Friday, October 21, 2016

False Coral Snake, Erythrolamprus aescapulii (Family Dipsaidae)


On Trinidad, this species is known from a single specimen collected in Trinidad’s Arima Valley. Size: 640 mm SVL; 728 TL; tail 13.7% SVL. Identification: This snake is a coral snake mimic. Bands of red, white and black encircle the body in the sequence red-black-cream-black-red. Rostral visible from above; nasal divided; one preocular, loreal small and single; two postoculars; seven upper labials; nine lower labials; ventrals 198; cloacal plate divided; 41 paired subcaudals. Dorsal scales smooth and in 15 rows. Similar Species: The small coral snake lacks a loreal, and has single black bands. It can be readily distinguished from the large coral snake by the presence of a loreal scale, the narrow paired black bands (the large coral snake has wide black bands in triads). It can be distinguished from Jan’s False Coral Snake by its shorter tail (less than 50 subcaudals in aesculapii) and the posterior border of the rostral does not extend beyond the front edge of the nostril (it does so in bizona). Distribution: Widespread Trinidad, Venezuela, Colombia, and the Guianas southward to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Argentina. Habitat: A snake of primary forest that spends much of its time underground. The single Trinidad specimen from the Arima Valley is from wet, primary forest, transitional between seasonal and lower montane rainforest, above a stream. Natural History: Crepuscular, but may be active any time. Diet: other snakes including the three-lined snake, coral snakes, and the black headed snake; it may also eat synbranchid eels. Note: currently several subspecies are recognized, with E. a. aesculapii being the taxon present on Trinidad.





False Coral Snake, Erythrolamprus bizona (Family Dipsadidae)

Size: 1.5 meters. A tricolored snake which mimics a coral snake. Known from Trinidad on the basis of a single, now lost, specimen. Rostral visible from above; nasal divided; one preocular, loreal small and single; two postoculars; seven upper labials; nine lower labials; ventrals 178−204; cloacal plate divided; 51−62 paired subcaudals. Dorsal scales smooth and in 15 rows. It has been traditionally separated from E. aesculapii by the number of subcaudal scales; E. bizona has more than 45 subcaudals (longer tail), and E. aesculapii fewer than 45 subcaudals; but it can also be separated from E. aesculapii by the fact that the posterior border of the rostral extends beyond the front edge of the nostril; the posterior border of the rostral does not extend beyond the nasal in this species. It occurs from Nicaragua, southward through Central America to Panama and Colombia and eastward into Venezuela, and Trinidad. A fossorial, leaf litter dwelling snake that is poorly known, probably spending much of its time below ground.

Helminthophis flavoterminatus (Family Anomalepididae)

Size: 140 mm SVL; tail 4 mm, 2.8% of SVL. The yellow head, 18 scale rows around the body, and the absence of stripes on the body will distinguish it from all other Trinidad snakes. Rostral visible from above; nasal scale single; one preocular; two postoculars; one supraocular; suboculars absent; three upper labials; one lower labial. Each head plate covered with numerous tubercles. Longitudinal scale count about 401, subcaudals number 12−13. Dorsum and venter brown; head and chin are yellow; a yellow spot on throat on scales six seven; anal region and six medial, preanal scales are yellow, as well as several of the subcaudals. Similar species: In overall color it is similar to Typhlops brongersmianus, but is much more slender in body build. Diameter at midbody of this species 2 mm (total length/midbody width = 1.4%), while midbody widths for Typhlops brongersmianus range between 3.4−12.9 mm (total length/midbody width = 3.21−5.1 %, x= 4.05%). Habitat: The specimen came from an area in the Northern Range that may be best regarded as disturbed lower montane rainforest. Biology: Like other scolecophidian snakes it most likely feeds on ant and termite eggs, larvae, and pupae. The single known specimen is an adult female containing one egg.



Water Coral, Hydrops triangularis (Family Dipsadidae)



Other common names: Red Sided Water Snake; Water Snake.
Size: 963 mm TL. Most individuals are smaller.
The only Trinidad snake with 15 rows of smooth dorsal scales, a loreal (distinguishing it from true coral snakes), and red to dark purple rings that completely encircling the body. Rostral visible from above; nasals divided; loreal single and larger than eye; one preocular fused with the loreal; the internasal scale separates the preocular-loreal from the nasal; one or two (usually two) postoculars; eight upper labials; eight lower labials; 170−176 ventrals; cloacal plate divided; 45−47 subcaudals. Smooth dorsal scales in 15 rows at mid-body with no reduction posteriorly. Dorsum purple-brown with red-brown on sides; off-white on venter. Dorsal annuli number 48−68 on body, most circle the body, some incomplete on mid-dorsum or mid-venter. Head dark purple-brown, each labial with a light center.
Probably most easily confused with the Water Mapepire, but it has 19 scale rows at mid-body, and Linne’s Water Snake which is mostly black or green as an adult but has a banded pattern when young, it has 17 rows of dorsal scales that are reduced to 15 rows near the posterior body.
The species has an Amazonian-Guyana distribution. It is widespread on Trinidad, but is unknown from Tobago. This is probably the most aquatic snake on Trinidad, with the possible exception of the Anaconda. The Water Coral uses swamps, slow rivers, ponds, and flooded rice fields. Reports suggest they prefer water that is relatively shallow and shaded. Nocturnal, but may be active during the day. Diet includes synbranchid eels and other elongated freshwater fishes. The average clutch size is about 15, with a range of 8 to 34.

