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Tantilla taeniata BOCOURT, 1883

IUCN Red List - Tantilla taeniata - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Central American Centipede Snake 
SynonymTantilla taeniata (BOCOURT 1883)
Homalocranion taeniatum BOCOURT 1883
Homalocranium trivittatum MÜLLER 1885: 678
Homalocranium taeniatum — GÜNTHER 1895
Homalocranium trilineatum — BOULENGER 1896
Tantilla taeniata — COPE 1887
Tantilla triseriata SMITH & SMITH 1951
Tantilla tritaeniata SMITH & WILLIAMS 1966
Tantilla reticulata — MEYER 1969 (in error)
Tantilla taeniata taeniata — SMITH & SMITH 1976
Tantilla taeniata triseriata — SMITH & SMITH 1976
Tantilla taeniata tritaeniata — SMITH & SMITH 1976
Tantilla taeniata — LINER 1994
Tantilla taeniata — WILSON 1999
Tantilla reticulata — MCCRANIE 2011
Tantilla taeniata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 706 
DistributionGuatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua

Type locality: "Guatemala" (restricted to "vicinity of Guatemala City" by Campbell, 1998).  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 1666, adult male, collected by A. Bouvier, date of collection unknown 
CommentSynonymy: Tantilla triseriata, long considered as a synonym or subspecies of T. taeniata, has been resurrected by SMITH & SMITH 1998 (see the entry for T. triseriata). Likewise, Tantilla tritaeniata has been resurrected by WILSON & MCCRANIE 1999. T. reticulata is listed as valid species by MCCRANIE 2011 although we have no reference for this revalidation. Four specimens identified as Tantilla taeniata have been reported from Nicaragua (Köhler 2001, Sunyer & Köhler 2007); one (AMNH 12698) actually represents T. reticulata [MCCRANIE 2011]. McCranie and Smith 2017 split off several new species from T. taeniata, so older reports possibly refer to those new species now.

Distribution: Wilson 1999 gives distribution as “S Guatemala and W Honduras”, probably excluding tritaeniata and triseriata. Populations from NE Honduras have been split off from T. taeniata as T. psittaca MCCRANIE 2011. Not in Mexico fide Liner 2007, WILSON & MATA-SILVA 2015 (Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 5-95).

Group: The T. taeniata group contains about 25 species (Antúnez-Fonseca et al. 2020: 90; list of species in Table 1). The Tantilla taeniata group members are characterized by the possession of dark dorsal surfaces with pale middorsal and lateral stripes, and by having a pale nuchal collar. Those stripes are occasionally reduced to dashes or dots in a few species, and the nuchal collar is complete, incomplete, or reduced in a few species” McCranie and Smith (2017: 338).

Key: Antúnez-Fonseca et al. 2020: 99 provide a key to the members of the taeniata group. 
  • Bocourt, M. F. 1883. In A. Duméril, M. F. Bocourt, and F. Mocquard, (1870-1909), Etudes sur les reptiles, p. i-xiv, 1-1012. In Recherches Zoologiques pour servir a l'Histoire de Ia Faune de l'Amérique Centrale et du Mexique. Mission Scientifique au Mexique et dans l'Amér Imprimerie Impériale, Paris - 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
  • Canseco-Márquez, L.; Mendelson III, J.R. & Gutiérrez-Mayén, G. 2002. A new species of large Tantilla (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Sierra Madre Oriental of Puebla, Mexico. Herpetologica 58 (4): 492-497 - get paper here
  • Guerra Centeno, Dennis; Héctor Fuentes Rousselin & David Morán Villatoro 2012. Serpientes de Guatemala: Guía para didentificación de especies. Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, 186 pp.
  • Jansen, M. & G. Koehler 2002. Biogeographische Analyse der Herpetofauna von ausgewählten Hochlandgebieten Nicaraguas. Salamandra 38 (4): 269-286 - get paper here
  • Köhler, G. 2008. Reptiles of Central America. 2nd Ed. Herpeton-Verlag, 400 pp.
  • McCranie J R 2011. The snakes of Honduras. SSAR, Salt Lake City, 725 pp.
  • McCranie, James R. 2015. A checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with additions, comments on taxonomy, some recent taxonomic decisions, and areas of further studies needed. Zootaxa 3931 (3): 352–386 - get paper here
  • Savitzky, A. H.;Smith, H. M. 1971. Concerning the taeniata group of the genus Tantilla (Serpentes: Colubridae). Herpetological Review 3 (1): 11 - get paper here
  • Savitzky,A.H. & SMITH,H.M. 1971. A new snake from Mexico of the taeniata group of Tantilla. Journal of Herpetology 5 (3-4): 167-171 - get paper here
  • Solís, J. M., L. D. Wilson, and J. H. Townsend. 2014. An updated list of the amphibians and reptiles of Honduras, with comments on their nomenclature. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1: 123–144 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Sunyer, J. & Köhler, G. 2007. New county and departmental records of herpetofauna in Nicaragua. Salamandra 43 (1): 57-62 - get paper here
  • Sunyer, Javier 2014. An updated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Nicaragua. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 186–202. - 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. 1983. Tantilla taeniata. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 344: 1-2. - 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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