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Micrurus altirostris (COPE, 1860)

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Uruguayan coral snake
Portuguese: Boipinima, Cobra-Coral, Cobra-Coral-Comum, Cobra-Coral-Pampeana, Cobra-Coral-Uruguaia, Coral-Verdadeira 
SynonymElaps altirostris COPE 1860: 345 (1859)
Elaps heterochilus MOCQUARD 1887
Elaps frontalis — BOULENGER 1896 (part.)
Micrurus frontalis altirostris SCHMIDT 1936
Micrurus lemniscatus multicinctus — AMARAL 1944 (part.)
Micrurus frontalis multicinctus — ROZE 1983 (part.)
Micrurus frontalis altirostris — CEI 1993
Micrurus frontalis altirostris — WELCH 1994: 83
Micrurus frontalis altirostris — ROZE 1994
Micrurus altirostris — JORGE DA SILVA & SITES 1999: 156
Micrurus altirostris — WALLACH et al. 2014: 441
Micrurus altirostris — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionBrazil (Rio Grande do Sul), Uruguay,
NE Argentina (Corrientes, Entre Rios, Misiones), Paraguay (fide Paul Smith, pers. comm., 27 Apr 2014)

Type locality: "South America".  
TypesHolotype: ANSP 6857; “unknown locality” fide MALNATE 1971. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Micrurus altirostris is a triadal coralsnake with a black snout and most scales bordered by white. The frontal is usually completely black, but the overall color of the head is red, which covers most of the parietals, temporals, and supralabials posterior from the eyes. The posterior border of the parietals is black (Figs. 8-11). There is a tendency toward increased melanism of the red color of the head and triad rings. Inferiorly, the gular region is red with irregular but intense black markings. All supralabials and infralabials possess ir-regular black markings. The triads on this form are characterized by subequal black rings (3-4 dorsal scales) with shorter white rings (1-2 dorsal scales) (see Table 1). The middle black ring sometimes can be a little longer than the external ones (4-5 dorsal scales). The first triad begins always at 1 or 2 dorsal scales from the parietals. All red and white rings are black-tipped. The triad total length is the shortest among all taxa of this complex. Triads range from 13 to 18 (Table 2). 
CommentDistribution: not corrected for elevation of altirostris to species status. See map in Nogueira et al. 2019.


Synonymy partly after ROZE 1996: 173.