Blunt-headed Tree Snake, Imantodes cenchoa (Family Dipsidadae)

Size: 1050 mm SVL, tail 450 mm; tail is about 43% of the body length. A very slender brown and tan snake, with smooth dorsal scales in 17 rows; the vertebral row is enlarged. The head is blunt; the eyes are huge, with a vertical pupil. The 17 dorsal scale rows, large eyes, and the presence of a mental groove will distinguish it from Dipsas trinitatis, the species that it will most easily be confused with. Rostral barely visible from above; nasal divided; loreal small; preocular single; two or three postoculars; seven to nine upper labials; 9−11 lower labials; ventrals 234−258; cloacal plate divided; 150−174 paired subcaudals. A widespread species, ranging from Mexico to Paraguay and Bolivia; it is present on both Trinidad and Tobago. This is a highly arboreal snake of the forest canopy and understory. Nocturnal.

Bushmaster, Lachesis muta (Family Viperidae)

Other common names: Pineapple snake, mapepire zanana. Size: 2 m, maximum TL 3353 m; at hatching 350−380 mm. Triangular rostral not visible from above; nostrils very anterior, open laterally in a divided nasal; heat-sensing pits located in the second labial scale which is fused with the prelacunal scale; preocular large and separated from nasal by a small loreal; 2–3 very small postoculars; two pairs of enlarged scales above the nasals; remaining scales on crown small and somewhat granular, except for large supraoculars; subocular elongate in Trinidad specimens, but divided in specimens from elsewhere in the range; between subocular and upper labials four rows of small scales; upper labials 9–10, lower labials 12–17; first pair of lower labials form the mental groove with the single pair of enlarged chin shields; dorsal scales in first row are smooth and ovate, scales in rows 2–6 are smooth to weakly keeled; and scales closest to midline are lanceolate, strongly keeled with raised conical keels. Dorsal scale rows at midbody 27 in one Trinidad specimen when small abnormal scales are omitted from the count. Ventrals 200–230, cloacal plate single, 32–50 paired subcaudals (but some may be single). Crown of head uniform or slightly spotted with dark blotches; dark postocular stripe extending above and past the comer of mouth; body with 25 transverse blotches that may fuse on the midline; blotches narrow toward ventrals and expand toward midline; dark pigment predominates on tail and is separated by narrow tan or orange-brown rings. Large triangular head distinct from neck, dorsum usually yellow with darker triangular markings; scales with conical keels given the skin a rough appearance; 9 or 10 upper labials and distal subcaudals divided into five rows will distinguish this snake from the Trinidad Bothrops. Occurs in greater Amazonia and Trinidad; widespread on Trinidad, but limited by human activity. Habitat: Forest dweller often associated with agouti, paca, or armadillo burrows. Nocturnal. Often sits in ambush for long periods of time, along fallen trees or tree buttresses. When not hunting or searching for mates these snakes are likely spending most of their time underground in the burrows of the mammals noted above. Diet mostly mammals. Juvenile bushmasters have a yellow tail tip suggesting that they may use caudal luring to obtain prey, but this has not yet been documented. Bushmasters are the only documented New World pitviper to lay eggs, although anecdotal evidence suggests there is another species that does so. Egg laying was first reported in bushmasters from Trinidad by Raymond Ditmars. Captive female bushmasters that lay eggs attend them by coiling around the clutch. Clutches of 6−12 eggs reported for this species with an incubation period of 60−69 days. Captive have been reported to live for more than 16 years, but Trinidad specimens have the reputation for not living long after capture and pentastomid parasites (lungworms) are suspected of being the cause of death.

