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Micrurus collaris (SCHLEGEL, 1837)

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesMicrurus collaris collaris (SCHLEGEL 1837)
Micrurus collaris breviventris ROZE & BERNAL-CARLO 1988 
Common NamesE: Guyana Blackback Coral Snake
E: Short black-backed coral snake [breviventris]
Portuguese: Cobra-Coral, Cobra-Coral-de-Colar, Cobra-Coral-de-Costas-Pretas, Coral-Verdadeira 
SynonymElaps collaris SCHLEGEL 1837
Hemibungarus collaris — BOULENGER 1896
Leptomicrurus collaris — SCHMIDT 1937
Micrurus collaris — ROMANO 1971
Micrurus collaris — LANCINI & KORNACKER 1989
Leptomicrurus collaris — WELCH 1994: 73
Leptomicrurus collaris — KORNACKER 1999
Micrurus collaris — SLOWINSKI 1995
Micrurus collaris — SLOWINSKI et al. 2001
Leptomicrurus collaris — KOK et al. 2003
Leptomicrurus collaris — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004: 129
Micrurus collaris — WALLACH et al. 2014: 444

Micrurus collaris breviventris ROZE & BERNAL-CARLO 1988
Micrurus collaris breviventris ROZE & BERNAL-CARLO 1988: 587
Micrurus collaris breviventris ROZE 1996: 133 
DistributionSuriname, E Venezuela (Bolivar), Guyana, Brazil (Roraima, Amapa), French Guiana

Type locality: unknown (fide STARACE 1998).

breviventris: Guyana: Type locality: Oko Mountains, Essequibo, Guayana.  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesLectotype, RMNH 1444, a 404 mm male (S.J. Brugmans), designated by Brongersma, 1966: 250.
Holotype: FMNH 26658 [breviventris] 
DiagnosisDefinition: A coral snake with a black body and yellow or reddish spots on the belly. The head and dorsal part is all black with a whitish or reddish nuchal band just behind the head. The anterior temporal shield is absent and the sixth supralabial usually touches the parietal, resulting in 0+1 temporals (Roze 1996: 133).

Description (collaris): Males have 227 to 237 (230.1) and females have approximately 247 ventrals; subcaudals 20 to 23 (21.4) in males and around 17 in females; 0+1 temporals, at least on one side of the head, and sixth supralabial in contact with the parietal. Examined: 8 males and 1 female, inc1uding the holotypes.
The head is all black except for occasional white or light spots on some snout shields and on the chin. A white or yellowish nuchal band barely touches the tips of the parietals. The body is all black above but on the belly there are yellowish or light orange-red ventral spots, 2 to 3 ventrals long. The light ventral spots extend on the first or second dorsal row where they cover only one dorsal. The black interspaces on the belly are 3 to 4 ventrals long. The red ventral spots form complete bands on the tail.
The males have 35 to 45 (40.5) and the females have approximately 45 light ventral spots on the body; both sexes have 2 to 3 red tail bands (Roze 1996: 133).

Description (breviventris): Males have 212 to 219 (215.5) ventrals and around 24 subcaudals. Examined: the only known specimens, both males, inc1uding the holotype.
The head is black above, inc1uding the parietals, followed by a reddish nuchal band that covers 2 to 4 dorsals. One specimen has an irregular light crossband or spots on the snout. Below, the head is whitish but the anterior part, inc1uding the mental, some of the genials, and several infralabials, are black or heavily mottled with black. The body is all black dorsally, with orangyyellow ventral spots 2 to 4 ventrals long. They extend over the first and second dorsal rows but are reduced in size. Occasionally, some yellowish spots continue as aseries of very small dots, barely distinguishable, extending as a discontinuous row across the dorsum. On the ventral portion of the tail are large red spots that have fused together, making the tail all red below. The spots are much reduced in length dorsally, where they form short red bands.
The males have 40 to 45 (42.5) yellowish spots on the body and 2 to 3 red spots or bands on the tail (Roze 1996: 142). (Roze 1996: 134). 
CommentNot listed by GASC & RODRIGUES 1980.

Venomous!

Type species: Elaps collaris SCHLEGEL 1837 is the type species of the genus Leptomicrurus SCHMIDT 1937.

