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Sonora mosaueri STICKEL, 1938

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mosauer’s Ground Snake 
SynonymSonora mosaueri STICKEL 1938: 189
Sonora mosaueri — SMITH & TAYLOR 1945
Sonora mosaueri — CLIFF 1954
Sonora semiannulata — FROST 1983: 35
Sonora (Procinura) mosaueri — COX et al. 2018: 982 
DistributionMexico (Baja California Sur)

Type locality: Comondu, Baja California Sur (Mexico)  
TypesHolotype: MVZ 13772 (male); paratypes: MVZ 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: This species is distinct from Sonora cincta, S. fasciata, S. straminea, S. aemula, S. annulata, S. occipitalis and S. palarostris by the lack of rostral or caudal adaptations. There are no clear morphological differences between S. mosaueri and S. semiannualata, whose geographic ranges may overlap in the northern state of Baja California. This lack of meristic characters distinguishing the various species and subspecies of the S. semiannulata species group is what led Frost (1983a) to synonymize all of these nomen with S. semiannulata. However, we found substantial molecular evidence that material formerly assigned to S. semiannulata from the southern half of the Baja California Peninsula is not even nested with S. semiannulata from the USA and northern mainland Mexico, but is instead sister to S. aemula. We recommend that geographic range be used to distinguish S. mosaueri from S. semiannulata (Cox et al. 2018: 982).

Variation: Sonora mosaueri is not polymorphic, and all individuals are brown, grey, or tan uniform in appearance. Individuals of this species often have prominent maculations on the dorsal scales, and have the largest body size of the S. semiannulata species group (Cox et al. 2018: 982). 
CommentAll species of Sonora possess colour pattern polymorphism, with uniform, striped, banded, bicolour and tricolour morphs known for the different species.

Synonymy: Sonora mosaueri has been considered a synonym of Sonora semiannulata until Cox et al. 2018 revalidated it. 
  • Cliff, Frank S. 1954. Snakes of the islands in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History 12 (5): 67-98 - get paper here
  • Cox, Christian L.; Alison R. Davis Rabosky, Iris A. Holmes, Jacobo Reyes-Velasco, Corey E. Roelke, Eric N. Smith, Oscar Flores-Villela, Jimmy A. McGuire & Jonathan A. Campbell 2018. Synopsis and taxonomic revision of three genera in the snake tribe Sonorini. Journal of Natural History 52: 945-988 - get paper here
  • Frost D R 1983. Sonora semiannulata Baird and Girard. Ground snake. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 333: 1-4 - get paper here
  • Frost, D. R. 1983. The relationships of the ground snakes (genus Sonora) in Baja California, Mexico. Trans. Kansas Acad. Sci. 86: 31-37. - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Navarro-Tiznado, Edith Andrea; Norma Selene González Gutiérrez, Biologa, Jorge Heriberto Valdez Villavicencio, Biologo 2020. SONORA MOSAUERI (SQUAMATA: COLUBRIDAE). Rev. Latinoamer. Herp. 3 (1): 127 - get paper here
  • Stickel, William H. 1938. The snakes of the genus Sonora in the United States and Lower California. Copeia 1938 (4): 182-190 - get paper here
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