A key and checklist to the neotropical snake genus liophis

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A KEY AND CHECKLIST

TO THE

NEOTROPICAL SNAKE GENUS LIOPHIS
WITH COUNTRY LISTS AND

mPS

JAMES R. DIXON

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sci>e^^^l^ Texas A&M University
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SMITHSONIAN HERPETOLOGICAL INFORMATION SERVICE
NO.

79

1989

SMITHSONIAN HERPETOLOGICAL INFORMATION SERVICE

The SHIS series publishes and distributes translations,bibliographies, indices, and similar items judged useful to individuals interested in biology the of amphibians and reptiles, but unlikely to be published in the normal technical journals. Single copies are distributed free to interested individuals. Libraries, herpetological associations, and research laboratories are invited to exchange their publications with us.

We wish to encourage individualsto share their bibliographies, with other translations, etc. herpetologists through the SHIS series. If you have such items please contact George Zug for instructions. Contributors receive 50 free copies.
Please address and all requests for copies inquiries to George Zug, Division of Amphibians and History, Reptiles, National Museum of Natural Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560,U.S.A. Please include a self-addressed mailing label with requests.

INTRODUCTION
The genus Liophis currently contains 35 species and 62 recognized subspecies. About 137 names have been proposed, attesting to extensive qualitative and quantitative variation between and among the species of Liophis The purpose of the checklist, keys, and country lists is to offer museum curators and herpetologistsa means to identify the species and subspecies of one of the most commonly encountered xenodontine snake genera of the Neotropics. Species lists are constructed from specimens personally examined and verified by me. The keys resulted from an analysis of variation of 5,198 specimens of all recognized populations.
.

Some species have been recognized since 1758 and Some species are represented incollections by (L. atraventer, L. problematicus ) by several hundred a thousand (L. miliaris L. poeciloqyrus ). Taxonomic adequate for most taxa.
1987.
.

,

others as recently as only a few specimens (most species), or over data are generally

The checklist contains the accepted name and its author, followed by primary synonomies, their author(s), date, page number, and type locality.The primary synonomies are followed by the author, date, and page number of the first proper usage of the epithet, if necessary for clarification. Species are arranged alphabetically. Subspecies are also arranged alphabetically under each species, except for the nominate race, which is placed first. Synonomies for subspecies follow the accepted name, arranged in alphabetical order, followed by theauthor(s) name(s). A statement of distribution follows the synonomy of each species and subspecies, along with a citation denoting a publication with a distribution map.

KEY TO SPECIES OF LIOPHIS
l.a
b
2. a

Posterior dorsal scale rows at least two less than at midbody Dorsal scale rows without reduction
Dorsal scale rows 15-15-15 Dorsal scale rows 17-17-17

5
2

3

b
3. a

4b
4. a

Three supralabials entering orbit andinus Two supralabials entering orbit, reqinae (= oliqolepis of others)
Eight supralabials (rarely seven); dorsum olive green with or without reddish vertebral stripe and small dorsolateral black spots Seven supralabials; dorsum tan or brown with darker blotches and four blackish posterior lines, and a black edged, white labial stripe

.iaeqerib

williamsi
29 6
7

5. a

b
6. a

Nineteen midbody dorsal scale rows Seventeen midbody dorsal scale rows
Dorsal Dorsal

b
7. a

scale rows 17-17-15 scale rows 17-17-13

flavifrenatus
8
9

b 8. a

Seven supralabials Eight supralabials
Light dorsal bands not widened laterally into broad triangles; < 17 maxillary teeth breviceps Light dorsal bands distinctly widened...
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