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Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus COPE, 1860

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesHypsiglena ochrorhynchus baueri (ZWEIFEL 1958)
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus gularis (TANNER 1954)
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus klauberi TANNER 1946
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus martinensis (TANNER & BANTA 1962)
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus nuchalata (TANNER 1943)
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus ochrorhynchus COPE 1860
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus tortugaensis TANNER 1946
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus venusta (MOCQUARD 1899) 
Common Namesbaueri: Isla Cedros Nightsnake
gularis: Isla Partida Norte Nightsnake
klauberi: San Diego Nightsnake
martinensis: Isla San Martin Nightsnake
nuchalata: California Nightsnake
ochrorhyncha: Cape Nightsnake, Spotted Night Snake
venusta: Magdalena Nightsnake
S: Nocturna Moteada 
SynonymHypsiglena ochrorhynchus COPE 1860: 246
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha — COPE 1886: 285
Hypsiglena orchrorhynchus — STEJNEGER 1893: 204
Hypsiglena orchrorhynchus — TAYLOR 1938: 494 (in error)
Leptodeira torquata ochrorhyncha — FITCH 1939
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha ochrorhyncha — MILSTEAD 1953
Hypsiglena torquata ochrorhyncha — CLIFF 1954
Hypsiglena torquata ochrorhyncha — MURPHY & OTTLEY 1984
Hypsiglena torquata ochrorhyncha — TANNER 1985
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha ochrorhyncha — MULCAHY 2008
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha — WALLACH et al. 2014: 343

Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus baueri (ZWEIFEL 1958)
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha baueri — MULCAHY 2008

Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus gularis TANNER 1954
Hypsiglena torquata gularis TANNER 1954: 54
Hypsiglena torquata gularis — CLIFF 1954
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha gularis — MULCAHY 2008

Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus klauberi TANNER 1946
Hypsiglena torquata klauberi TANNER 1946: 71 (1944)
Hypsiglena torquata klauberi — ZWEIFEL 1958
Hypsiglena torquata klauberi — MURPHY & OTTLEY 1984
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha klauberi — MULCAHY 2008
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha klauberi — GOMARD 2017

Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus martinensis (TANNER & BANTA 1962)
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha martinensis — MULCAHY 2008

Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus nuchalata (TANNER 1943)
Hypsiglena nuchalatus TANNER 1943: 53
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus nuchalatus — TANNER 1946: 65 (1944)
Hypsiglena torquata nuchalata — CROTHER 2000: 63
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha nuchalata — MULCAHY 2008

Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus ochrorhynchus COPE 1860
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha ochrorhyncha — MULCAHY 2008

Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus tortugaensis TANNER 1946
Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus tortugaensis TANNER 1946: 69 (1944)
Hypsiglena torquata tortugaensis — CLIFF 1954
Hypsiglena torquata tortugaensis — LINER 1994
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha tortugaensis — MULCAHY 2018 (pers. comm.)

Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus venusta (MOCQUARD 1899)
Hypsiglena torquata venusta MOCQUARD 1899: 327
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha venusta — TANNER 1946: 67 (1944)
Hypsiglena torquata venusta — CLIFF 1954
Hypsiglena torquata venusta — ZWEIFEL 1958
Hypsiglena torquata venusta — MURPHY & OTTLEY 1984
Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha venusta — MULCAHY 2008 
DistributionUSA (N California west of the Sierra Nevada, south to San Diego, west of the peninsular ranges), Mexico (Baja California and surrounding islands)

baueri: Mexico (Cedros Island, Baja California)

gularis: Mexico (Isla Partida Norte)

klauberi: Mexico (N Baja California); USA (S California); Type locality: “South Coronado Island, lower California”

martinensis: Mexico (Baja California: San Martln Island); Type locality: San Martln Island. Baja California, Mexico.

nuchalata: USA (California: Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Tulare county to Tehema County); Type locality: Lemon Cove, Tulare Co. California.

ochrorhynchus: Mexico (Cape region of Baja California; probably Isla Salsipuedes); Type locality: Cape St. Lucas.

tortugaensis: Mexico (Baja California: Tortuga Island); Type locality: Tortuga Island.

