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Ophryacus undulatus (JAN, 1859)

IUCN Red List - Ophryacus undulatus - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Slender-horned Pitviper, Mexican Horned Pit Viper
S: Cornuda Mexicana 
SynonymTrigonocephalus (Atropos) undulatus JAN 1859
Teleuraspis undulatus — GARMAN 1884: 126
Ophryacus undulatus — FERRARI-PÉREZ 1886 (nom. nud.)
Lachesis undulatus BOULENGER 1896
Trimeresurus undulatus — SMITH 1941: 63
Ophryacus undulatus — CAMPBELL & LAMAR 1989: 311
Ophryacus undulatus — LINER 1994
Ophryacus undulatus — WELCH 1994: 95
Ophryacus undulatus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 314
Ophryacus undulatus — JADIN et al. 2011
Ophryacus undulatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 508 
DistributionMexico (Guerrero, Oaxaca: Sierra Madre Oriental, Mesa del Sur, Sierra Madre del Sur; Puebla, Hidalgo, Veracruz)

Type locality: "Messico" [Mexico]. Proposed restriction to "Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico" by Smith and Taylor, 1950: 350.  
TypesSyntypes: lost, formerly MSNM (2), Milan Museum, lost during WW II (S. Scali, pers. comm., cited in GRÜNWALD et al. 2015). 
DiagnosisDefinition and diagnosis: Rostral broader than high, moderately to distinctly concave; three preoculars, upper largest and undivided, middle not fused with supralacunal, lower small, somewhat excluded from margin of orbit; three to four supraoculars along dorsal margin of eye including supraocular spine; ten to 13 supralabials; lip margin not scalloped; nine to 14 infralabials; single scale above eye forming long, relatively slender spine, slightly compressed to sub- circular in cross section, not occupying most of dorsal margin of orbit, tip pointed; adjacent scales along dorsal ocular margin often also modified, projecting slightly; canthals and internasals often raised into short spines or with especially high keels; scales in the supraocular region small and keeled; ten to 20 (usually 12–18) intersupraoculars; top of head covered with small scales, most having tubercular keels; second supralabial usually separated from prelacunal by single small subfoveal; subocular and supralabial series separated by two to four rows of small, roundish scales; 21 mid-dorsal scale rows; mid- dorsals at midbody not noticeably broad, obtusely rounded; keel generally extending to tip of scale or nearly so, apical pits not apparent; free portion of apex of dorsal scales moderate in extent, barely over- lapping contiguous scale; interstitial epidermal fold at cranial end of scale well developed; 157–178 ventrals; 37–57 subcaudals, divided; tail spine straight, about as long as preceding two to three subcaudals, pointed or obtusely rounded.
Frontal bones with concave dorsal surface, strongly elevated margins, moderately longer than wide; post- frontals moderate in size, not contacting frontal, comprising about equal amount of dorsal perimeter of orbit as parietals; posterolateral edges of dorsal surface of parietals forming distinct flat shelf continu- ing onto parietal as a raised ridge; junction between parietal and pro-otic irregular, not particularly angular; anterior portion of ectopterygoid possessing a shallow depression on medial side accommodating attachment of ectopterygoid retractor muscle; ectop- terygoid noticeably longer than expanded, flattened base of pterygoid (posterior to articulation with ectop- terygoid) with flat shaft tapering posteriorly; apex of choanal process positioned at about midlength on palatine, process moderately reduced in height, apex broadly rounded; dorsal surface of parietal roughly triangular; zero to one (usually zero) palatine teeth, seven to ten pterygoid teeth, seven to nine dentary teeth; pterygoid teeth extending to level of articula- tion of pterygoid with ectopterygoid; maxillary fang relatively short, only slightly longer than height of maxilla; fang at rest extending to level of suture between supralabials 7 and 8; splenial and angular bones fused; haemapophyses in contact distally.
Dorsum with zig-zag pattern; ground colour olive- brown, green, or grey, sometimes orange or yellow pigment present; dorsal scales usually finely mottled or speckled with black [from JADIN et al. 2011]. 

Habitat: forests

Synonyms: Bothrops sphenophrys SMITH 1960 has been removed from the synonymy of O. undulatus by GRÜNWALD et al. 2015.

Sympatry: O. sphenophrys and O. undulatus have been collected within 7 km of one another.

