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Mastigodryas dorsalis (BOCOURT, 1890)

IUCN Red List - Mastigodryas dorsalis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Striped Lizard Eater 
SynonymDrymobius (Eudryas) dorsalis BOCOURT 1890: 724
Dryadophis dorsalis — STUART 1939: 55
Dryadophis dorsalis — STUART 1941: 95
Dryadophis dorsalis — MERTENS 1952: 62
Dryadophis melanolomus dorsalis — LYNCH & SMITH 1966
Mastigodryas dorsalis — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 193
Dryadophis dorsalis — MEYER & WILSON 1971
Dryadophis dorsalis — VILLA et al. 1988
Dryadophis dorsalis — LINER 1994
Mastigodryas dorsalis — DIXON & TIPTON 2004
Dryadophis dorsalis — KÖHLER et al. 2005
Mastigodryas dorsalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 429
Mastigodryas dorsalis — MONTINGELLI et al. 2018 
DistributionS Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador

Type locality: “le plateau de Guatemala” [= highlands of
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1891.0257 
DiagnosisDESCRIPTION. The ground color of the dorsum (stratum corneum lacking) is composed of shades of bluish gray. Some of the dorsal scales may be flecked with white at the edges or may have a narrow white anterior border, usually concealed by the posterior part of the preceding scale. A middorsal, longitudinal, dark stripe exteiids from the nape to the end of the tail and is formed by tbe darkelzing of scale row 9 and of the upper half of scale rows 8 and 10. In some specimens there is an indication of a lateral dark stripe on scale row 3 over the fore part of the body. The upper surface of the head is of the same color as is the dorsum, and the sides of the head are somewhat lighter. A slight dark smudge extends from the nostril through the eye and across the temporals. The supralabials are white, sometimes narrowly margined with gray. The infralabials, chin, aud throat are immaculate white. The belly and undersurface of the tail are white, heavily mottled or flecked with gray. Laterally, the dorsal ground color infringes upon the belly and ventral surface of the tail and is delimited by a narrow white line. Fresh specimens have not been available, but Bocourt stated (1870-1909: 725) that the dorsal ground color is olive, and I have seen specimens in the zoological gardens in Guatemala City which bear out this statement (PI. IV, Fig. 5).
The scutellation of dorsalis is as follows: abdominals, 177-96 (183); subcaudals, 109-31 (121); total ventrals, 286-316 (302) (Stuart 1941: 95) 
CommentDistribution: not in Mexico (Heimes 2016, Wallach et al. 2014: 429).

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • Bocourt, M. E. 1873. In: A. Duméril, M. F. Bocourt, and F. Mocquard, (1870-1909), Etudes sur les reptiles, p. i-xiv; In Recherches Zoologiques pour servir a l'Histoire de Ia Faune de l'Amérique Centrale et du Mexique. Mission Scientifique au Mexique et dans l'Amérique Ce Imprimerie Impériale, Paris, Livr. 2-15, pp. 33-860. - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R.; Tipton, Bob L. 2004. Dryadophis versus Mastigodryas (Ophidia: Colubridae): a proposed solution. Herpetological Review 35 (4): 347-348. - get paper here
  • Espinal, Mario; José Mario Solís, Carlos O’Reilly, and Rony Valle 2014. New distributional records for amphibians and reptiles from the department of Choluteca, Honduras. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 298 - get paper here
  • Guerra Centeno, Dennis; Héctor Fuentes Rousselin & David Morán Villatoro 2012. Serpientes de Guatemala: Guía para didentificación de especies. Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, 186 pp.
  • 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
  • Jansen, M. & G. Koehler 2002. Biogeographische Analyse der Herpetofauna von ausgewählten Hochlandgebieten Nicaraguas. Salamandra 38 (4): 269-286 - get paper here
  • Juárez-Peña, Carlos, Ángel Sosa Bartuano and Silvia Sigüenza-Mejia. 2016. New herpetofaunal records for Parque Nacional Montecristo, El Salvador. El Salvador, Santa Ana. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(4): 1107–1113 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2005. Dryadophis dorsalis (BOCOURT). Sauria 27 (3): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Köhler, G.; Vesely, M. & Greenbaum, E. 2005. The amphibians and reptiles of El Salvador. Krieger Publishing, 238 pp. [review in Sauria 28 (3): 13)
  • Lynch,J. D., & SMITH, H. M. 1966. New or unusual amphibians and reptiles from Oaxaca, Mexico, II. Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci. 69: 58-75. - get paper here
  • McCranie J R 2011. The snakes of Honduras. SSAR, Salt Lake City, 725 pp.
  • McCranie, James R. 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed. Zootaxa 3931 (3): 352–386 - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1952. Die Amphibien und Reptilien von El Salvador. Abh. senckenb. naturf. Ges. (Frankfurt) (No. 487): 120 pp.
  • Meyer, J. R., & WILSON, L. D. 1971. Taxonomic studies and notes on some Honduran amphibians and reptiles. Bull. So. Calif. Acad. Sci., 70: 106-114. - get paper here
  • Montingelli GG, Grazziotin FG, Battilana J, Murphy RW, Zhang Y‐P, Zaher H. 2018. Higher‐level phylogenetic affinities of the Neotropical genus Mastigodryas Amaral, 1934 (Serpentes: Colubridae), species‐group definition and description of a new genus for Mastigodryas bifossatus. J Zool Syst Evol Res. 57: 205– 239 [online 2018, in print 2019] - get paper here
  • Smith, H. M.; Larsen, K. R. 1974. The nominal snake genera Mastigodryas Amaral 1934 and Dryadophis Stuart 1939. Great Basin Naturalist 33: 276. - get paper here
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
  • Stuart, L. C. 1939. A new name for the genus Eudryas Fitzinger 1843. Copeia 1939 (1): 55 - get paper here
  • Stuart, L. C. 1941. Studies of Neotropical Colubrinae VIII. A revision of the genus Dryadophis Stuart, 1939. Miscellaneous publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (49): 1-106 - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier 2014. An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Nicaragua. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 186–202. - 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.
  • Wilson, L. D., & MEYER, J. R. 1985. The Snakes of Honduras. 2d ed. Milwaukee Publ. Mus. Publ., Biol. & Geol. No. 6, 150 pp.
  • Wilson, L.D., McCranie, J.R. & Porras, L. 1979. New departmental records of amphibians and reptiles from Honduras. Herpetological Review 10 (1): 25 - get paper here
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