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Tantilla bairdi STUART, 1941

IUCN Red List - Tantilla bairdi - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Baird's Black-headed Snake 
SynonymTantilla bairdi STUART 1941
Tantilla bairdi — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 294
Tantilla bairdi — WILSON 1999
Tantilla bairdi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 699 
DistributionC Guatemala (Alta Verapaz), elevation 1524-1550 m

Type locality: Two km NE Finca Chichén (10 straight line km S Cobán) on Chamelco trail, ca. 1550 m elevation, Depto. Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.  
TypesHolotype: UMMZ 89223, adult female 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS. A Tantilla with 15 dorsal scale rows, 163 abdominals, and 34 subcaudals. Brown above ancl red beneath, with a yellow nuchal collar and a postorbital light spot. Superficially close to T. schistosa, from which it differs in possessiiig more abdominals (Stuart 1941: 1).

Scalation. Head scutellation normal. Rostral broad, plainly visible from above. Two internasals followed by a larger pair of prefrontals. Frontal longer than its distance from the end of the snout and flanked by well-developed supraoculars. Parietals longer than frontal. Nostril between 2 nasals; no loreal; oculars 1-2; temporals 1+1. Seven supralabials; 7 infralabials, 4 in contact with the anterior chin shields, which are twice as long as the posterior ones. Dorsal scales smooth, in 15 rows throughout tbe length of the body. Abdominals, 163; subcaudals, 34; anal divided (Stuart 1941: 2).

Teeth: Twelve sub-equal maxillary teeth followed by a diastema and 2 enlarged, grooved, posterior fangs (Stuart 1941: 2). 
CommentOnly known from two specimens (Wilson & Mata-Silva 2015). Not mentioned in Campbell’s 1998 book on N Guatemala etc. 
EtymologyNamed after James Baird, “whose gifts to the University of Michigan have contributed to the support of my Guatemalan investigations” (cited after STUART 1941). James Baird (May 18, 1873 – May 16, 1953) was an American civil engineer, football player and coach. He played football for the University of Michigan from 1892 to 1895 and was captain of the 1894 team. He was also an assistant football coach at Michigan from 1897 to 1898. He worked for the George A. Fuller Co. for 23 years and eventually became its president. He later formed his own construction company called the James Baird Company. Baird directed the construction of many important buildings, including the Flatiron Building, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Memorial Amphitheater, and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (biographical data kindly supplied by Michael Watkins). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Stuart,L.C. 1941. Some new snakes from Guatemala. Occ. Pap. Mus. Zool., Univ. Michigan (No. 452): 1-7 - get paper here
  • 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.
  • Wilson, L.D. 1999. Checklist and key to the species of the genus Tantilla (Serpentes: Colubridae), with some commentary on distribution. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (122): 1-34 - get paper here
  • Wilson, Larry David and Vicente Mata-Silva 2015. A checklist and key to the snakes of the Tantilla clade (Squamata: Colubridae), with comments on distribution and conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (4): 418 - get paper here
  • Wilson,L.D. 1982. A Review of the Colubrid Snakes of the Genus Tantilla of Central America. Milwaukee Publ. Mus. Contr. Biol. Geol. (52): 1-77
  • Wilson,L.D. 1985. Rediscovery of Tantilla bairdi STUART and a definite Guatemalan locality for Tantilla taeniata (BOCOURT). Herpetological Review 16: 105 - get paper here
  • Wilson,L.D. 1985. Tantilla bairdi. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 380: 1. - get paper here
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