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Rhadinella lisyae MCCRANIE, 2017

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymRhadinella lisyae MCCRANIE 2017 
DistributionE/C Honduras (Olancho), elevations 1,300 m - 2,290 m.

Type locality: Cerro La Picucha (14°58'N, 85°55'W; WGS 84); elevation 2,050 m asl, Montaña de Babilonia, Sierra de Agalta, Departamento de Olancho, Honduras  
TypesHolotype: USNM) 535870 (National Museum of Natural History) (Fig. 1), an adult male (hemipenis everted), collected by James R. McCranie on 4 August 1997. Paratypes (2 adult males, 2 adult females): USNM 565821 (Fig. 2), adult male, same data as holotype, except collected at an elevation of 2,290 m on 2 July 2010 by Alexander Gutsche and James R. McCranie; USNM 565592, adult male, same data as holotype, except collected at an elevation of 2,285 m on 25 May 2006 by Franklin E. Castañeda; USNM 565593, adult female, collected at Piedra Blanca (14°53'N, 85°54'W; WGS 84), Montaña Peña Blanca, Sierra de Agalta, at an elevation of 1,300 m in March of 2006 by Franklin E. Castañeda; and USNM 565594, adult female, collected at La Florida (14°57'N, 85°53'W; WGS 84), along the Río Seco, Sierra de Agalta, at an elevation of 1,400 m on 24 May 2006 by Franklin E. Castañeda.
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Rhadinella lisyae, with 17 dorsal scale rows, broad lateral and ventrolateral dark stripes, and a relatively large size (see Myers, 1974), apparently is most closely related to R. lachrymans from Guatemala and south-eastern Chiapas, Mexico. Rhadinella lisyae is distinguished from R. lachrymans by the presence of a dark brown postorbital bar or spot that is separated from the orbit (Figs. 1, 3 in MacCranie 2017) by pale pigment (vs. dark postorbital bar bordering the orbit in R. lachrymans; Fig. 4); by a distinct, complete, white (in life and in alcohol) lateral line that borders the upper edge (Figs. 1, 2) of the dark brown lateral stripe (vs. pale lateral line immediately above dark brown lateral stripe, pale brown to rust color in life, incomplete anteriorly, reduced to dashes or largely absent posteriorly in R. lachrymans; see Fig. 4); fewer subcaudals in males (69–78; x– = 74.0 ± 4.6 (vs. 79–87 subcaudals in males; x– = 80.9 ± 2.4 in 13 Guatemalan R. lachrymans I examined; a range of 75–89 (x– = 82.8 ± 0.8) in 18 mostly Mexican R. lachrymans examined by Myers); a shorter tail with a TAL/TOL of 25.6–27.5% (vs. a TAL/TOL 27.9–31.2% in 13 Guatemalan R. lachrymans I examined; values of 26.5–30.7% in 18 mostly Mexican R. lachrymans examined by Myers); and a maximum TOL of 487 mm in males, in only three specimens (vs. a maximum TOL 470 mm in males, in 13 Guatemalan specimens I examined, and 454 mm in 18 mostly Mexican R. lachrymans examined by Myers).
The 17-17-17 dorsal scale rows in Rhadinella lisyae will distinguish it from the four species of Rhadinella with 19-19-19 and three species with 21-21-21 dorsal scale rows; 17-17-17 dorsal scale rows are present in the re- maining 10 species of Rhadinella, but broad lateral and ventrolateral stripes are present only in R. lachrymans; see Myers, 1974: 141), which are similar to those in R. lisyae. In addition, R. lisyae and R. lachrymans are the only two “large species” (Myers, 1974: 120) of Rhadinella with 17 dorsal scale rows. 
CommentHabitat: broadleaf rainforest and elfin forest (Premontane Wet Forest and Lower Montane Wet Forest formations) 
EtymologyThe specific name lisyae is a matronym for the author’s daughter Lisy, “who has never shown fear of small non-venomous snakes and enjoys holding them”. 
  • McCranie, J. R. 2017. A new species of Rhadinella (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from the Sierra de Agalta, Honduras. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(2): 244–253 - get paper here
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