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Tantilla boipiranga SAWAYA & SAZIMA, 2003

IUCN Red List - Tantilla boipiranga - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common Names 
SynonymTantilla boipiranga SAWAYA & SAZIMA 2003
Tantilla boipiranga — WALLACH et al. 2014: 699
Tantilla boipiranga — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionSE Brazil (Minas Gerais [HR 34: 390])

Type locality: “montane fields of the Serra do Cipó, Santana do Riacho, Minas Gerais, SE Brazil (19° 17’ S, 43° 36’ W), elevation 1200 m.  
TypesHolotype: ZUEC 1840, adult male 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: presence of seven supralabial scales; two postoculars scales; 143–160 ventral scales and 56–70 subcaudals in males; 153–172 ventrals and 51–59 subcaudals in females; presence of a black cephalic cap that can extend weakly to the temporal region, followed by a pale nuchal band medially divided, a black collar at the neck and a posteriorly discreet pale band, more evident laterally; presence of subocular black blotch; uniform dorsal reddish orange colour, sometimes presenting a discreet black vertebral longitudinal line; and presence of hemipenis elongated ornamented with large spines in the asulcate surface of distal region of hemipenial body (Santos-Azevedo et al. 2021).

Meristic and morphometric variation: The values of summary statistics for all evaluated characters are described in Table 1. Sexual dimorphism was significant for the following characters (Fig. 2): number of ventral scales (p < 0.01), ranging from 153 to 172 in females (x = 161.6, n = 14) and from 143 to 160 in males (x = 152.7, n = 18); number of subcaudal scales (p < 0.01), ranging from 51 to 59 in females (x = 56, n = 12) and from 56 to 70 in males (x = 64.8, n = 17). The following values of meristic features were highly conservative among sampled individuals (for a detailed description see Supplementary Table 1): 1) two postoculars (n = 31), rarely one (n = 1); 2) one preoculars (n = 31), rarely two (n = 1); 3) seven supralabials (n = 31), rarely six (n = 1); 4) six infralabials (n = 32); 5) one preventrals (n = 12), two preventrals (n = 17), rarely three preventrals (n = 2) or absent (n = 1); and 7) temporals 1+1 (n = 29), rarely temporals 1+2 (n = 3). We re-evaluated the scale counts and sex determination of five individuals analysed by Tunes et al. (2020) (their values/determination are presented in parentheses): UFMG 3230 presents 2+164 ventrals and 58 subcaudals (2+175 ventrals and 52 subcaudals); UFMG 121 is a male (female); UFMG 1175 is a male (female); UFMG 3251 is a male (female); UFMG 2539 is a male and presents 2+156 ventrals and 69 subcaudals (female, 2+162 ventrals and 52 subcaudals) (Santos-Azevedo et al. 2021).

Colour in life: A low degree of colour variation was found in live specimens (Fig. 3). The species showed a uniform reddish orange dorsal colour (as Sawaya & Sazima 2003) and immaculate cream venter; nuchal band cream to orange medially divided over the parietal suture by longitudinal union that connects the black cephalic cap to the black collar on the neck. Posteriorly discreet pale band, more evident laterally (Fig. 3BCDE). The vertebral longitudinal line is vestigial (Fig. 3B) or absent. Colour variation was present only in specimen IBSP 90663, which showed a cream venter with some reddish orange macules, mainly in the cloacal region (Fig. 3F) (Santos-Azevedo et al. 2021). 
CommentAbundance: rare; Tantilla boipiranga was described based on four specimens from the highlands of Minas Gerais.

Synonymy: although T. boipiranga represents a monophyletic clade oit nests genetically within T. melanocephala 
EtymologyNamed after the words “boi” (= snake) and “piranga” (= red) in the Tupi native Brazilian language. The reddish pattern is shared with T. rubra. T. boipiranga may mimic the similarly colored colubrids of the genus Phalotris. 
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo, Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins, Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia, 2019. Atlas of Brazilian snakes: verified point-locality maps to mitigate the Wallacean shortfall in a megadiverse snake fauna. South American J. Herp. 14 (Special Issue 1):1-274 - get paper here
  • Santos-Azevedo, W. dos; Franco, F. L., Thomassen, H., de Castro, T. M., Abegg, A. D., Leite, F. S. F., ... & Grazziotin, F. G. 2021. Reassessment of Tantilla boipiranga (Serpentes: Colubrinae) and a preliminary approach to the phylogenetic affinities within Tantilla. Salamandra 57 (3): 400-412 - get paper here
  • Sawaya, R.J. & Sazima, I. 2003. A new species of Tantilla (Serpentes: Colubridae) from southeastern Brazil. Herpetologica 59 (1): 119-126 - get paper here
  • SILVEIRA, A.L.; G.A. COTTA & M.R.S. PIRES 2009. Distribuição geográfica e variação fenotípica de Tantilla boipiranga Sawaya & Sazima, 2003 (Serpentes, Colubridae). Geographic distribution and phenotypic variation of Tantilla boipiranga Sawaya & Sazima, 2003 (Serpentes, Colubridae). Arquivos do Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro 67: 93 - 101 - 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, 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
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