The genus Leptomicrurus was erected by Schmidt (1937) to accomodate two species of exceptionally slender, short-tailed coralsnakes, L. collaris (Schlegel) and L. narduccii (Jan). These are distinguished from members of the genus Micrurus on the basis of having the mental scale in contact posteriorly with the anterior chinshields, and possessing a body pattern not including rings or bands. Leptomicrurus was interpreted variously with regard to L. collaris (Schmidt 1937, Brongersma 1966, 1967), and Schmidt’s genus was relegated to a junior synonym of Micrurus when specimens of Leptomicrurus with some complete rings and specimens of Micrurus with anterior chinshields in contact with the mental were discovered (Romano 1972). Leptomicrurus has been revalidated and its three species redefined (Roze and Bernal-Carlo 1988). We maintain the synonymy of Leptomicrurus as it nests within Micrurus (CASTOE et al. 2007). Castoe et al. did not synonymize it with Micrurus because “the larger plan was that eventually Micrurus would likely be split into multiple genera, ultimately rectifying Leptomicrurus”, which has not happened (T. Castoe, pers. comm. 7 Jan 2014).

See also Silva et al. 2016: 54 for some diagnostic features separating Micruroides, Leptomicrurus, and Micrurus. 
EtymologyEtymology: Latin collaris means iron collar or chain for the neck. The name alludes to its conspicuous light collar or nuchal band, the only complete band on the body.
M. c. breviventris is named after the Latin brevi- for short and venter meaning belly, referring to the low number of ventrals, thus to the short body. 
References
  • Brongersma, L. D. 1966. Note on the Leptomicrurus collaris (Schlegel) (Reptilia, Serpentes). Zoologische Mededelingen 41 (17): 243-254 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • Campbell, Jonathan A. and William W. Lamar 2004. The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere, 2 vols. Comstock (Cornell University Press), Ithaca, NY, 962 pp. [review in Science 305: 182]
  • CASTOE, Todd A.; ERIC N. SMITH, RAFE M. BROWN and CHRISTOPHER L. PARKINSON 2007. Higher-level phylogeny of Asian and American coralsnakes, their placement within the Elapidae (Squamata), and the systematic affinities of the enigmatic Asian coralsnake Hemibungarus calligaster (Wiegmann, 1834). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 151, 809–831 - get paper here
  • Claessen, H. 2005. De slangen van de Guyana’s, deel IX. Lacerta 63 (6): 228-241 - get paper here
  • Cole, Charles J.; Carol R. Townsend, Robert P. Reynolds, Ross D. MacCulloch, and Amy Lathrop 2013. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 125 (4): 317-578; plates: 580-620 - get paper here
  • Gasc & Rodrigues 1980. Liste preliminaire des Serpents de la Guyane francaise. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. Paris 2 (4): 559-598
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira. 9(2): 121 – 214
  • KOK, P. J. R., ROZE, J. A., LENGLET, G. L., SAMBHU, H. & ARJOON, D. 2003. Micrurus isozonus (Cope, 1860) (Serpentes, Elapidae): an addition to the herpetofauna of Guyana, with comments on other species of coral snakes from Guyana. Bulletin de l’Institut Royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique, Biologie, 73 : 75-82 - get paper here
  • Kornacker,P.M. 1999. Checklist and key to the snakes of Venezuela. PaKo-Verlag, Rheinbach, Germany, 270 pp.
  • Lancini,A.R. & Kornacker,P.M. 1989. Die Schlangen von Venezuela. Armitano Editores C.A., Caracas, 1-381
  • 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
  • Romano,S. 1972. Notes on Leptomicrurus SCHMIDT (Serpentes: Elapidae). Mem. Inst. Butantan 35 [1971]: 111-115 - get paper here
  • Roze, Janis A. & Bernal-Carlo, Amanda 1987. Las serpientes corales venenonas del género Leptomicrurus (Serpentes, Elapidae) de Suramérica con descripción de una nueva subespecie. Bollettino del Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino 5 (2): 573-608 [1988]
  • Rufino,N. 1998. Micrurus collaris (Coral Snake). Brazil: Amapá. Herpetological Review 29 (3): 178 - get paper here
  • Schlegel, H. 1837. Essai sur la physionomie des serpens. Partie Descriptive. La Haye (J. Kips, J. HZ. et W. P. van Stockum), 606 S. + xvi - get paper here
  • Schmidt,K.P. 1937. The history of Elaps collaris SCHLEGEL 1837-1937. Field Mus. nat. Hist (ser. zool.) 20: 361-364 - get paper here
  • Slowinski, Joseph B.; Boundy, Jeff & Lawson,R. 2001. The phylogenetic relationships of Asian coral snakes (Elapidae: Calliophis and Maticora) based on morphological and molecular characters. Herpetologica 57 (2): 233-245 - get paper here
  • Starace, Fausto 1998. Guide des Serpents et Amphisbènes de Guyane. IBIS Rouge Editions, Guadeloupe, Guyane, 450 pp.
  • Starace, Fausto 2013. Guide des Serpents et Amphisbènes de Guyane. Ibis Rouge Editions, Matoury, Guyane, ISBN 978-2-84450-407-4 - 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.
 
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