Synophis calamitus HILLIS, 1990
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Synophis calamitus?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae (Dipsadinae), Diaphorolepidini, |
Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
|Common Names||E: Calamitous Shadow Snake|
S: Culebra Andinas de la Sombra calamitosas
|Synonym||Synophis calamitus HILLIS 1990|
Synophis calamitus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 692
|Distribution||Ecuador (Pichincha, Tandayapa)|
Type locality: "4 km SE Tandayapa, Pichincha Province, Ecuador, elevation 1890 m." [=4 km southeast of Tandayapa, 0˚01'S, 78˚46'W, northeastern Pichincha, northwestern Ecuador, 1890 m].
|Types||Holotype: KU 197107, a 223 mm female (D.M. Hillis, 2 April 1984).|
|Diagnosis||Description. A group of relatively small (~450mm SVL) dipsadine snakes of the cloud forests of the Pacific versant of the Andean highlands of Ecuador diagnosable by 9–11 infralabials, 7–9 supralabials, fused prefrontals, internasals separated, loreal present, 1 or 2 postoculars, 163–166 ventrals, 110–125 subcaudals, dorsal scales in (21–23)-19-17 weakly keeled rows, neural spine expanded and flattened, and later- ally expanded zygapophyses. Known from middle to high-elevation (~1900–2200m) cloud forests north of the Río Toachi. Nothing is known of diet [PYRON et al. 2015: 130].|
|Comment||Known from only about a dozen specimens.|
“According to Hillis (1990), S. calamitus differed from other species of Synophis in having one postocular (two in other species) and internasals separated by rostral and prefrontal (internasals in contact medially in other species). Among 12 specimens of S. calamitus examined in this study (Appendix I), nine have two postoculars on each side, two have one postocular on one side and two on the opposite side, and only one specimen (QCAZ 11931) has one pos- tocular on each side. Moreover, we were able to examine the paratype of S. calamitus (KU 164208), a juvenile, badly-crushed roadkill, and found out that this specimen has one postocular on the left side and two on the right side, the ventral one difficult to observe because of the condition of the specimen. Thus, the number of postoculars is variable in S. calamitus and, therefore, it is not a useful taxonomic character. Regarding the contact between internasals, all specimens examined except for one (QCAZ 5847) had internasals in contact medially, as opposed to the condition described for both the holotype and paratype (internasals separated; Hillis 1990). Specimen QCAZ 5847 is a roadkill collected in the northern province of Carchi, and does not seem to have other differences with the remaining specimens of S. calamitus examined” (TORRES-CARVAJAL et al. 2015).
|Etymology||From the Latin for “calamity,” referring to accidents that befell the|
original collectors (Hillis 1990).
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