Unveiling an enigma from the Cerrado: taxonomic revision of two sympatric species of Apostolepis Cope, 1862 (Dipsadidae: Xenodontinae: Elapomorphini) from central Brazil

  • Apostolepis albicollaris and A. cerradoensis are two Elapomorphini snake species, described within a short timespan, from the Cerrado of central Brazil. In their brief descriptions, these two species were diagnosed from congeners largely based on highly variable external morphological characters. Interestingly enough, A. cerradoensis has remained known based on a single specimen since its description. Here, we present a reanalysis of both type specimens, as well as a careful examination of a large series of specimens formerly assigned to these species, based on the comparison of internal and external morphology. We conclude that both species are synonymous, providing evidence for the recognition of A. cerradoensis as a junior synonym of A. albicollaris. Furthermore, an account of its updated diagnosis, morphological variation, geographic distribution, hemipenial morphology, phylogenetic relationships and an osteological description are also provided. We also discuss its conservation status, suggesting that the species is under threat and qualifies to be listed as Vulnerable (VU ab(iii)), considering its rarity, small geographic range, and persistent environmental threats.

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Author:Omar Machado Entiauspe-NetoORCiD, Claudia KochORCiD, Thaís B. Guedes, Rafael Carlos Benetti Paredero, Arthur Tiutenko, Daniel Loebmann
Parent Title (German):European journal of taxonomy
Series (Serial Number):European journal of taxonomy : EJT (817:143–182)
Publisher:Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Place of publication:Paris
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2022/05/04
Date of first Publication:2022/05/04
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/05/04
Tag:Caenophidia; Dry Diagonal; Squamata; conservation; synonymization
Page Number:40
First Page:143
Last Page:182
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0