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Micrurus mipartitus (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesMicrurus mipartitus mipartitus (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854)
Micrurus mipartitus anomalus (BOULENGER 1896)
Micrurus mipartitus decussatus (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854)
Micrurus mipartitus popayanensis AYERBE, TIDWELL & TIDWELL 1990
Micrurus mipartitus rozei GOLAY, CHISZAR, SMITH & BREUKELEN 1999 
Common NamesE: Redtail Coral Snake
E: Pacific Red-tailed coral snake [mipartitus]
E: Santa Marta red-tailed coral snake [anomalus]
E: Andean red-tailed coral snake [decussatus]
E: Popayan coral snake [popayanensis]
E: Venezuelan red-tailed coral snake [semipartitus]
E: Roze’s Coral snake
S: Rabo de ají
Portuguese: Cobra-Coral, Coral-Verdadeira, Cobra-Coral-de-Cauda-Vermelha 
SynonymElaps mipartitus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1220
Micrurus mipartitus — AMARAL 1926: 66
Elaps decipiens WERNER 1927: 250
Micrurus mipartitus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 212
Micrurus mipartitus — KORNACKER 1999: 157
Micrurus mipartitus — BERNARDE et al. 2012
Micrurus mipartitus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 449

Micrurus mipartitus mipartitus (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854)
Elaps mipartitus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854
Elaps aequicinctus WERNER 1903: 249 (uncertain synonym)
Micrurus mipartitus mipartitus — RENDAHL & VESTERGREN 1955: 9
Micrurus mipartitus mipartitus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 213
Micrurus mipartitus mipartitus — WELCH 1994: 87

Micrurus mipartitus anomalus (BOULENGER 1896)
Elaps anomalus BOULENGER 1896: 417
Micrurus anomalus — AMARAL 1929: 228
Micrurus mipartitus anomalus — ROZE 1967: 37
Micrurus mipartitus anomalus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 213
Micrurus mipartitus anomalus — WELCH 1994: 87
Micrurus mipartitus anomalus — BARRIO-AMOROS et al. 2003

Micrurus mipartitus decussatus (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854)
Elaps decussatus DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1221
Elaps fraseri BOULENGER 1896: 432
Elaps mentalis BOULENGER 1896: 432
Elaps calamus BOULENGER 1902: 57
Elaps microps BOULENGER 1913: 1036
Micrurus mipartitus multiscutatus RENDAHL & VESTERGREN 1940: 9
Micrurus mipartitus decussatus — ROZE 1967: 37
Micrurus mipartitus decussatus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 213
Micrurus mipartitus decussatus — WELCH 1994: 87
Micrurus mipartitus decussatus — ROJAS-MORALES 2012

Micrurus mipartitus popayanensis AYERBE, TIDWELL & TIDWELL 1990
Micrurus mipartitus popayanensis — ROZE 1996: 198

Micrurus mipartitus rozei GOLAY et al. 1999
Elaps semipartitus JAN 1858: 516
Micrurus mipartitus semipartitus — SCHMIDT 1955
Micrurus mipartitus semipartitus — ROZE 1955: 466
Micrurus mipartitus semipartitus — TEST et al. 1966
Micrurus mipartitus semipartitus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 214
Micrurus mipartitus semipartitus — WELCH 1994: 87
Micrurus mipartitus rozei GOLAY et al. 1999 (nom. emend.) 
Distributionmipartitus: Costa Rica, E Panama, Pacific coast of Colombia (incl. Valle del Cauca), Brazil (Rondônia)

anomalus: Colombia, W Venezuela (Zulia); Type locality: Colombia.

decussatus: Colombia, Ecuador

popayanensis: Colombia (Cauca); Type locality: “en el corregimiento de Sucre, Municipio de Bolívar, Dpto. del Cauca (2° 2’ N; y 76° 54’ W) el 11 de Enero de 1980 a 1400 m de altura sobre el nivel del mar por el Maestro de Escuela don Henry Muñoz y su Sra., Auxiliar de Enfermería Araceli de Muñoz en la finca “Las Cascadas” cerca de un trapiche de
caña de azúcar.”

