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Micrurus carvalhoi (ROZE, 1967)

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Brazilian ribbon coral snake 
SynonymMicrurus lemniscatus carvalhoi ROZE 1967: 33
Micrurus lemniscatus carvalhoi — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 212
Micrurus lemniscatus carvalhoi — WELCH 1994: 85
Micrurus lemniscatus carvalhoi — BARRIO-AMOROS et al. 2003
Micrurus lemniscatus carvalhoi — FROTA et al. 2005
Micrurus lemniscatus carvalhoi — PIRES et al. 2014
Micrurus carvalhoi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 446
Micrurus carvalhoi — PIRES et al. 2021: 66 
DistributionNE/C Brazil (Bahia, Alagoas, DF, Goiás, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Paraíba, Paraná, Pernambuco, São Paulo, Tocantins, Espírito Santo), Argentina (Corrientes), Paraguay (Amambay, Caaguazú)

Type locality: "Catanduva, Sao Paulo, Brazil".  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesHolotype: USNM 76341, male, ZMB 2727 seems to be the iconotype from Seba 1734; paratypes: USNM, AMNH, FMNH, MCZ, MNRJ, NMW, CAS, SMF [carvalhoi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Diagnosis. Micrurus carvalhoi can be distinguished from all other triadal species of Micrurus by the following combination of morphological characters: black snout (rostral, internasals, anterior border of prefrontals and nasals, and 1–2 supralabials); white preocular transverse band covers most of prefrontals, anterior border of supraoculars, posterior nasals, preoculars, and 2–3 supralabials; black cephalic cap includes frontal, supraoculars, and postoculars, anterior 2⁄3 of parietals, temporals, and 4–5 supralabials; head red, with or without black tipped scales; gulars red, with mental and some or most of infralabials black, in a horseshoe-shaped pattern; 1st triad separated from parietals by 3–4 scales; middle black ring longer or same length as outer ones; white rings shorter than outer black rings; red rings shorter that entire triad or even middle black ring; red and white
rings usually with black-tipped scales (Fig. 43); and 7–18 body triads and 1⁄3–2 tail triads (Pires et al. 2021: 67).

Comparison with sympatric species. In northeastern Brazil, Micrurus carvalhoi is sympatric with M. ibiboboca, M. brasiliensis, M. potyguara, and M. lemniscatus (in the western limit of its distribution). In the open areas of central Brazil, M. carvalhoi is sympatric with M. frontalis, and in the southeastern region with M. decoratus and the monadal M. corallinus. In the southern region, it is sympatric with M. altirostris and M. silviae, and in the southwestern region, with M. baliocoryphus and M. tricolor, but less probable with M. pyrrhocryptus based on the actual distributional information (Silva Jr., 2016; see Chapter 5). Micrurus carvalhoi differs from M. lemniscatus by a mean lower number of ventrals (242.6 vs. 245.8) and subcaudals (30.8 vs. 36.4), a higher number of body triads (12.6 vs. 10.8), and a longer black cephalic cap; from M. potyguara by a shorter black cephalic cap that does not cover the entire surface of the parietals, and the head is not distinct from the neck (vs. long cephalic cap entirely covering the parietals, and the head is broader than the neck); from M. decoratus by the presence of a complete set of black rings on the first triad (vs. an incomplete first triad), 20–41 SC (vs. 14–35), and 9–16 body triads (vs. 12–23); from M. corallinus by the presence of a triadal pattern (vs. a monadal pattern); from M. ibiboboca by the presence of an immaculate black snout (vs. the snout motled with white); and from M. altirostris, M. baliocoryphus, M. brasiliensis, M. frontalis, M. pyrrhocryptus, M. silviae, M. tricolor by the presence of a white prefrontal transverse band (vs. the absence of a white prefrontal transverse band) (Pires et al. 2021: 67).

