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Ficimia variegata (GÜNTHER, 1858)

IUCN Red List - Ficimia variegata - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Tehuantepec Hooknose Snake
S: Nariz de Gancho de Tehuantepec 
SynonymAmblymetopon variegata GÜNTHER 1858
Ficimia variegata — GARMAN 1884: 84
Ficimia variegata — LINER 1994
Ficimia variegata — LINER 2007
Ficimia variegata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 297 
DistributionMexico (Campeche, Chiapas, Colima, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Hidalgo)

Type locality: "Mexico." Restricted to Guichicovi, Oaxaca, Méxcio, by H.M. Smith and Taylor, 1950a: 338.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.5.49, a 177 mm female (M. Sallé), and BMNH 1946.1.6.78, a 385-394 mm female, (H. Cuming). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Rostral in contact with frontal; apparently no internasals normally; two postoculars normally; pattern consisting of 45 to 56(?) band-like blotches on body, about 16 on tail; bands covering one and one-half to two scale lengths medially; spaces between bands about equal to length of bands (based on 1 specimen, Smith & Taylor 1941: 366).

Remarks. If variegata has any significance whatever, the name must be applied to specimens with a large number of dorsal blotches. The fact that the four specimens now known with numerous blotches all appear to have originated from a rather well-defined area not occupied by other members of the genus (except perhaps olivacea, the range of which may overlap that of variegata), correlated with the fact that all four lack internasals while the species' closest relatives (publia, ruspator) normally have them (in spite of the general trend in the genus toward elimination of them), indicates a natural association and not a purely arbitrary one.
The specimen examined has 48 bands on the body, 16 on the tail. Descriptions of other specimens of the species unfortunately do not make clear whether the band count given is the total number or only those on the body. The figure in Giinther (Biol. Centr. Amer.) of one of the cotypes shows about 45 on the body, about 16 on the tail (total 61). However, Giinther states that there are "51 to 56 of these crossbars," but leaves indefinite what these numbers represent. Since neither number corresponds either to body or total blotches shown in the figure, perhaps the latter is incorrectly executed. The original description does not clarify the situation, as the specimen described in detail is merely said to have "56 black narrow cross bars.
The Guichicovi specimen is a female; ventrals 152; caudals 36; supralabials 7-7; preoculars 1-1; postoculars 1-2 (upper fused with supraocular on one side); no internasals; rostro-frontal suture 1.2 mm; rostral width 2.7 mm; rostral length 3.8 mm; frontal length 3.9 mm. The two specimens in the British Museum (a juvenile and a female) have 160 and 149 ventrals, respectively, 37 and 36 caudals; both have 1-1 preoculars and 2-2 postoculars (Smith & Taylor 1941: 366). 
Comment 
References
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Garman,Samuel 1884. The reptiles and batrachians of North America. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 8 (3): xxxiv + 185 pp. [1883] [CNAH reprint 10] - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281
  • Hardy, Laurence M. 1981. Ficimia variegata. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (269): 1-2 - 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
  • Vite-Silva, Victor D.; Aurelio Ramírez-Bautista y Uriel Hernández-Salinas 2010. Diversidad de anfibios y reptiles de la Reserva de la Biosfera Barranca de Metztitlán, Hidalgo, México Diversity of amphibians and reptiles from the Barranca de Metztitlán Biosphera Reserve in Hidalgo, Mexico. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 81: 473- 485 - 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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