Date of publication sometimes cited as 1860. 
EtymologyLatin from alti- meaning high and rostris meaning snout, probably alluding to the black coloration of the snout that extends to the parietals. 
  • Bellini, Gisela Paola; Vanesa Arzamendia and Alejandro Raúl Giraudo 2019. Reproductive life history of snakes in temperate regions: what are the differences between oviparous and viviparous species? Amphibia-Reptilia 40 (3): 291–303 - get paper here
  • Bérnils, R.S.; Batista, M.A. & Bertelli, P.W. 2001. Cobras e lagartos do Vale: levantamento das espécies de Squamata (Reptilia, Lepidosauria) da Bacia do Rio Itajai, Santa Catarina, Brasil. Rev. Est. Ambientais (Blumenau) 3 (1): 69-79
  • Cacciali, Pier; Norman J. Scott, Aida Luz Aquino Ortíz, Lee A. Fitzgerald, and Paul Smith 2016. The Reptiles of Paraguay: Literature, Distribution, and an Annotated Taxonomic Checklist. SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MUSEUM OF SOUTHWESTERN BIOLOGY, NUMBER 11: 1–373 - get paper here
  • Carreira Vidal, Santiago 2002. Alimentación de los ofidios de Uruguay. Asoc. Herp. Esp., Monograf. Herp. 6, 127 pp. - get paper here
  • Carreira, S.; Brazeiro, A.; Camargo, A.; da Rosa, I.; Canavero, A. & Maneyro, M. 2012. DIVERSITY OF REPTILES OF URUGUAY: KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION GAPS. Bol. Soc. Zool. Uruguay (2a época) 21 (1-2): 9-29 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1860. Catalogue of the venomous serpents in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes on the families, genera and species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1859: 332-347 - get paper here
  • Da SILVA, N. J. JR. & J. W. JR. SITES 1999. Revision of the Micrurus frontalis complex (Serpentes: Elapidae). Herpetological Monographs 13: 142-194 - get paper here
  • Dainesi, Raiane Lesley Santos; Arthur Diesel Abegg, Paulo Sérgio Bernarde, Bruno Peña Correa, Laís Pio Caetano Machado, Afonso Santiago de Oliveira Meneses, Arthur de Sena Santos 2019. Integrative overview of snake species from Londrina, State of Paraná, Brazil. Herpetology Notes 12: 419-430 - get paper here
  • DI-BERNARDO, MARCOS; MARCIO BORGES-MARTINS & NELSON JORGE DA SILVA, JR. 2007. A new species of coralsnake (Micrurus: Elapidae) from southern Brazil. Zootaxa 1447: 1–26 - get paper here
  • Getelina, Manoela Alberton; Gilcinéia dos Santos, Marcelo Carvalho da Rocha, Ivanice Buzatto, Rodrigo Ceratto Bortoluzzi 2018. A new scaping strategie of Micrurus altirostris (Cope, 1860) ( Serpentes, Elapidae) at the Southern Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest. Herpetology Notes 11: 437-439 - get paper here
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira. 9(2): 121 – 214
  • Lema, T. de 2004. Comentários sobre a varião cromatica de Micrurus altirostris (Serpentes, Elapidae) e espécies simpátricas de Micrurus. Acta Biologica Leopoldensia, S„o Leopoldo, v. 26, n. 1, p. 101-115
  • Malnate, Edmund V. 1971. A catalogue of primary types in the Herpetological Collections of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia (ANSP). Proccedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 123 (9): 345-375 - get paper here
  • Marques, Otavio A. V.; Lígia Pizzatto, and Selma M. Almeida Santos 2013. Reproductive Strategies of New World Coral Snakes, Genus Micrurus. Herpetologica 69 (1): 58-66. - get paper here
  • Morato, Sérgio Augusto Abrahão; Renato Silveira Bérnils, Julio Cesar de Moura-Leite 2017. RÉPTEIS DE CURITIBA: COLETÂNEA DE REGISTROS Hori Consultoria, Curitiba, Paraná, Brasil, 99 pp.
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo,<br />Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins,<br />Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz0, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisnero 2019. Atlas of Brazilian snakes: verified point-locality maps to mitigate the Wallacean shortfall in a megadiverse snake fauna. South American J. Herp. 14 (Special Issue 1):1-274 - get paper here
  • Outeiral, Arlete B.; Rafael L. Balestrin, Lize H. Cappellari, Thales de Lema, Vanda Lúcia Ferreira 2018. Snake assemblage from Serra do Sudeste, Pampa Biome in Southern Brazil. Herpetology Notes 11: 733-745 - get paper here
  • Rodríguez, María Eugenia; Vanesa Arzamendia, Gisela Paola Bellini, Alejandro Raúl Giraudo 2018. Natural history of the threatened coral snake Micrurus altirostris (Serpentes: Elapidae) in Argentina. Rev. Mex. Biodiv. 89: 1255 - 1262 - get paper here
  • Roze, J.A. 1994. Notes on the taxonomy of venomous coral snakes (Elapidae) of South America. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 30: 177-185. - get paper here
  • Souza Filho, Gilberto Alves de; Fernanda Stender de Oliveira 2015. Squamate reptiles from Mauá Hydroelectric Power Plant, state of Paraná, southern Brazil. Check List 11 (6): 1800 - 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.
  • Zaracho, Víctor Hugo; Ingaramo, María del Rosario; Semhan, Romina Valeria; Etchepare, Eduardo; Acosta, José Luis; Falcione, Ana Camila; Álvarez, Blanca 2014. Herpetofauna de la Reserva Natural Provincial Isla Apipé Grande (Corrientes, Argentina). Cuad. herpetol. 28 (2): 153-160 - get paper here
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