Micrurus pyrrhocryptus (COPE, 1862)
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|Higher Taxa||Elapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Argentinian coral snake|
Portuguese: Cobra-Coral, Coral, Coral-Verdadeira, Cobra-Coral-de-Mato-Grosso-do-Sul
|Synonym||Elaps pyrrhocryptus COPE 1862: 347|
Elaps marcgravii (WIED-NEUWIED) — BOULENGER 1896:428
Elaps simonsii BOULENGER 1902: 338
Elaps frontalis — LÖNNBERG 1902:461
Micrurus lemniscatus SERIÉ 1936
Micrurus pyrrhocryptus SCHMIDT 1936
Micrurus lemniscatus frontalis AMARAL 1944 (part.)
Micrurus frontalis pyrrhocryptus SHREVE 1953
Micrurus frontalis pyrrhocryptus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 209
Micrurus pyrrhocryptus — CEI 1993
Micrurus frontalis pyrrhocryptus — WELCH 1994: 83
Micrurus pyrrhocryptus — LEYNAUD & BUCHER 1999: 37
Micrurus pyrrhocryptus — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004: 225
Micrurus pyrrhocryptus — SCHMIDT & KUNZ 2005: 43
Micrurus pyrrhocryptus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 453
Micrurus pyrrhocryptus — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019
|Distribution||SW Brazil (SW Mato Grosso), W/SW Bolivia, Paraguay, N Argentina (Santa Fe, Mendoza, Formosa, Rio Negro)|
Type locality: “Vermejo River, Argentine Chaco” = Río Bermejo, Argentina.
|Types||Holotype: ANSP 5395, USNM 5395 (lost)|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis: (1) Dorsal pattern of white, red, and black triads; (2) hemipenis and tail relatively short; (3) two supralabials entering orbit; (4) mental usually separated from chinshields by medial contact of first pair of infralabials; (5) anal scale usually divided; (6) first triad complete; (7) 5-12 red vertebrals separating first triad from parietals; (8) all dorsal head scales including parietals black, edged in white; (9) red rings with heavier black apices than white rings; (10) white rings longest dorsally, constricted or broken ventrally by black rings; (11) chin red with no to moderate black mottling and edging of scales; mental mostly or entirely red; (12) 6-14 triads on body, 1-1.67 on tail [HARVEY et al. 2003].|
Diagnosis: Micrurus pyrrhocryptus is a triadal coralsnake with a black snout reaching the postoculars and 3-4 anterior supralabials. All scales are white bordered. The head is black (Fig. 27). The frontal, supraoculars and parietals may be white bordered including along the medial suture of the parietals. The remainder of the head is red with all scales black-tipped. Inferiorly, the chin is red with irregular black markings on the infralabials, genials, and first ventrals. This taxon is characterized by a low number of triads. The middle black ring is at least twice (10-14 dorsal scales) the length of the external ones (5-7 dorsal scales). The white rings (always blacktipped) are of the same length or slightly shorter than the external black rings (4-6 dorsal scales) (Table 2). Owing to the low number of triads the red rings are almost the same length as the entire triads. The red rings are heavily darkened (black-tipped) and an intense melanism of the head and body is characteristic of this taxon. The first triad is separated from the parietals by 5 to 7 dorsal scales. Triads range from 6 to 11 (Table 1, from Silva & Sites 1999: 174).
Micrurus p. pyrrhocryptus can usually be distinguished from M. p. tricolor by having more white edging on the black scales of the snout, a relatively short red occipital ring, and relatively longer primary black rings (often at least twice as long versus less than twice as long as accessory rings). Also, in M. p. pyrrhocryptus the scales in the white rings (at least the posterior ones) are usually distinctly tipped with black, whereas in M. p. tricolor these scales are immaculate or have small black tips. However, there is sufficient variability in populations of M. pyrrhocryptus to make allocation of individual specimens frequently difficult. [Campbell & Lamar 2004: 225]
Di Bernardo el (2007) present meristic and color pattern data that should distinguish M. pyrrhocryptus and M. tricolor.
|Comment||Synonymy partly following that of CEI 1993 and HARVEY et al. 2003, CAMPBELL & LAMAR 2004, and WALLACH et al. 2014.|
Subspecies: Micrurus tricolor has been considered as a subspecies or synonym of pyrrhocryptus, but has been elevated to species status by Silva & Sites 1999, although only some authors have followed that decision.
Distribution: tricolor is not in Bolivia but pyrrhocryptus from Boliva has been misidentified as tricolor (Harvey et al. 2003).\ e Smap in Nogueira et al. 2019.
Similar species: Mimicked by the nonvenomous species Lystrophis pulcher.
|Etymology||Named after Greek “pyros”, meaning "fire" and “kryptos”, meaning "hidden", perhaps alluding to the secretive habits of this brightly colored snake.|
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