venusta: Mexico (S Baja California); Type locality: Santa Rosalia and San Iqnacio, Lower California, Mexico.  
TypesSyntypes: ANSP 3537-38, USNM 5283, MCZ R-9503
Holotype: AMNH 77374, adult male, collected on March 1,1957,by Richard G. Zweifel [baueri]
Holotype: CAS 51009 [gularis]
Holotype: SDNHM = SDSNH (was in Laurence M. Klauber’s private collection, LMK), paratypes: CAS [klauberi]
Holotype: FMNH 130288, collected by Senior B. F. Osorio-Tafall, on June 2, 1944 [martinensis]
Holotype: BYU; paratypes: CAS, SDSNH 20233, 20293, 22501[nuchalata]
Holotype: CAS 51460, collected 1921 by Robert Slevin. Paratype: SDNHM = SDSNH (was in Laurence M. Klauber’s private collection, LMK) [tortugaensis]
Holotype: MNHN-RA 1896.0150 [venusta] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: see Tanner 1946: 56 (as H. ochrorhynchus ochrorhynchus)

Diagnosis (nuchalata): see Tanner 1946: 66 (as H. ochrorhynchus nuchalatus)

Diagnosis (venusta): see Tanner 1946: 68 (as H. ochrorhynchus venusta)

Diagnosis (klauberi): see Tanner 1946: 72 (as H. ochrorhynchus klauberi)

Diagnosis (tortugaensis): see Tanner 1946: 70 (as H. ochrorhynchus tortugaensis) 
CommentSubspecies: after Mulcahy 2008. Hypsiglena torquata gularis differs from other torquata in having one or more pairs of enlarged gular scales which resemble chinshields (TANNER 1954). Although this taxon was described on the basis of only two specimen GRISMER (1999) suggested to elevate it to full (evolutionary) species status because of these differences. MULCAHY (2008) assigned it to H. ochrorhyncha. Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha unaocularus (TANNER 1944) has been elevated to full species status.

Synonymy: Grismer 1999: 459 says that “Tanner (1944) described Hypsiglena torquata tortugensis [sic] on the basis of two specimens from Isla Tortuga. This population was differentiated from H. torquata of the adjacent peninsula by its elongate and narrow medial nape spot and high numbers of caudal scales (57-65; Tanner, 1966). An elongate, narrow, medial nape spot has been reported in H. torquata from central Baja California (Grismer et al., 1994:Fig. 18), and Mocquard (1899) reported a range of 47-58 caudal scales in H. torquata from central Baja California. Thus, H. t. tortugensis [sic] is not discretely diagnosable and is considered a junior synonym of H. torquata." Dan Mulcahy prefers to keep it as subspecies until more data becomes available (D. Mulcahy, pers. comm., 23 Aug 2018).

Type species: Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus COPE 1860: 246 is the type species of the genus Hypsiglena COPE 1860.

Distribution: see map of subspecies in Mulcahy et al. 2014. 
EtymologyThe originally named of Cope (1860) was Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus. “It is clear that Cope intended ochrorhynchus (Gr: yellow nose) as a noun used in association with the feminine generic name Hypsiglena (Gr: high eye). Thus, the treatment of ochrorhynchus as an adjective is incorrect. The correct combination is Hypsiglena torquata ochrorhynchus.” (Frost & Collins 1988: 79)

