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Leptophis dibernardoi ALBUQUERQUE, SANTOS, BORGES-NOJOSA & ÁVILA, 2022

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymLeptophis dibernardoi ALBUQUERQUE, SANTOS, BORGES-NOJOSA & ÁVILA 2022
Leptophis dibernardoi — ALBUQUERQUE et al. 2022 
DistributionBrazil (Ceará)

Type locality: Messejana (03°49ʹ51″S, 38°29ʹ10″W; datum = WGS 84), municipality of Fortaleza, state of Ceará, Brazil.  
ReproductionOviparous; 9-15 eggs per clutch (ALBUQUERQUE et al. 2022) 
TypesHolotype: CHUFC 1104, an adult male collected by R.B. Marques on 6 June 1985.
Paratypes (n = 40): Piauí: São Raimundo Nonato, Parque Nacional da Serra da Capivara: MNRJ 7596, male, collected March 2000 by Márcia Chame. Ceará: Aiuaba: URCA 5539, female, collected 11 June 2013 by R.W. Ávila; Aquiraz: CHUFC 1602, male, collected 18 February 2006 by R.L. Viana-Neto; CHUFC 1227, female, collected 18 May 1986 by L.S. Nascimento; MCP 18318 (formerly CHUFC 1881), female, collected 18 February 2006 by L.R. Esmeraldo; Barro: URCA 6127, female, collected 1 February 2013 by D. Oliveira; URCA 6142, male, collected 8 August 2013 by D. Oliveira; URCA 7890, male, collected 19 January 2014 by D. Oliveira; Crato: URCA 10126, female, collected 20 November 2014 by C. Ferreira-Silva; Farias Brito: URCA 9431, female, collected 8 June 2014 by C. Oliveira; URCA 10617, female, collected 18 January 2015 by C. Oliveira; URCA 10618, male, collected 20 December 2014 by C. Oliveira; Fortaleza: Campus do Pici: CHUFC 1140, male, collected 20 February 1984 by E. Rolim; CHUFC 1722, female, collected 19 February 1989 by J.S. Lima-Verde; CHUFC 1980, female, collected 18 May 1988 by M.G. Silva; Mucuripe: MNRJ 1959, female, and MNRJ 1960–61, males, collected 1 July 1945 by A.L. Carvalho; Guaiuba: MPEG 27110 (formerly CHUFC 1442), collected 10 September 1989 by J.M.F. Macedo; ZUFMSREP 3456 (formerly CHUFC 1919), collected 25 January 1989 by J.M.F. Macedo; CHUFC 1929, male, collected 14 March 1987 by J.M. Macedo; Iguatu: Chapada do Apodi: CHUFC 525 and MCP 17835 (formerly CHUFC 523), males, collected 1971 by J.S. Lima-Verde; Lavras da Mangabeira: URCA 11130, males, collected 4 June 2015 by H. Machado; Limoeiro do Norte: CHUFC 221, 365, 561, males, collected June 1971 by A.S. Lima-Verde; CHUFC 493, female, collected 1971 by J.S. Lima-Verde; Maranguape: Serra de Maranguape: MZUSP 23131 (formerly CHUFC 1611), female, collected 8 April 1989; CHUFC 1172, male, collected 16 March 1985 by F.J. Rodrigues; CHUFC 1244, female, collected 29 March 1987 by J.M.H. Cavalcante; Mauriti: URCA 12023, male, collected 27 April 2016 by A. Silva-Neta; Morada Nova: CHUFC 1721, male, collected 17 April 1989 by E.G. Girão; Pacajus: CHUFC 1732, female, collected 2 July 1988 by F.J.M. Andrade; Trairí: URCA 5696, female, collected 27 December 2012 by A. Schlickmann. Rio Grande do Norte: João Câmara: URCA 1245, female, collected 25 April 2011 by S. Brito. Paraíba: João Pessoa: Jardim Botânico Benjamim Maranhão: UFPB 4300, male, 2006 by G. Pereira-Filho. Pernambuco: Exu: URCA 6436, female, collected 16 August 2003 by J. Araújo-Filho. Minas Gerais: Jaíba: Mocambinho: MZUFV 842, male, collected 14 June 1997 by R. Feio and J.L. Pontes; MZUFV 913, female, collected 11 June 1997 by R. Feio and J.L. Pontes. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Leptophis dibernardoi can be distinguished from its congeners by the following unique combination of character states: (1) head scales not edged with black and with no black spots; (2) adult color pattern with no dark dorsal bands; (3) two dorsolateral stripes separated from each other by vertebral stripe one to one and a half scales wide in adults, at least anteriorly; (4) dorsals keeled, except first dorsal row on each side; keels not black; (5) no loreal scale; (6) ventrals 158–171 in males, 160–177 in females; (7) subcaudals 137–160 in males, 144–162 in females; (8) dorsal scales of tail keeled until point at which reduction from six to four scales occurs; (9) maxillary teeth 21–24; (10) TL/SvL: 95% CI = 0.585–0.611 (n = 24); (11) small spines at first basal row of hemipenial body; (12) asulcate side of hemipenis similar to sulcate side. (Albuquerque et al. 2022).