Cat-eyed Snake, Leptodeira annulata ashmeadi (Family Dipsadidae)

Other common names: Mapepire, mapepire valsyn, annulated night snake, banded night snake, false mapepire, cat eyed night snake, chunkhead, garden snake, night snake.
Size: 1065 mm SVL, 435 mm tail; but most specimens are less than 500 mm in total length.  The only Trinidad and Tobago snake with 19 (or 21) rows of smooth scales that are reduced to 15 rows near the vent, vertebral row slightly enlarged; a vertical pupil; a tan or brown dorsum with black blotches (may number 36–38) along the back that may fuse to form a stripe, or multiple stripes along the vertebral line. Rostral visible from above; nasal divided; loreal single; one or two preoculars; one or two postoculars; seven to eight upper labials; 8−10 lower labials; ventrals 177−180; cloacal plate divided; 76−90  paired subcaudals. A habitat generalist, using forests, savanna, agricultural areas, and urban gardens. Nocturnal. Diet: Often found in the vicinity of frog choruses, where it will prey on adult frogs, frog eggs, and larvae. Females have been reported to lay 3−11 eggs in arboreal situations such as cavities in bamboo stems and termitaria, as well as terrestrial sites such as leaf cutter ant nests; females have been found carrying eggs in July. Like many rear fanged snakes this species has been reported to cause mild cases of envenomation in humans. 

Leptophis haileyi (Family Colubridae)

 Size: 857 mm SVL, TL 1.4 m.  The only Trinidad and Tobago Leptophis species to have a subacuminate snout in profile, the rostral barely visible from above, and the primary temporal in contact with three or four upper labials. Tobago specimens of L. coeruleodorsus have two upper labials contacting the primary temporal with the last upper labial excluded from primary temporal contact. In L. haileyi, the last upper labial makes narrow contact with the primary temporal.  Leptophis haileyi has longitudinal dorsolateral stripes on the anterior body scale rows 2–4; nine upper labials, 2–3–4 at the loreal-prefrontal shield, 5–6 in the orbit; 5/4 lower labials at the first pair of chin shields. Similar species: L. coeruleodorsus on Tobago has eight upper labials with 2–3 contacting the loreal-prefrontal shield, 4+5 in the orbit, and two upper labials contacting the primary temporal. This species can also be distinguished from L. coeruleodorsus by its domed snout (prefrontal –internasal area), its relatively high ventral count (173), and proportionally shorter tail. The male holotype has a tail:SVL ratio (0.64) and a subcaudal count (166) that fall within the range of L. coeruleodorsus females. Distribution: Roxborough River drainage of Tobago.  

Erythrolamprus cobellus (Family Dipsadidae)

Other common names: Mapepiri mangue, mangrove snake, mangrove mapepire. Size: 572 mm SVL, tail 222 mm.  A mostly black, semi-aquatic snake with a black-brown dorsum with white flecks, the belly has transverse bands. Dorsal scales smooth in 17 rows at mid-body reduced to 15 near the vent. Rostral visible from above; nasal divided; one preocular, loreal small and single; two postoculars; seven to nine upper labials; 8−11 lower labials; ventrals 130−147; cloacal plate divided; 37−56 paired subcaudals. All other Trinidad and Tobago Erythrolamprus have longitudinal stripes; transverse bands, or dorsal blotches. Because the dorsum may be almost entirely black, it could be confused with Clelia (19 scale rows and more than 200 ventrals) or Spilotes (16 or 18 scale rows, mostly keeled, and more than 200 ventrals). Widespread in northern South America - Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad, the Guianas, Brazil, and Ecuador. Semi-aquatic in fresh and brackish water; present in mangroves swamps, herbaceous swamps, rice paddies, associated streams. Regularly travels overland and may be seen on roads. Active late afternoon and after dark. Diet: includes a variety of small vertebrates. Reported to lay eggs in June, clutch sizes less than six eggs. 

Shaw's Black-backed Snake, Erythrolamprus melanotus nesos (Family Dipsadidae)

Other common names: Beh belle chemin (=beauty of the road), squirrel snake; on Tobago: doctor snake.
Size: 604 mm SVL, 150 mm tail. Rostral visible from above; nasal divided; one preocular, loreal small and single; two postoculars; seven to eight upper labials; seven to nine lower labials; ventrals 142−156; cloacal plate divided; 54−63 paired subcaudals. Dorsal scales smooth, contain one apical pit, and are in 17 rows that reduce to 15 posteriorly.  Similar Species: the only snake in Trinidad and Tobago with a broad black dorsal stripe five scales wide bordered with yellow or salmon on the sides; head usually olive-brown or black. Endemic to Trinidad and Tobago. A forest snake that is closely associated with streams and ponds, uses cacao plantations and other disturbed habitats. Diurnal. Diet includes small vertebrates, mostly frogs (Engystomops pustulosus, Pristimantis urichi) tadpoles, and lizards (Bachia trinitatis, Gonatodes vittatus). Clutches of 2−10 eggs have been reported between January and August.