Genus: The generic name was derived from the Greek words hypsi, meaning "vertical" and gleno, meaning pupil, in reference to the vertical pupil of members of this genus (LEMOS-ESPINAL & DIXON 2013). 
  • Cliff, Frank S. 1954. Snakes of the islands in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 12 (5): 67-98 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1860. Catalogue of the Colubridae in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes and descriptions of new species. Part II. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12: 241-266 - get paper here
  • Cowles, R.B. 1941. Evidence of Venom in Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus Copeia 1941 (1): 4-6. - get paper here
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Fitch, H.S. 1939. Leptodeira in Northern California Herpetologica 1 (6): 152-153. - get paper here
  • Frost, D. R.;Collins, J. T. 1988. Nomenclatural notes on reptiles of the United States. Herpetological Review 19 (4): 73-74 - get paper here
  • Gomard, Guillaume 2017. In steinigen Wüsten: die Herpetofauna Südkaliforniens. Terraria-Elaphe 2017 (6): 52-61 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Hibbard, C.W. 1937. Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus in Kansas and Additional Notes on Leptotyphlops dulcis Copeia 1937 (1): 74. - get paper here
  • HROMADA, STEVEN J. 2021. Geographic distribution: HYPSIGLENA OCHRORHYNCHUS NUCHALATA (California Nightsnake). USA: CALIFORNIA: Nevada Co. Herpetological Review 52 (2): 348. - get paper here
  • Kuntz, R.E. 1940. Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus in Oklahoma Copeia 1940 (2): 136. - get paper here
  • Lee, Justin L.; Adrian Thompson, and Daniel G. Mulcahy 2016. Relationships between Numbers of Vertebrae, Scale Counts, and Body Size, with Implications for Taxonomy in Nightsnakes (Genus: Hypsiglena). Journal of Herpetology 50 (4): 616-620 - get paper here
  • Leviton, Alan E.; Banta, Benjamin H. 1964. Midwinter reconnaissance of the herpetofauna of the Cape Region of Baja California, Mexico. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 30 (7): 127-156 - get paper here
  • Mahrdt, C R & Ayers, B M 2018. Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha (Coast Nightsnake) Diet. Herpetological Review 49 (3): 548-549 - get paper here
  • Meik JM, Makowsky R. 2017. Minimum area thresholds for rattlesnakes and colubrid snakes on islands in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Ecol Evol. 2017;00:1–7 - get paper here
  • Milstead, William W. 1953. Ecological distribution of the lizards of the La Mota Mountain Region of Trans-Pecos Texas. Texas Journal of Science 5 (4): 403-415 - get paper here
  • Mocquard, M.F. 1899. Contribution a la faune herpétologique de la Basse-Californie. Nouv. Arch. Mus. Hist. Natur.Paris, 4th Series, Vol. 1: 297-343 + plates XI-XIII - get paper here
  • Mulcahy DG, Martínez-Gómez JE, Aguirre-León G, Cervantes-Pasqualli JA, Zug GR 2014. Rediscovery of an Endemic Vertebrate from the Remote Islas Revillagigedo in the Eastern Pacific Ocean: The Clarión Nightsnake Lost and Found. PLoS One 9 (5): e97682. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097682 - get paper here
  • Mulcahy, Daniel G. 2008. Phylogeography and species boundaries of the western North American Nightsnake (Hypsiglena torquata): Revisiting the subspecies concept. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46 (3): 1095-1115 - get paper here
  • Murphy, R. W.; Ottley, J. R. 1984. Distribution of amphibians and reptiles on islands in the Gulf of California. Annals of the Carnegie Museum 53 (8): 207-230 - get paper here
  • Stejneger, L.H. 1893. Annotated list of the reptiles and batrachians collected by the Death Valley Expedition in 1891, with descriptions of new species. North American Fauna, No. 7: 159-228 (+ 14 plates + 4 maps) - get paper here
  • Tanner, W. W. 1946. A taxonomic study of the genus Hypsiglena. Great Basin Naturalist 5 (3-4): 25-92 [1944] - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1943. Two new species of Hypsiglena from western North America. Great Basin Naturalist 4 (1-2): 49-54 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1954. Additional note on the genus Hypsiglena with a descriptionof a new subspecies. Herpetologica 10: 54-56 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W.; Banta, Benjamin H. 1962. Description of a new Hypsiglena from San Martín Island, México, with a resumé of the reptile fauna of the island. Herpetologica 18 (1): 21-25 - get paper here
  • Taylor, Edward Harrison 1938. Notes on the herpetological fauna of the Mexican state of Sonora. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 24 (19): 475-503 [1936] - get paper here
  • Van Denburgh, John 1906. On the occurrence of the spotted night snake, Hypsiglena ochrorhynchus in central California; and on the shape of the pupil in the reptilian genus Arizona. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. ser. 3, 4(5):65-67 - get paper here
  • Van Denburgh,J. 1895. A review of the herpetology of Lower California. Part I - Reptiles. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. (2) 5: 77-163 - 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.
  • Zweifel, Richard G. 1958. Results of the Puritan-American Museum of Natural History Expedition to western Mexico 2. Notes on reptiles and amphibians from the Pacific Coastal Islands of Baja California. American Museum Novitates (1895): 1-17 - get paper here
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