rozei: N Venezuela (Cordillera de la Costa); Type locality: Caracas, Venezuela.  
Reproductionoviparous. 
TypesType: lost or unknown, used to be in MNHN, but no longer (PETERS 1960).
Holotype: MHNUC (CSA 85) [popayanensis]
Holotype: RMNH 1388 [rozei]
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.17.30 [anomalus]
Holotype: MNHN-RA 3916 (skin), MNHN-RA 1999.7829 (formerly MNHN-RA 3916A; entire specimen)and MNHN-RA 1999.7830 (formerly MNHN-RA 3916B, skin only) [decussatus] 
DiagnosisDefinition: A black and yellowor white-banded coral snake with a red head band and several red tail bands (Roze 1996: 195-199, including all following subspecies).

Remarks: The red-tailed coral snake is easily recognizable by its black and yellow bands and intensely red head and tail bands (Roze 1996: 195).

Description (mipartitus): Males have 242 to 249 (244.7) and females have 270 to 281 (276.5) ventrals; subcaudals 25 to 33 (29.1) in males and 23 to 28 (26.1) in females. Examined: 8 males and 6 females, including the holotypes.
The black snout coloration covers less than half of the supraoculars and the frontal and barely touches the upper postocular. It is followed by a red parietal band. The black nuchal band reaches the tips of the parietals and is 4 to 6 dorsals long. Below, the head is either white or has some irregular black dots or spots concentrated around the genials. The black bands are 4 to 6 dorsals long middorsally, 3 to 5 laterally, and 2 to 4 ventrally. The yellow or white bands are usually 1 dorsallong middorsally, but expand laterally where they occupy 2 dorsals and 2 to 3 ventrals. The yellow scales usually have irregular black tips, at least laterally, but are immaculate ventrally. The red tail bands are as long as or longer than the black tail bands. Some black tail bands may be interrupted ventrally. The tip of the tail may be either black or red.
The males have 43 to 59 (49.0) and the females have 50 to 77 (61.2) black body bands. On the tail, the males have 1 to 5 and the females have 2 to 4 black bands.

Description (anomalus): Males have 223 to 247 (233.0) and the females have 244 to 271 (259.9) ventrals; subcaudals 27 to 33 (29.7) in males and 25 to 31 (26.8) in females; many specimens have 1 to 8 undivided subcaudals. In Santa Marta, half of the specimens had 1+2 temporals; other populations have 1+1 temporals. Examined: 5 males and 11 females, including the holotype.
The black snout coloration covers more than half of the supraoculars and the frontal, most of the postoculars, and the first five supralabials. The posterior border of the black snout coloration is either a straight line or it projects over the supraoculars to produce a sinuous border. It is followed by the red parietal band. Below, some solid black is on the mental and the first infralabials. The black nuchal band is 1 to 2 ventrals long in specimens that have a complete band. The black body bands are 3 to 5 dorsals long on the middorsal region, about 2 to 4laterally, and 1 to 3 ventrally.
The yellow or white bands are usually 1 dorsallong on the middorsal region, 2 laterally, and 2 to 3 ventrally. Black tips are present, especially laterally. The red tail bands are usually longer than the black bands; the latter are sometimes interrupted ventrally.
The males have 43 to 70 (57.3) and the females have 47 to 76 (67.6) black body bands. On the tail, the males have 3 to 6 and the females have 3 to 5 black bands.

Description (decussatus): Males have 254 to 284 (267.8) and females have 279 to 326 (297.4) ventrals; subcaudals 26 to 34 (30.2) in males and 23 to 31 (26.8) in females. Examined: 56 males and 51 females, including the holotypes.
The black snout coloration extends over less than half of the frontal and supraoculars and first 4 supralabials. It is followed by a red band. Below, the head is mostly white in males but is covered with small, irregular smudges in females. Very few specimens have the mental and first infralabials black. The black nuchal band reaches, but rarely covers, the tips of the parietals. It is 3 to. 6 dorsals long and is usually complete ventrally. The black bands are 2 to 6 dorsals long and are usually complete ventrally. The black bands are 2 to 6 dorsals long in the middorsal region, 2 to 4 laterally, and reduced to 1 to 3 ventrally. The white bands are usually 1 dorsal long on the middorsal line, 2 to 3 laterally, and 2 to 4 ventrally, with irregular, blacktipped scales at least on the lateral roWs. The red tai! bands are as long as or longer than the black bands; the latter are reduced or interrupted ventrally.
The males have 41 to 76 (60.4) and the females have 52 to 84 (66.7) black body bands. Both sexes have 2 to 5 black tai! bands.

