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Tantilla gottei MCCRANIE & SMITH, 2017

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common Names 
SynonymTantilla gottei MCCRANIE & SMITH 2017
Tantilla taeniata — WILSON & MEYER 1971: 32, in part
Tantilla taeniata — WILSON 1982: 56, in part
Tantilla taeniata — WILSON & MEYER 1982: 109, in part
Tantilla taeniata — WILSON & MEYER 1985: 103, in part
Tantilla taeniata — WILSON & MCCRANIE 1999: 328, in part
Tantilla taeniata — MCCRANIE 2011a: 227, in part
Tantilla taeniata — MCCRANIE 2011b: 44, in part
Tantilla taeniata — WILSON & MATA-SILVA 2015: 457, in part
Tantilla gottei — ANTÚNEZ-FONSECA et al. 2020 
DistributionHonduras (Francisco Morazán), elevation 500–1280 m

Type locality: El Picacho (14°07’N, 87°11’W), a zoological park located near Tegucigalpa, 1280 m elevation, department of Francisco Morazán, Honduras  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ROM 19996, an adult female, collected 12 December 1986 by Jorge Porras. Paratypes (n = 4). UNAH 5394, an adult male from Galeras (13°55’N, 86°59’W) about 5 km north of Güinope, 860 m elevation, El Paraíso, Honduras; MCZ R49886, a juvenile male from El Zamorano (14°00’N, 87°01’W), 800 m elevation, Francisco Morazán, Honduras; UNAH 3903, 4833, a subadult male and an adult male, respectively, from Tegucigalpa (centered at about 14°06’N, 87°12’W), 930–1000 m elevation, Francisco Morazán, Honduras. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis.—Tantilla gottei is defined by the following combination of characters: (1) middorsal stripe pale cream (in preservative), extending length of body and most of tail, on vertebral row and adjacent third of paravertebral rows; (2) pale cream (in preservative) lateral stripe occupying adjacent third of scale row 3 and lower three-quarters of scale row 4; (3) ventrolateral area white as is that of lateral stripe (in preservative); (4) lower two-thirds of scale row 1 colored similarly to that of ventrals; (5) lateral edges of ventrals white, except some dark spots present (in preservative); (6) ventral and subcaudal surfaces yellow (in life) and white (in preservative); (7) female with 147 ventrals, male ventrals 142–158, subcaudals 70 in female, 62–67 in males; (8) female tail length 26% of total length, 24–26% in males.
Tantilla gottei most closely resembles T. taeniata in having low numbers of ventral scales, but differs in having yellow ventral surfaces in life, and by having a pale brown internasal crossbar that is confluent with the pale lateral spot anterior to the eye, (vs. ventral surfaces pale purplish pink grading to darker salmon color on posterior two-thirds of body and tail in life, and in lacking a internasal crossbar).
Tantilla gottei differs from T. impensa, T. olympia, and T. stenigrammi by having the middorsal pale stripe involving all of vertebral scale row and adjacent third to half of paravertebral scale rows (vs. middorsal stripe confined to vertebral row in those three species, with that of T. olympia also reduced to a series of dashes; but that stripe also extends onto adjacent edges of paravertebral scale rows posteriorly on body in T. stenigrammi). Tantilla gottei differs further from T. impensa and T. stenigrammi in having 142–152 ventrals in both sexes combined (vs. ventrals 161–172 in T. impensa, and 159 in one T. stenigrammi), and further from T. impensa in having 204–217 ventral plus subcaudal scales in both sexes combined (vs. 233–240). Tantilla gottei differs further from T. olympia in having 62–70 subcaudals in both sexes combined and having a complete pale lateral stripe (vs. 49 subcaudals and pale lateral stripe reduced to dots in T. olympia). Tantilla gottei differs from T. excelsa in having 142–152 ventrals and 204–217 ventral plus subcaudal scales in both sexes combined and having a pale brown internasal crossbar that is confluent with the pale lateral spot anterior to the eye (vs. 161–178 ventrals and 222–239 ventral plus subcaudal scales, and internasal crossbar absent). Tantilla gottei differs from T. psittaca by having yellow ventral and subcaudal surfaces in life and cream in preservative and in having 142–152 ventrals and 204–217 ventrals plus sub- caudals in both sexes combined (vs. those surfaces pink and grading to red in life and pale brown medially and pale brown with pinkish tinge on posterior third of body and under tail in preservative, and 153–163 ventrals and 216–234 ventrals plus subcaudals). Tantilla gottei differs from T. tritaeniata in having 142–152 ventrals in both sexes combined and having a complete pale nuchal collar (vs. 155–161 ventrals and pale nuchal collar divided). 
CommentHabitat: pine forest, Lowland Dry Forest 
EtymologyThe name gottei is a patronymic noun honoring Steve W. Gotte, a long-time friend of the first author, who also made several field trips with JRM to Honduras. Steve has also been a long-term employee of the US Department of Interior at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, and most recently in Suitland, Maryland. 
References
  • Antúnez-Fonseca CA, Castro JA, España FG, Townsend JH, Wilson LD. 2020. A new species of Tantilla of the taeniata group (Squamata: Colubridae) from Refugio de Vida Silvestre Barras de Cuero y Salado in Caribbean coastal Honduras. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 14(3) [Taxonomy Section]: 86–102 (e258) - get paper here
  • McCranie J R 2011. The snakes of Honduras. SSAR, Salt Lake City, 725 pp.
  • McCranie J R 2011. A new species of Tantilla of the taeniata species group (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae, Colubrinae) from northeastern Honduras. Zootaxa 3037: 37–44 - get paper here
  • McCranie, James R. and Eric N. Smith 2017. A Review of the Tantilla taeniata Species Group (Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae: Colubrinae) in Honduras, with the Description of Three New Species. Herpetologica Dec 2017, Vol. 73, No. 4: 338-348. - get paper here
  • MURILLO, E. O., C. A. ANTUNEZ-FONSECA, AND J. H. TOWNSEND 2020. Geographic Distribution: Tantilla gottei (Gotte’s Centipede Snake). Honduras: La Paz: Municipality Of La Paz. Herpetological Review. 51:549.
  • Wilson, L. D., & MEYER, J. R. 1971. A revision of the taeniata group of the colubrid snake genus Tantilla. Herpetologica 27: 11-40. - get paper here
  • Wilson, L. D., & MEYER, J. R. 1982. The Snakes of Honduras. Milwaukee Publ. Mus. Publ., Biol. & Geol. No. 6, 159 pp.
  • Wilson, L. D., & MEYER, J. R. 1985. The Snakes of Honduras. 2d ed. Milwaukee Publ. Mus. Publ., Biol. & Geol. No. 6, 150 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
  • 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. & McCranie,J.R. 1999. The systematic status of Honduran populations of the Tantilla taeniata group (Serpentes: Colubridae), with notes on other populations. Amphibia-Reptilia 20 (3): 326-329 - get paper here
 
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