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Micrurus isozonus (COPE, 1860)

IUCN Red List - Micrurus isozonus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesMicrurus isozonus isozonus (COPE 1860)
Micrurus isozonus sandneri ARENAS-VARGAS 2015 
Common NamesE: Equal-banded coral snake, Venezuela Coral Snake
E: Sandner’s coral snake
Portuguese: Cobra-Coral, Coral-Verdadeira, Cobra-Coral-da-Venezuela 
SynonymElaps isozonus COPE 1860: 73
Elaps omissus BOULENGER 1920: 109
Micrurus isozonus — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989: 121
Micrurus isozonus — GORZULA & SEÑARIS 1999
Micrurus isozonus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 448

Micrurus isozonus sandneri ARENAS-VARGAS 2015 
DistributionN/C Venezuela (Cojedes, Anzoátegui, Aragua, Bolívar, DF, Guárico, Miranda, Monagas, Sucre), Isla Margarita, Colombia (Bolívar, Arauca), Brazil (Rio Cotinga region in Roraima [ROZE in 1996]), SW Guyana [KOK et al. 2003])

Type locality: Caracas, Venezuela.  
TypesSyntypes: ANSP 6804-05 (2)
Holotype: unlocated, collected by I. Heredia de Arenas & I S. Arenas-Vargas, 17 August 1998 [sandneri] 
DiagnosisDefinition: .A triad-type coral snake with a spotted snout of black and white, followed by an interorbital black band and by a red parietal band. The first triad is complete and the white or yellow bands are usually longer than the black bands. The red and white bands have conspicuous, black-tipped scales.

Description: Males have 199 to 217 (207.8) and females have 215 to 225 (219.3) ventrals; subcaudals 26 to 33 (29.2) in males and 25 to 29 (27.3) in females; usually several subcaudals are undivided. Examined: 41 males and 24 females, including the 3 type specimens.
The snout is spotted with black and white; frequently the intemasals are covered by an irregular black band. The prefrontals are either blackish or white with black posterior borders. The black interorbital band is irregular and usually projects backward to include the anterior tip of the frontal. The red parietal band has occasional black spots. The chin is white and red with irregular black spots on the mental and the first infralabials. The outer black band of the first triad usually reaches the posterior tips of the parietals. The black central band of the triads is slightly longer than the outer bands. It extends over about 3 dorsals but is generally shorter than the white bands; very rarely they are of equal length. The white bands are 3 to 5 dorsals and ventrals long, with conspicuous, blacktipped scales and occasionallight brownish overtones, especially in large specimens. The triads have approximately the same proportions on the tail.
The males have 10 to 13 (11.2) (one specimen from Colombia has 9) and the females have 10 to 14 (11.8) black triads. Both sexes have 1 to 1/3 triads, very rarely 1 2/3 triads.
CommentDistribution: Erroneously cited as occuring in Peru. See map in Nogueira et al. 2019.


Suspecies: Micrurus isozonus sandneri was described in a privately published outlet. 
EtymologyThe name isozonus, Latin for equal areas or zones, alludes to the approximately equal length of the black and white bands. 
  • Arenas-Vargas, I.S. 2015. Serpientes de coral y una nueva subespecie - Micrurus isozonus sandneri. Privately published? via Issu, 56 pp. - get paper here
  • 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
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1920. Descriptions of four new snakes in the collection of the British Museum. [Zamenis hotsoni unassigned.]. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (9) 6 (31): 108-111 - get paper here
  • Burger, W.L. 1955. A new subspecies of the coral snake Micrurus lemniscatus from Vénézuela, British Guiana and Trinidad, and a key for the identification of associated species of coral snakes. Bol. Mus. Cienc. Nat. Caracas 1: 35-40
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • 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
  • Cope, E.D. 1860. Supplement to "A 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 1860: 72-74 - get paper here
  • Feitosa, D.T.; M.G. Pires; A.L.C. Prudente; N.J. Silva. 2013. Distribution extension in Colombia and new records for Brazil of Micrurus isozonus (Cope, 1860) (Squamata, Serpentes, Elapidae). Check List 9 (5):1108-1112 - get paper here
  • Feitosa, Darlan T., Paulo P. Passos and Ana Lúcia Prudente. 2007. Taxonomic status and geographic variation of the slender coralsnake Micrurus filiformis (Günther, 1859) (Serpentes, Elapidae). South American J. Herp. 2 (3): 149-156
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira 9 (2): 121 – 214 - get paper here
  • Gorzula, Stefan & Senaris, J. Celsa 1999. In: Contribution to the herpetofauna of the Venezuelan Guayana. I: a data base. Scientia Guaianae, Caracas, No. 8 [1998], 269+ pp.; ISBN 980-6020-48-0
  • 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
  • Lancini,A.R. & Kornacker,P.M. 1989. Die Schlangen von Venezuela. Armitano Editores C.A., Caracas, 1-381
  • Markezich, A.L. 2002. New distribution records of reptiles from Western Venezuela. Herpetological Review 33 (1): 69-74 - get paper here
  • Natera-Mumaw, Marco; Luis Felipe Esqueda-González & Manuel Castelaín-Fernández 2015. Atlas Serpientes de Venezuela. Santiago de Chile, Dimacofi Negocios Avanzados S.A., 456 pp. - get paper here
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo, Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins, Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, 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
  • Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
  • Rivas Fuenmayor, G.; Ugueto, G.; Rivero, R. & Miralles, A. 2005. The Herpetofauna of Isla de Margarita, Venezuela: New Records and Comments. Carib. J. Sci. 41 (2): 346-351
  • Rivas Fuenmayor, Gilson and Cesar Luis Barrio Amorós 2005. New Amphibian and Reptile records from Cojedes State, Venezuela. Herpetological Review 36 (2):205-209. - get paper here
  • RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & PHILIPPE J. R. KOK 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 - get paper here
  • Roze, J. A. 1952. Colección de reptiles del Profesor Scorza, de Venezuela. Acta Biologica Venezuelica 1 (5): 93-114
  • Roze, J. A. 1996. Coral Snakes of the Americas. Krieger, Malabar, Florida
  • Schmidt, Karl P. 1936. Preliminary account of coral snakes of South America. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 20 (19): 189-203 - get paper here
  • Señaris, J. Celsa; María Matilde Aristeguieta Padrón, Haidy Rojas Gil y Fernando J. M. Rojas-Runjaic 2018. Guía ilustrada de los anfibios y reptiles del valle de Caracas, Venezuela. Ediciones IVIC, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas (IVIC). Caracas, Venezuela. 348 pp.
  • Test, Frederic H.;Sexton, Owen J.;Heatwole, Harold 1966. Reptiles of Rancho Grande and vicinity, Estado Aragua, Venezuela. Miscellaneous publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (128): 1-63 - get paper here
  • Ugueto, G.N. & Rivas, G.A. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Margarita, Coche and Cubagua. Frankfurt Contributions to Natural History, Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, 350 pp
  • 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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