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Tantilla jani (GÜNTHER, 1895)

IUCN Red List - Tantilla jani - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Jan's Centipede Snake 
SynonymHomalocranium jani GÜNTHER 1895: 148
Homalocranium fuscum BOULENGER 1896
Tantilla fusca SLEVIN 1939
Tantilla jani — SMITH 1942: 36
Tantilla janni — BELTRÁN 1953
Tantilla jani — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 295
Tantilla cuesta WILSON 1982 (fide CAMPBELL 1998)
Tantilla jani — LINER 1994
Tantilla jani — WILSON 1999
Tantilla jani — WALLACH et al. 2014: 702
Tantilla jani — HEIMES 2016: 181 

cuesta: Guatemala (San Marcos); Type locality: Finca San
Julia, 1.5 km E San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta, elevation 1050 m, Depto. San Marcos, Guatemala)  
TypesLectotype: BMNH 1946.1.8.68, conspecific with the holotype of T. cuesta.
Holotype: MVZ 146762 (adult? female) [cuesta] 
DiagnosisColoration: Body light brown dorsally and dark brown laterally; pale mid-dorsal stripe absent or reduced to a series of small spots on vertebral scale row; pale lateral stripe narrow, occupying adjacent edges of scale rows 3 and 4, extending length of body; lateral edges of ventrals with brown spotting; pale nuchal collar reduced to pair of spots;
Tantilla jani has narrow beige lateral stripes confined to the adjacent thirds of scale rows 3 and 4. The lateral stripes extend the length of the body to about the leVel of the vent or the proximal portion of the tail; they are bordered above by dark brown pigment on the upper portion of scale row 4. The dorsal area between the stripes is light brown, and the ventrolateral area below the stripes is dark brown. A pale middorsal stripe is absent or reduced to a series ofsmall spots on the vertebral scale row. Brown pigmentation on the first (paraventral) scale tow gradually decreases posteriorly. The nuchal collar is reduced to a pair of pale spots. The top of the head is medium brown, grading to tan on the snout. Pale pre- and postocular spots are present. The venter is whitish in preservative (unknown in life), the lateral edges of the ventrals have some brown spotting (Heimes 2016: 181).

Scalation: no loreal; dorsals in 15 rows; ventrals less than 150, 7 supralabials, 6 infralabials, 1 preocular, 2 post-oculars, 1+1 temporals, 143-147 ventrals and 44-47 divided sub-caudals (Heimes 2016: 181). 
CommentDistribution: not listed for Mexico by WILSON & MATA-SILVA 2015 who state that “Tantilla jani Günther, 1895, is a name correctly applied to a Guatemalan/Mexican member of the genus (Campbell, 1998a), leaving the taxon to which this name had been applied nameless; Campbell (1998a), however, provided the name Tantilla vulcani for this snake”. Heimes 2016 listed T. jani for Mexico but by citing Campbell 1998 concedes that all Mexican records are questionable. There is no map for T. jani in Heimes 2016 either.

Similar species: Tantilla vulcani

Synonymy: the paralectotype (from Nicaragua) was assigned to T. alticola by Wilson (1982). 
EtymologyNamed after Giorgio Jan (1791-1866), Austrian-born botanist and professor in Parma and Milan, Italy. Not listed in Liner 2007. 
  • Aguilar-López JL, Luría-Manzano R, Pineda E, Canseco-Márquez L 2021. Selva Zoque, Mexico: an important Mesoamerican tropical region for reptile species diversity and conservation. ZooKeys 1054: 127-153 - get paper here
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Campbell, Jonathan A. 1998. Comments on the identities of certain Tantilla (Squamata: Colubridae) from Guatemala, with descriptions of two new species. Scientific Papers, Natural History Museum, University of Kansas, (7):1-14. - get paper here
  • Günther, A. C. L. G. 1885. Reptilia and Batrachia. Biologia Centrali-Américana. Taylor, & Francis, London, 326 pp. [published in parts from 1885-1902; reprint by the SSAR 1987] - get paper here
  • Rodríguez-Robles, Javier A., Good, David A., Wake, David B. 2003. Brief History of Herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, with a List of Type Specimens of Recent Amphibians and Reptiles. UC Publications in Zoology, 119 pp. - get paper here
  • Smith, H.M. 1942. A resume of Mexican snakes of the genus Tantilla. Zoologica 27: 33-42. - 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, 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. Tantilla jani. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 369: 1 - get paper here
  • Wilson,L.D. 1985. Tantilla cuesta. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 366: 1 - get paper here
  • 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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