Variation. The head is red and might contain irregular black markings, black-tipped scales, or both. The length of the white transverse band and the black cephalic cap is variable. The black cephalic cap generally reaches the anterior 2⁄3 (57.6%), 1⁄2 of parietals (26.4%), or the anterior 1⁄3 (6.9%), but rarely reaches the entire parietals (9%). Ventrally, the chin contains irregular black markings that include the mental and most or all of the infralabials, in a typical horseshoe-shaped pattern (86.4%). Another pattern might be an irregular semicircle (8.5%), black posterior infralabials (2.2%), black anterior gulars (1.4%), and other aberrant forms (1.5%) (Fig. 47). In males (N = 301), the ventrals = 186–270, the subcaudals = 20–41, and the body triads = 7–11; the HL = 7.9–38 mm, the SVL = 210–1,550 mm, and the TL = 12.8–100.9 mm. In females (N = 132), the ventrals = 210–276, the subcaudals = 21–40, and the body triads = 9–16; the HL = 8.0–34.3 mm, the SVL = 96–1,274 mm, and the TL = 13.1–85.7 mm. The 1st triad is separated from the parietals by 2–5 vertebral scales: 3 (54%), 4 (31%), 2 (11%), and 5 (4%). The black middle triad rings might be longer that the outer rings (84.8%), or all three are semi-equal in length (15.2%). The white rings vary in length (0.5–3 dorsal scales) with the majority (84.5%) consisting of 11⁄2 (33.8%), 2 (30.4), and 21⁄2 (20.3%) scales. The tail triads are 1–2, with a predominance of the 12⁄3 pattern (12⁄3 = 50%; 11⁄3 = 30.6%; 2 = 16.2%; 1 = 3.2%). The degree of black pigmentation on the red rings is variable and can be irregular (86%), with all of the scales containing black tipping (7.3%) or immaculate (6.7%). Similarly, the white rings can be irregular and marked with black (31.3%), immaculate (22%), or the scales might contain fine black tipping (46.7%) (Pires et al. 2021: 67) 
CommentSynonymy: For a discussion of nomenclatural and historical issues, see Pires et al. 2021.

Venomous!

Sympatry: M. ibiboboca and others.

Similar species: M. lemniscatus, M. ibiboboca, M. potyguara, possibly others. 
EtymologyM. l. carvalhoi was named after the Brazilian herpetologist, Antenor Leitäo de Carvalho, "whose friendly cooperation is weIl known and appreciated within and outside Brazil," as is stated in the original description. 
References
  • Barrio Amorós, César Luis and Daniel Calcaño 2003. First record of Micrurus lemniscatus (Linnaeus, 1758) from western Venezuela with comments on coral snakes from the eastern Andean piedmont (Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae). Herpetozoa 16 (1/2):73-78 - get paper here
  • Dubeux, M. J. M., Araújo Neto, J. V. D., Triburcio, I. C. S., Lisboa, B. S., Torquato, S., Freitas, M. A. D., ... & Mott, T. 2022. A “hotspot” within a hotspot: the reptiles of the Estação Ecológica and Área de Proteção Ambiental de Murici, Atlantic Forest of northeastern Brazil. Biota Neotropica, 22: 1-14 - get paper here
  • Frota, J.G. da; Pedroso dos Santos-Jr, Alfredo; Menezes-Chalkidis, H. de & Guimarães Guedes, A. 2005. AS SERPENTES DA REGIÃO DO BAIXO RIO AMAZONAS, OESTE DO ESTADO DO PARÁ, BRASIL (SQUAMATA). Biociências 13 (2): 211-220 - get paper here
  • Hurtado-Gómez, J. P.; Ramírez, M. V., Gómez, F. J. R., Fouquet, A., & Fritz, U. 2021. Multilocus phylogeny clarifies relationships and diversity within the Micrurus lemniscatus complex (Serpentes: Elapidae). Salamandra 57 (2): 229-239
  • Peters, James A.; Donoso-Barros, Roberto & Orejas-Miranda, Braulio 1970. Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: Part I Snakes. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 297: 347 pp. - get paper here
  • Pires, Matheus Godoy; Darlan Tavares Feitosa, Felipe G. Grazziotin, Ana Lúcia da Costa Prudente, Nelson Jorge da Silva, Jr., and Hussam Zaher 2021. CHAPTER 2. HISTORICAL AND TAXONOMIC RELEVANCE OF COLUBER LEMNISCATUS LINNAEUS, 1758. In: Nelson Jorge da Silva Jr. et al. (eds.) Advances in Coralsnake Biology. Eagle Mountain Publishing, pp. 37-96
  • Pires, Matheus Godoy; Nelson Jorge da Silva Jr., Darlan Tavares Feitosa, ANA LÚCIA DA COSTA PRUDENTE, GENTIL ALVES PEREIRA FILHO & Hussam ZAHER 2014. A new species of triadal coral snake of the genus Micrurus Wagler, 1824 (Serpentes: Elapidae) from northeastern Brazil . Zootaxa 3811 (4): 569–584 - get paper here
  • Roze, Jánis A 1967. A checklist of the New World venomous Coral Snakes (Elapidae), with descriptions of new forms. American Museum Novitates (2287): 1-60 - 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.
  • Welch, K. R. G. 1994. Snakes of the World. A Checklist. I. Venomous snakes. KCM Books, Somerset, England.
 
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