Description (popayanensis): Males have 255 to 259 (256.0) and females have 284 to 304 (291.3) ventrals; subcaudals 27 to 32 (29.0) in males and 24 to 26 (25.3) in females. Examined: 5 males and 4 females, including the holotype. Additional information is from Ayerbe et al (1990).
The snout is all black including 2/3 of the prefrontals, the first 3 and part of the fourth supralabial, and the prefrontal. The red parietal band that follows covers the entire parietals. The black nuchal band is 7 to 9 dorsals long in about 80% of specimens interrupted ventrally. The black body bands are 3.5 to 5 dorsals and 2 to 3.5 ventrals long. The light bands are creamy to light greenish, about 2 dorsals and 3 to 4 ventrals long, with conspicuous black spots on each scale or black . tips. On the tai! are red and black bands.
The males have 43 to 66 (51) and the females have 53 to 70 (60) black body bands. Both sexes have 2 to 3 red tai! bands.

Description (rozei = semipartitus): Males have 197 to 222 (209.4) and females have 225 to 251 ( 241.5) ventrals; subcaudals 26 to 34 (29.8) in males and 24 to 30 (27.3) in females; 1+1 temporals. Examined: 33 males and 24 females.
The black snout coloration covers up to half of the supraoculars and the frontal and first 3 or 4 supralabials. It is followed by the red band. Below, the head is almost white in males but has some black spots or dots in females. The black nuchal band reaches the tips of the parietals and is 4 to 6 dorsals, but only 1 to 2 ventrals, long. The black body bands are 4 to 5 dorsals long on the middorsal line and 2 to 3 ventrally. The white bands are usually 1 dorsallong on the middorsal line and 2 to 3 ventrals long; they have some blacktipped scales, especially laterally. The red tail bands are longer than the black bands.
The males have 36 to 65 (45.0) and the females have 37 to 66 (50.7) black body bands. On the tail, the males have 2 to 5 and the females have 2 to 4 black bands. 
CommentSynonymy: Previously M. mipartitus and M. multifasciatus have been regarded as the same species. Therefore, older records of mipartitus from Nicaragua and Costa Rica represent most likely multifasciatus. Micrurus mipartitus hertwigi (WERNER 1897) is currently listed as Micrurus multifasciatus hertwigi.
M. m. popayanensis is barely distinct from M. m. de- cussatus and might be a synonym of it (Roze 1996: 198).

Venomous! 
EtymologyProbably mipartitus is abbreviated Latin for semi meaning half and parti meaning divided. It refers to the half black and half white bands of this coral snake. Aequicinctus comes from the Latin word aequa meaning equal and cinctus meaning girdle; thus girdled or surrounded by bands of equal size. Microps is from the Creek word micro meaning small or minute, probably alluding to the small size of the head and eyes (from Roze 1996: 197).
M. m. anomalus is from Greek anomalo meaning uneven or irregular, alluding to the abnormal condition of the contact of the mental with the genials found in the type specimen (from Roze 1996: 197).
M. m. decussatus is from decusso, Latin for crosswise, in the shape of the letter X; thus decussatus means marked with crosswise markings, alluding to its black cross-bands. Fraseri is named after Mt. Fraser, who collected specimens, inc1uding this holotype, for the British Museum. Calamus is Latin for reed or reed-shaped stalk, alluding to the elongate body of this coral snake. Mentalis refers to the fact that in the type specimen the mental shield is in contact with the genials.
M. m. semipartitus is from Latin semi meaning half and parti meaning divided, alluding to the coloration divided between black and white bands.
M. m. rozei is named after Janis Roze.
 
References
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