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Tantilla hendersoni STAFFORD, 2004

IUCN Red List - Tantilla hendersoni - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Peten Centipede Snake 
SynonymTantilla hendersoni STAFFORD 2004
Tantilla hendersoni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 701 
DistributionS Belize

Type locality: 0.5 km east of Las Cuevas on trail to Monkey Tail River, Cayo District, elevation 580 m.  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 2002.3 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of the T. taeniata group that may be distinguished from all other members of the genus by having (1) a dark gray-brown, almost black ground color; (2) a pale nape band that is complete medially; (3) a middorsal
stripe confined to the vertebral scale row and extending to the distal portion of the tail; (4) narrow pale lateral stripes occupying adjacent thirds of scale rows 3 and 4 that extend to the tip of the tail; (5) the lower third of the paraventral scale row mostly unpigmented; (6) dark mottling on the lateral edges of the ventrals; and (7) 153 ventrals and 64 subcaudals (excluding terminal spine) in the single known female.
CommentSimilar species: T. impensa and T. taeniata.

Synonymy: The specific status of this taxon is in doubt. Stafford et al. (2010: 385) stated that “in light of photographs we recently examined of a second, larger specimen from the same locality (ca. 350 mm) ... we suspect that BMNH 2002.3 probably represents a juvenile T. impensa Campbell (1998), and that differences between these two species (size, color pattern features, and ventral scale numbers) are attributable to a combination of geographic and ontogenetic variation. As and when additional material becomes available, we expect T. hendersoni to be relegated to the synonymy of T. impensa.” (cited in WILSON & MATA-SILVA 2015: 439). 
EtymologyNamed after R.W. Henderson, Curator of herpetology at the Milwaukee Public Museum. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Hofmann, Erich P.; Russell J. Gray, Larry David Wilson, Josiah H. Townsend 2017. Discovery of the first male specimen of Tantilla hendersoni Stafford, 2004 (Squamata: Colubridae), from a new locality in central Belize. Herpetology Notes 10: 53-57 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • Stafford, P.J. 2004. A new speciesof Tantilla (Serpentes; Colubridae) of the taeniata group from Southern Belize. Journal of Herpetology 38 (1): 43-52 - get paper here
  • Townsend, Josiah H.; Larry David Wilson, Melissa Medina-Flores, and Luis A. Herrera-B. 2013. A New Species of Centipede Snake in the Tantilla taeniata Group (Squamata: Colubridae) from Premontane Rainforest in Refugio De Vida Silvestre Texíguat, Honduras. Journal of Herpetology Mar 2013, Vol. 47, No. 1: 191-200. - 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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