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An enigmatic new snake from the Peruvian Andes, with notes on the Xenodontini (Colubridae, Xenodontinae). American Museum novitates ; no. 2853

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dc.contributor.author Myers, Charles W. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2005-10-06T18:09:03Z
dc.date.available 2005-10-06T18:09:03Z
dc.date.issued 1986 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2246/5200
dc.description 12 p. : ill. ; 26 cm. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 11-12). en_US
dc.description.abstract "Liophis problematicus, new species, is based on a specimen from 1520 m elevation on the Amazonian side of the Andes in the Department of Puno, extreme southeastern Peru. It is a very small snake (adult male 275 mm total length), with a bilobed hemipenis having nude apical discs, a condition that defines a probably monophyletic group (tribe Xenodontini) of at least six genera of Neotropical xenodontine colubrids. Beyond this, the relationships of the new species are uncertain, but a pragmatic assignment to Liophis (s.l.) scarcely violates the definition of this highly variable, possibly nonmonophyletic genus. Incidental notes are provided on the hemipenis, coloration, and behavior of Liophis williamsi, a small snake of Venezuelan cloud forest. It is pointed out in discussion that hemipenial variation among the Xenodontini is much greater than has been indicated in the literature, and that the tribe is based essentially on a single character - the paired apical discs, which may have been lost in some populations but which are accepted as a defining synapomorphy pending further study. Defensive neck flattening or hood display is widespread in the Xenodontini, having been recorded for at least five of the six genera currently assigned, and seems to provide a behavioral synapomorphy that corroborates the validity of the group. North American snakes of the genus Heterodon also flatten their necks and have been compared morphologically with some Xenodontini; a relationship between Xenodon and South American Hydrodynastes, another genus of neck spreaders, also has been suggested. Heterodon and Hydrodynastes have relatively primitive hemipenes and cannot be included in the Xenodontini. The hypothesis that one genus or the other is a sister group of the Xenodontini deserves to be tested by morphological criteria - although this seems to be strongly contraindicated by immunological distance data. Neck spreading therefore may have evolved several times within the subfamily Xenodontinae"--P. [1]. en_US
dc.format.extent 2762858 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language eng en_US
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher New York, N.Y. : American Museum of Natural History en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries American Museum novitates ; no. 2853 en_US
dc.subject.lcc QL1 .A436 no.2853, 1986 en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Liophis problematicus en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Xenodontini en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Snakes -- Peru -- Puno (Dept.) en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Reptiles -- Peru -- Puno (Dept.) en_US
dc.title An enigmatic new snake from the Peruvian Andes, with notes on the Xenodontini (Colubridae, Xenodontinae). American Museum novitates ; no. 2853 en_US
dc.title.alternative New snake from Andes en_US
dc.type text en_US


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  • American Museum Novitates
    Novitates (Latin for "new acquaintances"), published continuously and numbered consecutively since 1921, are short papers that contain descriptions of new forms and reports in zoology, paleontology, and geology. New numbers are published at irregular intervals.

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