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Thamnophis chrysocephalus (COPE, 1885)

IUCN Red List - Thamnophis chrysocephalus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Goldenhead Garter Snake
G: Goldkopf-Strumpfbandnatter
S: Jarretera Cabeza de Oro 
SynonymEutaenia chrysocephala COPE 1885: 173
Tropidonotus chrysocephalus — BOULENGER 1893: 203
Thamnophis eburatus TAYLOR 1940
Thamnophis chrysocephalus — SMITH 1942: 104
Thamnophis chrysocephalus — SMITH et al. 1950: 571
Thamnophis chrysocephalus — LINER 1994
Thamnophis chrysocephalus — LINER 2007
Thamnophis chrysocephalus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 720 
DistributionMexico (Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Veracruz)

Type locality: Orizaba, Veracruz.

eburatus: Mexico (Oaxaca); Type locality: Mexico: Cerro San Felipe, Oaxaca; H. Roberts and E. H. Taylor; August 18, 1938.  
TypesHolotype: USNM 30494
Holotype: INHS (= UIMNH) 25067 [eburatus] 
DiagnosisOriginal description (from COPE 1885): The E. chrysocephala has a slender body, and a wide, flat head, with a large eye. The size of the latter contracts the frontal plate, so that it is not wider than the superciliaries posteriorly. The scuta are otherwise as usual. Superior labials eight, none higher than long, fourth and fifth below orbit. The inferior surfaces are darker than in E. collaris, which causes a better definition of the lateral line than in that species. There are representations of two rows of lateral black spots, but they are merely black scale-borders, those of the inferior row the more distinct. A similar row of black edges on the first row of scales. All of these spots become distinct on the sides of the neck. Nuchal spot large, black, and with a shallow notch behind; no occipital or other spots on the head. The gastrosteges have black bases, a character not seen in any of the other species here referred to.

Gastrosteges, 151. Total length, M. .430; of tail, .135, or one-third the total. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Burbrink FT, Futterman I. 2019. Female‐ biased gape and body-size dimorphism in the New World watersnakes (tribe: Thamnophiini) oppose predictions from Rensch's rule. Ecol Evol. 00:1–10
  • Canseco-Márquez, L., & Gutiérrrez-Mayén, M.G. 2010. Anfibios y reptiles del Valle de Tehuacán-Cuicatlán. Comisión Nacional para el conocimiento y uso de la biodiversidad, México D.F., Mexico, 302 pp - get paper here
  • Casas-Andreu, G., F.R. Méndez-De la Cruz and X. Aguilar-Miguel. 2004. Anfibios y Reptiles; pp. 375–390, in A.J.M. García-Mendoza, J. Ordoñez and M. Briones-Salas (ed.). Biodiversidad de Oaxaca. Instituto de Biología, UNAM-Fondo Oaxaqueño para la Conservación de la Naturaleza-World Wildlife Fund, México, D. F.
  • Cope, E.D. 1885. Twelfth contribution to the herpetology of tropical America. Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 22: 167-194 [1884] - get paper here
  • Hall, Charles W. 1951. Notes on a small herpetological collection from Guerreo. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 34 (4): 201-212 - get paper here
  • Hallmen, M. & Chlebowy, J. 2001. Strumpfbandnattern. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 192 pp. - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Illescas-Aparicio, M., Clark-Tapia, R., González-Hernández, A., Vásquez-Díaz, Pedro R. & Aguirre-Hidalgo, V. 2016. Diversidad y riqueza herpetofaunística asociada al bosque de manejo forestal y áreas de cultivo, en Ixtlán de Juárez, Oaxaca. Acta Zoológica Mexicana (n.s.) 32(3): 359-369
  • Liner, E.A. 1994. Scientific and common names for the Amphibians and Reptiles of Mexico in English and Spanish. Herpetological Circular 23: 1-113
  • Liner, Ernest A. 2007. A CHECKLIST OF THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF MEXICO. Louisiana State University Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural Science 80: 1-60 - get paper here
  • Mata-Silva, Vicente, Jerry D. Johnson, Larry David Wilson and Elí García-Padilla. 2015. The herpetofauna of Oaxaca, Mexico: composition, physiographic distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 2 (1): 6–62 - get paper here
  • Palacios-Aguilar, Ricardo & OSCAR FLORES-VILLELA 2018. An updated checklist of the herpetofauna from Guerrero, Mexico. Zootaxa 4422 (1): 1-24 - get paper here
  • Queiroz, Alan de; Robin Lawson and Julio A. Lemos-Espinal 2002. Phylogenetic Relationships of North American Garter Snakes (Thamnophis) Based on Four Mitochondrial Genes: How Much DNA Sequence Is Enough? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 22: 315-329 - get paper here
  • Rossman, Douglas A.; Ford, Neil B. & Seigel, Richard A. 1996. The Garter Snakes: Evolution and Ecology. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, xx + 332 + pp.
  • Smith, Hobart M. 1942. The synonymy of the garter snakes (Thamnophis), with notes on Mexican and Central American species. Zoologica, Scientific Contributions of the New York Zoological Society 27 (3 and 4): 97-123
  • Smith, Hobart M. 1943. Summary of the collections of snakes and crocodilians made in Mexico under the Walter Rathbone Bacon Traveling Scholarship. Proceeding of the U. S. National Museum, 93 (3169): 393-504 - get paper here
  • Smith, Hobart M.; Nixon, C. William; Smith, Philip W. 1950. Mexican and Central American garter snakes (Thamnophis) in the British Museum (Natural History). Zool. J. Linnean Soc. 41 (282): 571-584 - get paper here
  • Taylor, Edward Harrison 1940. Two new snakes of the genus Thamnophis from Mexico. Herpetologica 1 (7): 183-189 - 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.
  • Woolrich-Piña, G. A., E. García-Padilla, D. L. DeSantis, J. D. Johnson, V. Mata-Silva, and L. D. Wilson. 2017. The herpetofauna of Puebla, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(4): 791–884 - get paper here
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