Micrurus collaris (SCHLEGEL, 1837)
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|Higher Taxa||Elapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Subspecies||Micrurus collaris collaris (SCHLEGEL 1837)|
Micrurus collaris breviventris ROZE & BERNAL-CARLO 1988
|Common Names||E: 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
|Synonym||Elaps 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
|Distribution||Suriname, E Venezuela (Bolivar), Guyana, Brazil (Roraima, Amapa), French Guiana|
Type locality: unknown (fide STARACE 1998).
breviventris: Guyana: Type locality: Oko Mountains, Essequibo, Guayana.
|Types||Lectotype, RMNH 1444, a 404 mm male (S.J. Brugmans), designated by Brongersma, 1966: 250.|
Holotype: FMNH 26658 [breviventris]
|Diagnosis||Definition: 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).
|Comment||Not listed by GASC & RODRIGUES 1980.|
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.
|Etymology||Named after Latin collaris, meaning 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 brevis for short and venter meaning belly, referring to the low number of ventrals, thus to the short body.
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