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Mastigodryas melanolomus (COPE, 1868)

IUCN Red List - Mastigodryas melanolomus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesMastigodryas melanolomus laevis (FISCHER 1881)
Mastigodryas melanolomus melanolomus (COPE 1868)
Mastigodryas melanolomus stuarti (SMITH 1943)
Mastigodryas melanolomus tehuanae (SMITH 1943)
Mastigodryas melanolomus veraecrucis STUART 1941 
Common NamesE: Salmon-bellied Treeracer, Salmon-bellied Racer
G: Amerikanische Peitschennatter
sanguiventris: Taylor's Tropical Racer
S: Lagartijera Común 
SynonymMasticophis melanolomus COPE 1868: 134
Eudryas slevini STUART 1933: 9
Eudryas boddaerti melanolomus x laevis — STUART 1935: 48
Eudryas boddaerti melanolomus — SCHMIDT & ANDREWS 1936
Eudryas boddaerti melanolomus — GAIGE 1936
Dryadophis melanolomus — STUART 1939: 55 (by implication)
Eudryas boddaertii slevini — SMITH 1939: 317
Dryadophis slevini — TAYLOR 1939
Dryadophis sanguiventris TAYLOR 1954: 722
Dryadophis melanolomus — MARTIN 1958
Dryadophis melanolomus melanolomus — NEILL & ALLEN 1959
Mastigodryas sanguiventris — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 195
Mastigodryas melanolomus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 194
Dryadophis melanolomus — VILLA et al. 1988
Dryadophis melanolomus — LINER 1994
Dryadophis melanomus [sic] — MONROY IBARRA et al. 1996
Dryadophis melanolomus — LEE 2000: 285
Mastigodryas melanolomus — TORRES-CARVAJAL 2004
Mastigodryas melanolomus — DIXON & TIPTON 2004
Dryadophis melanolomus — MCCRANIE & CASTAÑEDA 2005
Dryadophis melanolomus — KÖHLER et al. 2005
Mastigodryas melanolomus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 429
Mastigodryas melanolomus — MONTINGELLI et al. 2018
Mastigodryas melanolomus — CURLIS et al. 2020

Mastigodryas melanolomus laevis (FISCHER 1881)
Herpetodryas Laevis FISCHER 1881: 227
Dromicus coeruleus FISCHER 1885: 103
Drymobius boddaerti var. modesta WERNER 1903: 346
Dryadophis melanolomus laevis — STUART 1941: 86
Mastigodryas melanolomus laevis — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 194

Mastigodryas melanolomus stuarti (SMITH 1943)
Dryadophis melanolomus stuarti SMITH 1943: 418
Dryadophis melanolomus stuarti — HARDY 1969: 158
Dryadophis melanolomus stuarti — WEBB 1984

Mastigodryas melanolomus tehuanae (SMITH 1943)
Dryadophis melanolomus tehuanae SMITH 1943: 420
Dryadophis melanolomus tehuanae — SMITH & LANGEBARTEL 1949: 410
Mastigodryas melanolomus tehuanae — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970

Mastigodryas melanolomus veraecrucis STUART 1941
Eudryas boddaertii mexicanus STUART 1933: 8
Dryadophis boddaertii mexicanus — TAYLOR 1939
Dryadophis melanolomus veraecrucis — STUART 1941: 91 (nom. nov.)
Dryadophis melanolomus veraecrucis — TAYLOR 1949: 199
Dryadophis melanolomus veraecrucis — TAYLOR 1950
Dryadophis melanolomus veraecrucis — SMITH 1986 
DistributionMexico (Chiapas, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Hidalgo [HR 27: 212], Puebla, Campeche, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Quéretaro, Quintana Roo, Jalisco, Nayarit, Guerrero, Morelos), Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica

Type locality: Yucatan

gaigeae (invalid): Panama; Type locality: Panama, Chiriqui, Boquete, Wright’s Ranch, ca. 1219 m elevation;

laevis: Guatemala; Type locality: Guatemala

sanguiventris (invalid): Costa Rica; Type locality: Esquinas, Forest Reserve, Las Esquinas (between Palmar and Golfito), Punta Arenas Province, Costa Rica.

slevini (invalid): Mexico (Tres Marías Island, Maria Madre and Maria Magdalena); Type locality: Maria Madre Island, Tres Marias Islands.

stuarti: Mexico (Sinaloa, Guerrero). Type locality: near Acapulco, Guerrero.

tehuanae: Mexico (Pacific slopes of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec); Type locality: Cerro Guengola, near Tehuantepec, Oaxaca.

veraecrucis: Mexico (Veracruz, San Luis Potosi); Type locality: Zacuapán (= Zacualpán ?), Mexico (Stuart 1941)  
TypesHolotype: USNM 24985, an 1124 mm specimen (A. Schott).
Holotype: KUMNH No. 31978 [sanguiventris]
Holotype: ZSM 1627/0, adult [Drymobius boddaerti var. modesta]
Holotype: SMNS 2032, originally "Königl. Naturalienkabinett Stuttgart" (fide Fischer 1881) [laevis]
Holotype: CAS 58679 [slevini]
Holotype: USNM 110924 [stuarti]
Holotype: USNM 110917 [tehuanae]
Holotype: BMNH (fide SMith & Taylor 1945: 53) [veraecrucis] 
DiagnosisDescription: Stuart 1941: 88

Description (laevis): Stuart 1941: 86

Diagnosis (sanguiventris): A member of the alternattis group of the genus with dorsal coloration occupying outer, turned up, one fifth of ventrals; remaining part of ventral surface of body red to magenta or nearly orange red; ventrals somewhat angulate. Labials largely red; no distinct dark line on side of head; chin mottled gray and pink (from TAYLOR 1954). 
CommentSynonymy and subspecies after PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970.
Has been confused with Liophis albicara (fide TORRES-CARVAJAL 2004). Most recent authors do not appear to recognize M. m. slevini Stuart 1933.

Distribution: populations of this species from Panama and further east have been referred to M. alternatus by McCranie 2011.

Habitat: terrestrial to semi-arboreal

Relative abundance in Honduras: rare

Description: This species shows a marked ontogenetic change in coloration involving the gradual expansion of the dorsal blotches to eliminate the light interspaces and the elongation and fusion of the lateral blotches to form dark fields bordering the lateral light stripes. In addition the bold head markings become muted and obscured with age. Another remarkable change occurs in preserved adults. The dorsal ground color turns to bluish gfay, and the light stripe frequently becomes the same color so that the snake appears a uniform color above. Elsewhere in the species' range some adults are unicolor. So far as can be determined, based on available field notes, slides, and recollections, all Costa Rican adults of the species are striped in life, but it may be that an occasional uniform brown example will be found. The species exhibits considerable geographic variation in coloration and shows clinal trends in subcaudal counts [from SAVAGE 2002]. 
EtymologyThe specific name is derived from the Latin words me/ano, meaning "black" and lomus, meaning "border or side," in reference to the black border on the body and/or tail (LEMOS-ESPINAL & DIXON 2013). 
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  • Woolrich-Piña, Guillermo A, Paulino Ponce-Campos, Jesús Loc-Barragán, Juan Pablo Ramírez-Silva, Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson, Elí García-Padilla and Larry David Wilson. 2016. The herpetofauna of Nayarit, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (2): 376-448 - get paper here
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