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Tantilla berguidoi BATISTA, MEBERT, LOTZKAT & WILSON, 2016

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Chucantí Centipede Snake
S: Centipedívora de Chucantí 
SynonymTantilla berguidoi BATISTA, MEBERT, LOTZKAT & WILSON 2016 
DistributionPanama (Darién)

Type locality: Panama, Provincia de Darién, Serranía de Majé, Cerro Chucantí (8.79904°N, 78.46158°W; elevation 1,376 m  
TypesHolotype: SMF 97636 (original field number AB 1029), an adult male (Fig. 1), collected by Abel Batista and Konrad Mebert on 2 December 2012. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A snake of the genus Tantilla and the reticulata section of the taeniata group. Tantilla berguidoi is allocated to the taeniata group based on the presence of a dorsal pattern consisting of pale middorsal and lateral stripes on a darker background and a head pattern with a pale nuchal band. We placed it in the reticulata section of this group based on the presence of a pale lateral stripe occupying dorsal scale row 4 and adjacent halves of scale rows 3 and 5. It differs from the other three species of the reticulata section (i.e., T. flavilineata, T. oaxacae, and T. reticulata) based on the presence of a narrower, pale middorsal stripe confined to the median portion of the mid- dorsal scale row (vs. occupying the middorsal scale row and adjacent halves of the paravertebral scale rows), and an obscure pale nuchal collar beginning on the posterior portions of the parietals and extending posteriorly onto the middorsal scale immediately behind the median parietal suture, and laterally grading into pale pigment on the pos- terior portion of the last supralabial and the nuchal scale situated posterior to the last supralabial and the posterior temporal scale (vs. a well-developed pale nuchal collar either complete or middorsally divided and either crossing the last supralabial or not).
Tantilla berguidoi can be distinguished further from the other three members of the reticulata section by the presence of the following combination of characters (Figs. 2, 3): (1) a dark brown dorsolateral stripe occupies the upper portion of scale row 5, rows 6 and 7, and sometimes the lateral tips of the middorsal scales; (2) pale brown lateral stripes located on the upper portion of dorsal scale row 3, all of row 4, and the lower portion of row 5; (3) dorsal area below pale lateral stripe dark brown; (4) 152 ventrals; (5) 65 subcaudals; and (6) tail length 25.2% of total length.
CommentHabitat: montane forest (sensu Fund and Hogan, 2012 see Batista et al. 2016 for citations; Fig. 5), which is comprised of trees attaining heights of about 15 m, with their branches densely covered with mosses, liverworts, bromeliads, and other epiphytes (e.g., orchids and Loranthaceae or hemiparasitic woody plants of a mistletoe habit), and with palms, vines, ferns, and bromeliads dominating the understory (Fig. 5). According to the ecoregion, the annual precipitation is expected to range be- tween 3,000 and 4,000 mm, and the mean annual temperature between 20 and 27°C. The life zones in this area are: Lowland Moist Forest (0–500 m elev.), Premontane Moist Forest (500–1,000 m elev.), and a small area of the Premontane Wet Forest above 1,000 m elev. at Cerro Chucantí (Holdridge, 1967). In this region, rainfall occurs mostly from April to December (Río Majé meteorological station, 70 m elev.;; accessed 19 September 2016). The holotype was found at 2014 h, active on leaf litter beside a trail, 600 m southwest of the summit of Cerro Chucantí. A drizzling rain had fallen between 1830 and 2100 h, and only a slight breeze was evident.

Conservation status: Critically Endangered. 
EtymologyThis species is named in honor of Guido Berguido, founder of the Adopt Panama Rainforest Association (ADOPTA) and manager of the Chucantí Private Nature Reserve. The reserve is located on Cerro Chucantí, “an isolated massif in eastern Panama that rises from sea level to 1,439 meters in elevation and sustains a diverse cloud forest as well as other tropical forest ecosystems” (; accessed 24 October 2016). 
  • Batista A, Mebert K, Miranda M, Garcés O, Fuentes R, Ponce M. 2020. Endemism on a threatened sky island: new and rare species of herpetofauna from Cerro Chucantí, Eastern Panama. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 14(2) [General Section]: 27–46 (e237) - get paper here
  • Batista, Abel, Konrad Mebert, Sebastian Lotzkat and Larry David Wilson. 2016. A new species of centipede snake of the genus Tantilla (Squamata: Colubridae) from an isolated premontane forest in eastern Panama. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(4): 949–960 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2017. Neue Arten: Liste der im Jahr 2016 neu beschriebenen Reptilien. Terraria-Elaphe 2017 (3): 54-70 - get paper here
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