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Salvadora deserticola SCHMIDT, 1940

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Big Bend Patchnose Snake
G: Wüsten-Pflasternasennatter
S: Culebra Chata de Montaña 
SynonymSalvadora hexalepis deserticola SCHMIDT 1940
Salvadora hexalepis celeris SMITH 1941: 9
Salvadora hexalepis celeris — SMITH & TAYLOR 1945: 124
Salvadora hexalepis deserticola — BOGERT 1945
Salvadora hexalepis deserticola — ZWEIFEL & NORRIS 1955
Salvadora deserticola — BOGERT & DEGENHARDT 1961
Salvadora hexalepis deserticola — HARDY 1969: 198
Salvadora hexalepis deserticola — STEBBINS 1985: 185
Salvadora deserticola — TANNER 1985: 642
Salvadora deserticola — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 193
Salvadora deserticola — LINER 1994
Salvadora hexalepis deserticola — CROTHER 2000
Salvadora deserticola — DIXON 2000
Salvadora deserticola — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 306
Salvadora deserticola — TENNANT 2003: 192
Salvadora hexalepis deserticola — LINER 2007
Salvadora hexalepis deserticola — CROTHER et al. 2012
Salvadora deserticola — WALLACH et al. 2014: 660
Salvadora deserticola — HEIMES 2016: 146
Salvadora deserticola — LEMOS-ESPINAL & SMITH 2020 
DistributionUSA (SE Arizona, SW New Mexico, SW Texas),
Mexico (E Sonora, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Coahuila, Durango)

Type locality: Texas, Brewster County, near Chisos Mountains, Government Spring.  
TypesHolotype: FMNH 26615
Holotype: USNM 40043 [Salvadora hexalepis celeris] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Allied to Salvadora hexalepis hexalepis in the separation of the posterior chin shields, enlargement of the rostral, nine upper labials, in having keeled supra-anal scales, and in pale grayish coloration; distinguished by the uniformly single loreal, lower ventral count, and the situation of the narrow lateral line on the fourth scale row instead of on the third and fourth [from SCHMIDT 1940].

Diagnosis: Rostral scale well developed, elongated and with free edges; 9 supralabials, two or rarely three in contact with the eye (generally the fifth and sixth in contact); 11 infralabials; preocular scale divided; a single loreal; prenasal in contact with the second supralabial; a second pair of chinshields separated by two rows of scales; 180–205 ventrals; 66–87 subcaudals; tail is 19 to 23.5% of the total length; maxillary teeth normally 11 + 3. Color pattern consists of a pale vertebral stripe, five scales wide on the anterior third of the body and three scales wide on the rest of the body, flanked by a pair of dark dorsolateral lines located on the sixth and seventh row and separated from the lateral lines by at least one row of scales; lateral lines begin on the fourth row or on the margins of the third and fourth rows of dorsal scales. Lateral and dorsolateral lines fused on the neck.
Differs from the other species in the genus by having a single loreal, usually not divided; tail shorter (less than 24% of the total length) and fewer subcaudal scales (HERNÁNDEZ-JIMÉNEZ et al. 2021). 
CommentSubspecies: Salvadora hexalepis deserticola has been elevated to valid species. Recognition of the species S. deserticola was made without justification by Bogert and Degenhardt (1961). However, Bogert (1945), describes characters justifying the distrinction and states that there are no intergrades.

Distribution: See map in HERNÁNDEZ-JIMÉNEZ et al. 2021: Fig. 6. 
EtymologyThe species name is derived from the Latin words ‘desertum’, which means ‘desert’, and ‘icola’, which means ‘inhabitant’, in reference to the habitat at the type locality. 
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  • Bogert, Charles M.; Degenhardt, William G. 1961. An addition to the fauna of the United States, the Chihuahua Ridge-nosed rattlesnake in New Mexico. American Museum Novitates (2064): 1-15 - get paper here
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
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  • De los Reyes, M N; Lazcano, D & Espinosa-Trevino, A 2018. Geographic Distribution: Salvadora deserticola (Big Bend Patch-nosed Snake). Herpetological Review 49 (3): 507 - get paper here
  • Dixon, James R. 2000. Amphibians and reptiles of Texas, second edition. Texas A&M University Press, 421 pp.
  • Hardy, L.M., & McDiarmid, R.W. 1969. The amphibians and reptiles of Sinaloa, Mexico. Univ. Kansas Publ. Mus. Nat. Hist. 18 (3): 39-252. - get paper here
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  • Hernández-Jiménez, C. A., Flores-Villela, O., Aguilar-Bremauntz, A., & Campbell, J. A. 2021. Phylogenetic relationships based on morphological data and taxonomy of the genus Salvadora Baird & Girard, 1853 (Reptilia, Colubridae). European Journal of Taxonomy, 764: 85-118 - get paper here
  • Jameson, David H.;Flury, Alvin G. 1949. The reptiles and amphibians of the Sierra Vieja Range of southwestern Texas. Texas Journal of Science 1 (2): 54-77 - get paper here
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  • Schmidt,K.P. 1940. Notes on Texan snakes of the genus Salvadora. Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Zool. Series 24 (12): 143-150 - get paper here
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  • Stebbins,R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston
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  • 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.
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