatively large, its vertical
diameter equal to its distance from labial border, its longitudinal diameter one-fourth longer; temporals 1-2, the anterior elongate, the second­ aries similar in shape to dorsals; frontal as long as broad, equally as long as its distance from tip of snout; supralabials 7-7; infralabials 7-7, the anterior 3 in contact with chinshields; 1 pair of chinshields.
Dorsals in 17-17-17 rows, smooth even in supraanal area, each with a single apical pit; ventrals 136, caudals 38; total length 325 mm, tail 54.
Hemipenis 10 caudals long, simple and with simple sulcus; 2 large basal spines; spines occu­ pying basal third, becoming smaller distally and merging with calyces; several longitudinal plicae extending through both spinous and calyculate zones (Smith & Langebartel 1949: 411).

Coloration: Dorsal color a light slate; head tan above; 20 light chocolate brown blotches on body, each If to 2 scales in length, 5 to 8 scale rows wide, sepa­ rated from one another by spaces two to three times as long as the blotches; a very incomplete black border on the blotches; some blotches, especially toward rear of body, preceded and succeeded by a small, poorly defined light spot on the midline; a few scattered, dark lateral streaks; median dorsal blotches showing a tendency to have the lateral edges split off (as typical of most species of this genus); 8 dorsal blotches on tail; ventral surfaces immaculate; no markings on head (Smith & Langebartel 1949: 411).

Comparisons. The present species differs remark­ ably in pattern from all other species of the genus. While publia is known to have as few as 21 blotches, they are approximately as broad as the interspaces, while in ramlrezi the anterior blotches are separated by interspaces twice their own length, the interval gradually increasing poste­ riorly to three times as the blotches decrease in size. This feature of the pattern is not approached by other members of the genus. Other features distinguishing this specimen from pvhlia is the absence of lateral blotches and of any pattern on the head (Smith & Langebartel 1949: 412). 
CommentThe derivation of this specimen from an area where publia is to be expected casts some doubt upon its validity. Only further specimens can prove beyond reasonable doubt the validity of the supposed species. Certainly a sufiicient number of unique features in pattern occur in the type of ramlrezi to warrant the provisional as­sumption of the existence of a distinct species (Smith & Langebartel 1949: 412). 
  • Casas-Andreu, G., F.R. Méndez-De la Cruz and X. Aguilar-Miguel. 2004. Anfibios y Reptiles; pp. 375–390, in A.J.M. García-Mendoza, J. Ordoñez and M. Briones-Salas (ed.). Biodiversidad de Oaxaca. Instituto de Biología, UNAM-Fondo Oaxaqueño para la Conservación de la Naturaleza-World Wildlife Fund, México, D. F.
  • Hardy L M 1979. Ficimia ramirezi Smith and Langebartel. Ramirez's hook-nosed snake. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 228: 1 - get paper here
  • Hardy, L. M. 1975. A systematic revision of the colubrid snake genus Ficimia. Journal of Herpetology 9 (2): 133-168. - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Liner, Ernest A. 2007. A CHECKLIST OF THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF MEXICO. Louisiana State University Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science 80: 1-60 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Jerry D. Johnson, Larry David Wilson and Elí García-Padilla. 2015. The herpetofauna of Oaxaca, Mexico: composition, physiographic distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (1): 6–62 - get paper here
  • Mendoza-Quijano F; Smith H M 1993. A new species of hooknose snake, Ficimia (Reptilia, Serpentes). Journal of Herpetology 27 (4): 406-410 - get paper here
  • Smith, H. M., & LANGEBARTEL, D. A. 1949. Notes on a collection of reptiles and amphibians from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. J. Washington Acad. Sci. 39: 409-416.
  • 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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