Micrurus decoratus (JAN, 1858)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Micrurus decoratus?
|Higher Taxa||Elapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Decorated coral snake, Brazilian Coral Snake|
S: Cobra Coral Decorada
Portuguese: Cobra-Corá, Cobra-Coral-do-Centro-Leste, Cobra-Coral, Cobra-Coral-de-Cabeça-Vermelha, Cobra-Coral-de-Cintas-Brancas, Coral-Verdadeira, Ibiboboca, Ibiboca
|Synonym||Elaps decoratus JAN 1858: 525|
Elaps decoratus — GARMAN 1884: 108
Elaps fischeri AMARAL 1921: 39
Elaps ezequieli LUTZ & MELLO 1922
Micrurus decoratus — SCHMIDT 1936
Micrurus decoratus — WELCH 1994: 79
Micrurus decoratus — CASTELLARI-GONZALEZ et al. 2014
Micrurus decoratus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 444
Micrurus decoratus — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019
|Distribution||E Brazil (S Espírito Santo, Sao Paulo, S Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, N Santa Catarina, Paraná)|
Type locality: see comment
|Types||Holotype: lost in Museum of Milano; type locality "Mexico" is an error.|
|Diagnosis||Definition: A triad-type coral snake with the first triad consisting of only 2 black bands. The head is black with a yellow prefrontal band and a red parietal band. Usually, there are 0+1 temporals; the anterior temporal is fused with the sixth supralabial, which is in contact with the parietal and both postoculars (Roze 1996: 150).|
Description: Males have 195 to 208 (202.3) and females have 209 to 218 (214.0) ventrals; subcaudals 19 to 22 (21.5) in males and 16 to 19 (17.4) in females; almost always 0+1 temporals, at least on one side. Examined: 20 males and 9 females. The black snout coloration is followed by a yellow postfrontal band that varies in length; it is followed by a black frontal-parietal band that covers the anterior part of the parietals. The red parietal band extends beyond the tips of the parietals onto the first several dorsals, where the scales have occasional black tips. The red band is followed by a black band that represents the first black band of the incomplete first triad. Below, the mental and the first 3 to 4 infralabials are partially or completely black. The other chin scales are red, followed by the yellow band. The first triad consists of 2 distinct black bands, with the usual first black band absent or reduced to a few black tips on the red scales, rarely suggesting a very irregular first black band. The central black band of the triad is 3 to 5 dorsals long and up to 3 times as long as the outer bands, giving an impression of an accessory triad-type coloration. Ventrally, the outer black bands are reduced and irregular, 1 or less than 1 ventral long. The red bands are longer than the central black band and slightly shorter than the length of an entire triad. The red scales have conspicuous black tips, but in males they are smaller and less pronounced than in the females. The scales in the yellow bands are without black tips, and except for the first band that is somewhat longer, the bands are 1 to 2 dorsals long. Distinct triads I are also found on the tail.
Including the first incomplete triad, the males have 15 to 19 (16.7) and the females have 15 to 19 (17.1) triads on the body. A more preeise way of rendering the number of black triads is 2/3 14 to 2/3 19 in males and females. The males have 1 to 1 2/3 and the females have one to 1 1/3 triads on the tail (Roze 1996: 150).
Synonymy after ROZE 1996 and AMARAL 1926.
Distribution: The type locality was given erroneously as “Mexico” (fide SCHMIDT 1936). Reports from Rio Grande do Sul have not been confirmed and appear to be erroneous. See map in Nogueira et al. 2019.
|Etymology||Latin from decorus meaning adorned and beautiful, alluding to the very beautiful color pattern of this species; fischeri, dedicated to C. M. Fischer, employee of the Instituto Butantan who collected the holotype; and ezequieli, named after Ezequiel Dias who organized medical defense against venomous snakes and scorpions in Minas Gerais, Brazil.|