Comparisons. Leptophis dibernardoi is distinguished from all members of the L. ahaetulla complex, except L. ahaetulla, by having two dorsolateral stripes separated from each other by a vertebral stripe extending onto the tail (vs. no dorsolateral stripes). Leptophis dibernardoi is similar to L. ahaetulla in its dorsal coloration, with both species sharing the pattern of two green dorsolateral stripes separated by a vertebral stripe, at least anteriorly. However, in life, the first (on the anterior region of trunk) to fourth (middle to posterior region) dorsal scale rows are White to Pale Sulphur Yellow (92) in L. dibernardoi (vs. second to fourth rows Sulphur Yellow [80]). The Jet Black (300) postocular stripe is wider in L. dibernardoi than in L. ahaetulla, occupying the lower half or two-thirds of the anterior temporal and most of the lower posterior temporal (vs. lower edge of the anterior temporal, with lower edge to one-third of lower posterior temporal pigmented). The snout is wider and shorter in L. dibernardoi than in L. ahaetulla. In life, the dorsal background color of L. dibernardoi is Light Emerald Green (142) to Robin’s Egg Blue (161) (vs. Light Grass Green [109] to Light Emerald Green [142] in L. ahaetulla). It is further distinguished from the occasionally sympatric L. liocercus by having supracephalic scales not edged with black (vs. edged with black, Figs. 16A, 17). (Albuquerque et al. 2022). 
CommentDiet: Vitt and Vangilder (1983) recorded three snouted tree frogs, Scinax x-signatus (Spix, 1824), and one tree frog, Pithecopus nordestinus (Caramaschi, 2006), in the diet of four snakes collected within 20 km of Exu, Pernambuco. Oliveira et al. (2014) recorded the treefrog Corythomantis greeningi Boulenger, 1896 in the diet of one specimen from Aiuaba, state of Ceará. Ribeiro et al. (2014) observed an adult Leptophis dibernardoi sp. nov. (total length ca. 80 cm) among the branches of a shrub preying on a juvenile pale-breasted thrush Turdus leucomelas (Vieillot, 1818) in the coastal region near Natal, Rio Grande do Norte. (ALBUQUERQUE et al. 2022)

Behavior: According to Mesquita et al. (2013), L. dibernardoi sp. nov. (identified as L. ahaetulla) is diurnal and arboreal. (ALBUQUERQUE et al. 2022) 
EtymologyThe specific epithet dibernardoi is a patronym (masculine genitive) named in honor of Prof. Dr. Marcos Di-Bernardo (in memoriam), in recognition of his contribution to the knowledge of the herpetofauna of southern Brazil. 
  • ALBUQUERQUE, NELSON RUFINO DE; & DANIEL S. FERNANDES 2022. Taxonomic revision of the parrot snake Leptophis ahaetulla (Serpentes, Colubridae) Zootaxa 5153 (1): 001–069 - get paper here
  • Albuquerque, Nelson Rufino de; Fernanda Martins dos Santos, Diva Maria Borges-Nojosa, and Robson Waldemar Ávila 2022. A New Species of Parrot-Snake of the Genus Leptophis Bell, 1825 (Serpentes, Colubridae) from the Semi-Arid Region of Brazil. South American Journal of Herpetology 23(2), 7-24, (18 April 2022) - get paper here
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