Tantilla tecta CAMPBELL & SMITH, 1997
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Tantilla tecta?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: White-Striped Centipede Snake|
|Synonym||Tantilla tecta CAMPBELL & SMITH 1997|
Tantilla tecta — WILSON 1999
Tantilla tecta — LEE 2000: 342f
Tantilla tecta — WALLACH et al. 2014: 706
Type locality: slope flanking the NE side of Laguna Yaxhá, Petén, Guatemala (17° 03’ 43’’ N, 89° 23’ 12’’ W).
|Types||Holotype: UTA R-41160|
|Diagnosis||Diagnosis. A small species of Tantilla of the taeniata group (sensu Wilson, 1983) that may be distinguished from all other members of the genus by having: a narrow pale middorsal line restricted to the vertebral scale row; a narrow pale lateral line on adjacent portions of the third and fourth scale rows that extends onto the tail; a broad pale collar that is not interrupted medially; and 54 subcaudals in the single known specimen. In T. briggsi, T. cuesta, T. cuniculator, and T. tayrae the pale middorsal line is absent or restricted to a few scales on the anterior portion of the body, and in T. taeniata the middorsal stripe usually is expanded laterally to include all of the vertebral scale row and adjacent portions of the paravertebral rows. Tantilla taeniata can also be distinguished from T. tecta by the pale coloration on the top of the head which is distinctly paler than the dark borders of the nuchal collar. The dorsum of the head in T tecta, in contrast, is about the same as the borders of the collar. Tantilla flavilineata, T oaxacae, and T. reticulata differ from T. tecta in having a broader pale lateral stripe located on the fourth dorsal scale row and adjacent portions of the third and fifth rows. Tantilla tecta differs from all species in the taeniata group except T. jani and T. slavensi in having a narrow pale middorsal line confined to the vertebral scale row. Tantilla jani differs from T tecta in having less distinct pale lateral stripes that usually terminate on the posterior part of the body; a pale collar that includes the posterior portions of the parietals, posterior temporals, and ultimate supralabial; a pale postocular spot that includes the lingual margin of the fifth supralabial; the first pair of infralabials usually in contact; 37-47 subcaudals in females; and a relative tail length from 15 to 18% of the total length (versus 23% in female holotype of T. tecta). Tantilla slavensi may be distinguished from T. tecta in having part of the paraventral scale row pale (versus ground color from dorsum extending onto ventrals); a pale nuchal collar that is interrupted medially (versus not interrupted) and no more than one scale in length (versus two); a pale lateral line that becomes obscure on the base of the tail (versus evident even on distal portion of tail); the pale lateral line with a narrow dark brown border above, but not distinctly bordered below (versus a distinct dark border below pale lateral line which is darker than the border above); and 158-159 ventrals in two known females (versus 148 in single female). A higher number of ventrals is present in females of T. flavilineata (152—164) and T. reticulata (162-173) than in T tecta (148), whereas slightly lower numbers are present in females of T. oaxaca (145), T. tayrae (140-146), and T. cuesta (147). A higher number of subcaudals is present in females of T. taeniata (58-65) and T. reticulata (58-70), and fewer subcaudals are present in females of T. flavilineata (43-49), T.jani (37-47), T striata (31-34), T. oaxacae (48), T. cuniculator (48-53), T. tayrae (44-46), and T. cuesta (45) than in T. tecta (54). Undoubtedly, as many of these species become known from more adequate samples, the ranges for some segmental counts will overlap.|
|Comment||Tantilla tecta is most similar to T. jani of the Pacific versant of northern Middle America and to T. slavensi of the Tuxtla region of southern Veracruz, Mexico, but may be differentiated from these species by the condition of the pale lateral stripes on the body, the extent of the pale nuchal collar, the coloration of the paraventral scale row, the number of ventrals and subcaudals, and relative tail length.|