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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Rutherford’s Vine Snake 
Dendrophis auratus – COURT 1858: 411
Dryiophis aeneus – GARMAN 1887: 284
Oxybelis acuminatus – MOLE & URICH 1894: 86
Oxybelis aeneus aeneus – BOGERT & OLIVER 1945: 381
Oxybelis aeneus – BEEBE 1952: 175
Oxybelis A. aeneus – WEHEKIND 1960: 75
Oxybelis ae. aeneus – MERTENS 1972: 18
Oxybelis aeneus — UGUETO & RIVAS 2010 
DistributionTrinidad, Margarita Island, Los Testigos Archipelago, adjacent Venezuela (Llanos and the Orinoco Delta), French Guiana

Type locality: Trinidad, Arima Valley, William Beebe Tropical Research Centre, circa 6 km N Arima, 247m elevation,10°41′32′′N,61°17′22′′W.  
TypesHolotype: UTA R-64851 (Figs. 12 and 13), collected by Mike G. Rutherford 20:00 h, 31 March 2018. Measurement: SVL 745 mm, total length 1245 mm
Paratypes FMNH 215839, Trinidad, circa 2 miles south of Simla-Quarry Rd., on Arima-Blanchisseuse Rd. (10° 39′2 1.73′′ N, 61° 17′ 22.77′′ W), JCM, M. Dloogatch, and Reznick; FMNH 49978 and 49982 Trinidad, San Rafael (10° 33′ 59 ′′ N, 61° 15′ 59′′ W); FMNH 215838, circa 3 mi. south of Simla- Quarry Rd., on Arima-Blanchisseuse Rd., egg farm (10° 39′ 38′′ N, 61° 17′ 22′′ W), collected by JCM, M. Dloogatch, and R. Humbert; MBLUZ 1268, between San Francisco de Macanao and Cerro Los Cedros, Isla de Margarita, Nueva Esparta, Venezuela (11° 01′ 34′′ N, 64° 17′ 30′′ W) by Gilson Rivas, Eusebio Millán, Ángel Fernández, and Reina Gonto on 10 October 2013. FMNH 17839–40, Puerto Viejo, Península de Paria, Sucre, Venezuela. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A vine snake with (1) two upper labials (4–5) bordering the orbit; (2) black spots or bars on anterior body, dorsum mostly uniform brown with little black pigment; there are small scattered black spots on the dorsum; (3) venter finely mottled with a pale mid-ventral stripe; (4) preocular shorter than the diameter of the eye; (5) second pair of chin shields in contact for most of their length; (6) eight upper labials with three labials behind orbit; (7) snout from above narrow, tapered, and rounded at the rostrum (snout type B); (8) supraoculars longer than the prefrontals; (9) last upper labial longer than the primary temporal; (10) lower surface of head uniform in color; (11) second upper labial does not contact the preocular. 
CommentHabitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018, by implication). 
EtymologyNamed in honor of Mike G. Rutherford, collector of the holotype and curator of the Zoology Museum at the University of the West Indies, for his contributions to the zoology and natural history of Trinidad and Tobago. 
  • Auguste, Renoir J.; Jason-Marc Mohamed, Marie-Elise Maingot, Kyle Edghill 2021. Dietary records for Oxybelis rutherfordi (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Trinidad and Tobago. Phyllomedusa 20(1): 89-92 - get paper here
  • Beebe, W. 1952. Introduction to the ecology of Arima Valley, Trinidad, B.W.I. Zoologica, 37: 157–183
  • Bogert, Charles M.; Oliver, James A. 1945. A preliminary analysis of the herpetofauna of Sonora. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 83 (6): 297-426 - get paper here
  • Court J 1858. Catalogue of Reptiles. In: DeVerteuil LAAG (Ed) Trinidad: Its Geography, Natural Resources, Administration, Present Condition, and Prospects. Ward and Lock, London, 440–441.
  • Garman, S. 1887. On West Indian reptiles in the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Cambridge, Mass. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 24: 278-286. - get paper here
  • Jadin RC, Jowers MJ, Orlofske SA, Duellman WE, Blair C, Murphy JC 2021. A new vine snake (Reptilia, Colubridae, Oxybelis) from Peru and redescription of O. acuminatus. Evolutionary Systematics 5(1): 1-12 - get paper here
  • Jadin, R.C., Blair, C., Orlofske, S.A. et al. 2020. Not withering on the evolutionary vine: systematic revision of the Brown Vine Snake (Reptilia: Squamata: Oxybelis) from its northern distribution. Org Divers Evol (2020) - get paper here
  • Mertens, R. 1972. Herpetofauna tobagana. Stuttgarter Beitr. zur Naturkunde nr. 252 22 pp. - get paper here
  • MOLE, R. R., & F. W. URICH 1894. A preliminary list of the reptiles and batrachians of the island of Trinidad. J. Trinidad Field Natur. Club 2: 77-90
  • Murphy, John C.; John C. Weber, Michael J. Jowers, and Robert C. Jadin 2023. Two Islands, Two Origins: The Snakes of Trinidad and Tobago. In: Lillywhite & Martins, eds., Islands and snakes, vol. II. Oxford University Press, p. 81 ff - 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
  • Wehekind, L. 1960. Trinidad snakes. Journal of the British Guiana Museum of Zoology, 27: 71–76
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