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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Chocoan blunt-headed vine snakes
S: Cordoncillos del Choco 
Imantodes chocoensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 348 
DistributionEcuador (Esmeraldas), Colombia (incl. Valle de Cauca)

Type locality: 4 km N Durango, 1.0283°N; -78.5950°W (DD), 253 m elevation, Provincia Esmeraldas, Ecuador.  
TypesHolotype: QCAZ 7984 (Figs. 1,2), an adult male, collected on 24 April 2007 by E. Carrillo-Ponce, I. G. Tapia, and E. E. Tapia. Paratypes (6). – ECUADOR: Provincia Carchi: DHMECN 6753, Río San Juan, 1.1858°N, -78.5006°W (DD), 243 m, collected on 12 September 2009 by M. Yánez- Muñoz, L. Oyagata, and M. Altamirano; DHMECN 6757, Sendero Awa, 1.1643°N, -78.5071°W (DD), 257 m, collected on 16 September 2009 by M. Yánez-Muñoz, L. Oyagata, and M. Altamirano. Provincia Esmeraldas: UTA R-60205, San Lorenzo- Santa Rita, 1.0321°N, -78.7138°W (DD), 115 m, collected on 21 March 2008 by M. Alcoser, R. Betancourt, P. Loaiza L., L. Oyagata, S. Ramírez J., J. W. Streicher, C. Tobar, and E. N. Smith; QCAZ 7978, same collection data as holotype; QCAZ 10185, 4 km W Alto Tambo, 0.91241°N, -78.5809°W (DD), collected on 18 Decem- ber 2009 by S. Poe, L. Gray, and I. Latella; QCAZ 10710, Playa de Oro, Estero Pote and Estero Angostura, lower part of Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve, 0.8285°N, -78.7220°W (DD), collected on 27 November 1994 by E. Toral-Contreras, V. Ortiz, and F. Nogales. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Imantodes chocoensis differs from all other known congeners in lacking a loreal scale. It can be further distinguished from its sister species (see Phylogenetic relationships) I. lentiferus by having 17 longitudinal rows of dorsal scales at midbody and at nearly one head length anterior to the cloaca (15 in I. lentiferus), more ventrals (t = 7.27, P < 0.001), more subcaudals (t = -4.31, P < 0.001), more postoculars (2–3, mean = 2.43 ± 0.51; 1–2, mean = 1.81 ± 0.39 in I. lentiferus), more infralabials (12– 15, mean = 13.21 ± 0.80; 9–12, mean = 10.68 ± 0.60 in I. lentiferus), and smaller dark blotches on dorsum (Fig. 3). Among other species of Imantodes known from Ecuador, the new species differs further from I. inornatus (N = 2–3) in having more ventrals (t = 6.74, P < 0.001), more subcaudals (t = -5.05, P = 0.002), more infralabials (9–11, mean 10.00 ± 0.89 in I. inornatus), a longer head (head length/width 1.54–1.71, mean = 1.63 ± 0.07 in I. chocoensis sp. n.; 1.29–1.61, mean = 1.45 ± 0.16 in I. inornatus), and dark blotches on dorsum (dark spots and flecks in I. inornatus; Fig. 3). The new species can also be distinguished from I. cenchoa by having a single anal scale (vrs. two), fewer ventrals (t = 7.73, P < 0.001), fewer subcaudals (t = -4.04, P < 0.001), more infralabials (7–12, mean 9.92 ± 0.85 in I. cenchoa), and dorsal dark blotches that include two or fewer vertebral scales and do not extend laterally onto ventrals (blotches are larger in I. cenchoa and extend onto lateral tips of ventrals; Fig. 3). Scale counts and measurements of species of Imantodes from Ecuador are presented in Table 2 [in TORRES-CARVAJAL et al. 2012]. 
CommentHabitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet chocoensis is an adjective derived from Chocó, the very humid tropical region comprising the Pacific coast of northern Ecuador, Colombia and Panama (Morrone 2001). This region is part of the 274,597 km2 Tumbes- Chocó-Magdalena hotspot as defined by Conservation International, which includes more than 320 species of reptiles. 
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Jaramillo-Martínez, A.F.; A. Valencia-Zuleta; F. Castro-Herrera. 2013. Imantodes chocoensis Torres-Carvajal, Yánez-Muñoz, Quirola, Smith, and Almendáriz, 2012 (Squamata: Dipsadidae): First records from Colombia. Check List 9 (5): 1070-1071 - get paper here
  • Missassi, A. F. R., J. C. L. Costa & A. L. C. Prudente 2015. Range extension of the Chocoan blunt-headed vine snake: Imantodes chocoensis (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) in northwestern Colombia. Salamandra 51 (3): 269-272 - get paper here
  • MISSASSI, ALEXANDRE F. R. & ANA L. C. PRUDENTE 2015. A new species of Imantodes Duméril, 1853 (Serpentes, Dipsadidae) from the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia. Zootaxa 3980 (4): 562–574 - get paper here
  • Rojas-Morales, Julián Andrés, Sergio Escobar-Lasso, Alejandra Osorio-Ortíz y Leidy Andrea Lozano-Ríos 2013. Third observation of the Chocoan blunt-headed vine snake, Imantodes chocoensis (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) for Colombia. Biota Colombiana 14 (2): 341-344 - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O, Pazmiño-Otamendi G, Salazar-Valenzuela D. 2019. Reptiles of Ecuador: a resource-rich portal, with a dynamic checklist and photographic guides. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13 (1): [General Section]: 209–229 (e178) - get paper here
  • Torres-Carvajal O., Yánez-Muñoz MH, Quirola D, Smith EN, Almendáriz A 2012. A new species of blunt-headed vine snake (Colubridae, Imantodes) from the Chocó region of Ecuador. ZooKeys 244: 91–110. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.244.3950 - get paper here
  • Valencia-Zuleta A, Jaramillo-Martínez AF, Echeverry-Bocanegra A, Viáfara-Vega R, Hernández-Córdoba O, Cardona-Botero VE, Gutiérrez-Zúñiga J, Castro-Herrera F. 2014. Conservation status of the herpetofauna, protected areas, and current problems in Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 8 (2): 1–18 (e87) - 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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