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Tropidophis paucisquamis (MÜLLER, 1901)

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Higher TaxaTropidophiidae, Henophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Brazilian Dwarf Boa
Portuguese: Jiboia-Anã, Jiboinha 
SynonymUngalia paucisquamis MÜLLER in SCHENKEL 1901
Ungalia brasiliensis ANDERSSON 1901
Tropidophis paucisquamis — STULL 1928: 19
Tropidophis paucisquamis — AMARAL 1930
Tropidophis paucisquamis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 221
Tropidophis paucisquamis — CURCIO et al. 2012: 92
Tropidophis paucisquamis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 755
Tropidophis paucisquamis — NOGUEIRA et al. 2019 
DistributionSE Brazil (Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paraná) elevation 500-650 m

Type locality: "Continent of Tropical America" [MÜLLER in SCHENKEL 1901]; restricted to municipality of Salesópolis, state of São Paulo, Brazil by CURCIO et al. 2012.

brasiliensis: Type locality: "Brasilia" [ANDERSSON 1901]  
TypesHolotype: NMBA 426 (Naturhistorisches Museum Basel.
Holotype: NRS 1932 [ANDERSSON 1901] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. Distinguishable from other mainland congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) 164–183 ventrals (vs. 154–155 in T. grapiuna, 146–160 in T. taczanowskyi, and 200 in T. battersbyi); (2) dorsal scales at midbody usually 21 or 23, rarely 25 (vs. 23 dorsals at midbody in all other mainland species); (3) vertebral scale row usually enlarged, wider than long (vs. verte- bral scale row not distinctly enlarged in size relative to remaining dorsals in T. battersbyi, T. grapiuna, and T. taczanowskyi); (4) dorsals smooth or feebly keeled (vs. dorsals strongly keeled in T. grapiuna and T. taczanowskyi); (5) interparietals usually lacking, but small when present (vs. interparietals present in T. battersbyi and T. grapiuna, usually present in T. taczanowskyi, well developed in the three species); (6) parietals in broad contact along middorsal line of head, even when interpari- etals are present (vs. parietals fully separated by interparietals in T. battersbyi and T. grapiuna); (7) maxillary teeth 15–19 (vs. 12 in T. battersbyi); (8) body spotted, dorsal spots small, with a diameter of approximately two dorsals, and irregular in shape (vs. dorsal spots large, rounded or elliptical, up to four scales in diameter in T. battersbyi); and (9) eight spot rows around body six on dorsum and two on venter (vs. six spot rows around body, four on dorsum and two on venter in T. battersbyi) [CURCIO et al. 2012].
CommentSynonymy that of PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970.

Comparisons. Ventral counts of T. paucisquamis are apparently intermediate among South American taxa. However, with the evidence at hand, it is the only mainland species to have a good proportion of specimens with 21 dorsal scales at midbody (approximately 41% of our sample). Nonetheless, this observation is not decisive because other mainland taxa are known by considerably smaller samples. Subcaudal counts of T. paucisquamis may be high (up to 38), overcoming T. taczanowskyi and T. grapiuna, but not T. battersbyi (41 subcaudals in the only known specimen). The enlarged scales of the vertebral row of dorsals, present in most specimens of T. paucisquamis, do not occur in T. battersbyi, T. grapiuna, and T. taczanowskyi [CURCIO et al. 2012].

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • Andersson, L.G. 1901. Some new species of snakes from Cameroon and South America, belonging to the collections of the Royal Museum in Stockholm. Bihang till Kongliga Svenska Vet. Akad. Handlingar 27 (4): 1-26 - get paper here
  • Capela DJV, Morato SAA, Moura-Leite JC, Prado F, Borges GO, Camilo LHA 2017. Tropidophis paucisquamis (Müller in Schenkel, 1901) (Serpentes, Tropidophiidae): first record from Paraná state and southern Brazil. Check List 13 (6): 917-920 - get paper here
  • Curcio, Felipe Franco; Pedro M. Sales Nunes, Antônio Jorge Suzart Argolo, Gabriel Skuk, and Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues 2012. Taxonomy of the South American Dwarf Boas of the Genus Tropidophis Bibron, 1840, With the Description of Two New Species from the Atlantic Forest (Serpentes: Tropidophiidae). Herpetological Monographs 26 (1): 80-121. - get paper here
  • Gonzalez R. C. et al. 2020. Lista dos Nomes Populares dos Répteis no Brasil – Primeira Versão. Herpetologia Brasileira. 9(2): 121 – 214
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Hedges, S. B. and O. H. Garrido. 1992. A new species of Tropidophis from Cuba (Serpentes: Tropidophiidae). Copeia 1992 (4): 820-825 - get paper here
  • Hedges, S.B. 2002. Morphological variation and the definition of species in the snake genus Tropidophis (Serpentes, Tropidophiidae). Bull. nat. Hist. Mus. London (Zool.) 68 (2): 83-90 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Nogueira, Cristiano C.; Antonio J.S. Argôlo, Vanesa Arzamendia, Josué A. Azevedo,<br />Fausto E. Barbo, Renato S. Bérnils, Bruna E. Bolochio, Marcio Borges-Martins,<br />Marcela Brasil-Godinho, Henrique Braz0, Marcus A. Buononato, Diego F. Cisnero 2019. Atlas of Brazilian snakes: verified point-locality maps to mitigate the Wallacean shortfall in a megadiverse snake fauna. South American J. Herp. 14 (Special Issue 1):1-274 - get paper here
  • Oliveira Lula Salles, R. de & Silva-Soares, T. 2010. Répteis do município de Duque de Caxias, Baixada Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Sudeste do Brasil. Biotemas, 23 (2): 135-144
  • Oliveira, Jane C.F.; Rodrigo Castellari Gonzalez; Paulo Passos; Davor Vrcibradic & Carlos Frederico Duarte Rocha 2020. Non-Avian Reptiles of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: status of knowledge and commented list. Pap. Avulsos Zool. 60: e20206024 - get paper here
  • Schenkel, E. 1901. Achter Nachtrag zum Katalog der herpetologischen Sammlung des Basler Museums. Verh. naturf. Ges. Basel, 13:142-199. - get paper here
  • Stull, O.G. 1928. A revision of the genus Tropidophis. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology University of Michigan 195: 1-49. - get paper here
  • Tanaka, Rafael Mitsuo; Elsie Laura Rotenberg, Edélcio Muscat 2018. Tropidophis paucisquamis Müller, 1901 (Reptilia, Squamata, Tropidophiidae): a reliable record for lowland Atlantic Forest in Ubatuba, São Paulo. Herpetology Notes 11: 243-244 - 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.
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