Type species: Trigonocephalus undulatus JAN 1859 is the type species of the genus Ophryacus COPE 1887. 
EtymologyThe genus name is derived from the Greek ophrys, meaning brow, and the Latin acus, meaning pointed, obviously in reference to the distinctive supraocular spine-like scale. 
  • Camarillo,R.J.L. 1995. Distribution records for some amphibians and reptiles from Mexico. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 31 (4): 195-197 - get paper here
  • Campbell, J.A. & Lamar, W.W. 1989. The Venomous Reptiles of Latin America. Comstock Publishing/Cornell University Press, Ithaca
  • Canseco-Márquez, L., & Gutiérrrez-Mayén, M.G. 2010. Anfibios y reptiles del Valle de Tehuacán-Cuicatlán. Comisión Nacional para el conocimiento y uso de la biodiversidad, México D.F., Mexico, 302 pp - get paper here
  • Canseco-Marquez,L.; Gutierrez-Mayen,G. & Salazar-Arenas,J. 2000. New records and range extensions for amphibians and reptiles from Puebla, México. Herpetological Review 31 (4): 259-263 - get paper here
  • Casas-Andreu, G., F.R. Méndez-De la Cruz and X. Aguilar-Miguel. 2004. Anfibios y Reptiles; pp. 375–390, in A.J.M. García-Mendoza, J. Ordoñez and M. Briones-Salas (ed.). Biodiversidad de Oaxaca. Instituto de Biología, UNAM-Fondo Oaxaqueño para la Conservación de la Naturaleza-World Wildlife Fund, México, D. F.
  • Garman, Samuel 1884. The reptiles and batrachians of North America. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 8 (3): xxxiv + 185 pp. [1883] [CNAH reprint 10] - get paper here
  • Grünwald, Christoph Imre, Nadia Pérez-Rivera, Iván Trinidad Ahumada-Carrillo, Héctor Franz-Chávez and Brandon Thomas La Forest. 2016. New distributional records for the herpetofauna of Mexico. Herpetological Review 47 (1): 85-90 - get paper here
  • Grünwald, Christoph I.; Jason M. Jones, Hector Franz-Chávez, and Iván T. Ahumada-Carrillo 2015. A new species of Ophryacus (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from eastern Mexico, with commentson the taxonomy of related pitvipers. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (4): 388 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • JADIN, ROBERT C.; ERIC N. SMITH and JONATHAN A. CAMPBELL 2011. Unravelling a tangle of Mexican serpents: a systematic revision of highland pitvipers. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 163: 943–958 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1859. Plan d'une iconographie descriptive des ophidiens et description sommaire de nouvelles espèces de serpents. Rev. Mag. Zool., Paris (2) (11-12): 122-130 - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A., Geoffrey R. Smith 2015. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. Check List 11 (3): 1642 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Jerry D. Johnson, Larry David Wilson and Elí García-Padilla. 2015. The herpetofauna of Oaxaca, Mexico: composition, physiographic distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (1): 6–62 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Palacios-Aguilar, Ricardo & OSCAR FLORES-VILLELA 2018. An updated checklist of the herpetofauna from Guerrero, Mexico. Zootaxa 4422 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Parkinson,C.L. 1999. Molecular systematics and biogeographical history of pitvipers as determined by mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequences. Copeia 1999 (3): 576-586 - get paper here
  • Ramírez-Jiménez, Francisco, Pablo R. Simón-Salvador, Elí García-Padilla, Vicente Mata-Silva and Larry David Wilson. 2016. Ophryacus undulatus (Jan, 1859). Mexico, Oaxaca. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(4): 1069 - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M. 1941. Notes on Mexican snakes of the genus Trimeresurus. Zoologica 26: 61-64. - get paper here
  • Solano-Zavaleta, Israel, Andrés Alberto Mendoza-Hernández and Luis Canseco-Márquez. 2010. Geographic distribution: Ophryacus undulatus. Herpetological Review 41 (3): 381 - get paper here
  • Taggart, Travis W., Brian I. Crother, and Mary E. White 2001. Palm-pitviper (Bothriechis) phylogeny, mtDNA, and consilience. Cladistics 17: 355-370 - get paper here
  • Torres-Hernández, LA, Ramírez-Bautista A, Cruz-Elizalde R, Hernández-Salinas U, Berriozabal-Islas C, DeSantis DL, Johnson JD, Rocha A, García-Padilla E, Mata-Silva V, Fucsko LA, and Wilson LD. 2021. The herpetofauna of Veracruz, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 15(2) [General Section]: 72–155 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Woolrich-Piña, G. A., E. García-Padilla, D. L. DeSantis, J. D. Johnson, V. Mata-Silva, and L. D. Wilson 2017. The herpetofauna of Puebla, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(4): 791–884 - get paper here
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