Neotropical Racer, Mastigodryas boddaerti (Family Colubridae)

Juvenile
Size: 877 mm SVL, 1187 mm TL, can reach 1.4 m; hatchlings 250 mm. Dorsal scale rows 17 at mid-body, reduced to 15 posteriorly; each scale has a pair of apical pits, otherwise smooth. Rostral visible from above; nasals divide, nostril large; loreal rectangular; one preocular; two or three postoculars;  upper labials 8−10, lower labials 8−10; ventrals 179−196; divided cloacal plate; 106−124 divided subcaudals; eyes large. A lateral stripe on scale rows 4–5. Juveniles are red brown with about 72 white dorsal cross bands, each bordered with black. The colors change to olive green or olive brown with maturity. The combination of 17 rows of dorsal scales with apical pits, a loreal, a vertebral scale row that is not enlarged, and five lower labials in contact with the first chin shield, will separate the species from all other Trinidad and Tobago snakes, except for the two other species of Mastigodryas. The Tobago Racer, M. dunni, is restricted to that island and has an extra stripe on scale rows 1−2. The Yellow-necked Racer may be found (not confirmed) on both Trinidad and Tobago and potentially sharing habitat with this species and M. dunni and it has a stripe on the anterior body that spans scale rows 3−4−5.  A common, fast moving, ground dwelling, forest snake often in leaf litter but it will enter grassy areas at forest-edge and ponds. Diurnal. Diet includes insects, frogs, lizards, nestling birds, rodents, and reptile eggs. A study on a Brazilian population found lizards made up 74% of the diet, followed by mammals and frogs; it also reported female’s take a wider range of prey than males, and female feed when carrying eggs. Females deposit eggs in May. Other common names: Boddaert's tropical racer, grass machete, couesse grass snake.

Erythrolamprus zweifeli (Family Dipsadidae)

Size: 509 mm TL, maximum total length may approach 800 mm.  Rostral visible from above; divided nasal; single loreal; single preocular; two (occasionally one) postocular; seven to nine upper labials; 8–10 lower labials; 137–146 ventrals; divided anal plate; 61–80 paired subcaudals; dorsal scales are smooth, in 17 rows at midbody reduce to 15 posteriorly. Dorsum can be olive green with each scale edged with black or a uniform brown above; crown with a black blotch; black stripe posterior to the eye; tail with black stripe on each side, venter red-pink or cream with black checkering on some scutes. The two color morphs of this snake make it somewhat confusing: the “salt & pepper morph” is readily distinguished from all T&T snakes at a glance, and the brown –green morph may be confused with Leptodeira (19 dorsal scale rows) or Mastigodryas (170 or more ventrals), but this species has a red and black belly not found in either of these species. Trinidad Erythrolamprus well as other colubrid snakes. A forest and forest-edge snake; often in the vicinity of streams. Diurnal. Diet includes frogs (hylid frogs, Leptodactylus sp., Mannophryne trinitatis, Scinax rubra), lizards (Ameiva atrigularis), and small birds. When disturbed neck is flattened to form a small, narrow hood.

Tobago Racer, Mastigodryas dunni (Family Colubridae)

Size: 776 mm SVL, 881 mm TL, hatchlings 240 mm. Identification: Dorsal scale rows 17 at mid-body, reduced to 15 posteriorly; each scale has a pair of apical pits, otherwise smooth. Rostral visible from above; nasals divide, nostril large; loreal rectangular; one preocular; two or three postoculars;  upper labials 8-10, lower labials 8-10; ventrals 185−196; divided cloacal plate; 119−124 divided subcaudals; eyes exceptionally large. The dorsum is blue-gray, a light, indistinct  stripe present on scale rows 1-2, a more distinct stripe present on rows 4-5, laterally coloration becomes lighter, including light labials; the venter is white-pink with some blotches; the underside of the tail may be flecked with gray. It is likely that the juveniles are blotched with cross bands like M. boddaerti and that the colors change to an blue-gray with maturity. The combination of dorsal scales in 17 rows at mid body, scales with apical pits, a loreal, a vertebral scale row that is not enlarged, and five lower labials in contact with the first chin shield, and two lateral stripes one scale row 1–2 and a second on rows 4–5 should separate the species from all other Trinidad and Tobago snakes, except the other two species of Mastigodryas . The Tropical Racer, M. boddaerti is restricted to Trinidad, but the Yellow-necked Racer, M. amarali, is not confirmed from  the islands. The two may be distinguished by a stripe on the anterior body that spans scale rows 3−4−5 in the Yellow-necked Racer, and only rows 4-5 in this species. Known only from Tobago and Little Tobago Islands. A forest and forest-edge species. Diurnal. Diet probably similar to the Tropical Racer, but it has not been studied.

Ratonel, Pseudoboa neuwiedii (Family Dipsadidae)

Other common names: roulea, mapepire velour, ratonera, moon snake, brown snake.

Size: 870 mm SVL, 215 mm tail; 1085 mm TL. Rostral slightly upturned, visible from above; loreal single; one or two preoculars; two postoculars; eight upper labials; 6–8 lower labials; 195–201 ventrals; single cloacal plate; and 74–97 single subcaudals; dorsal scales smooth in 17 or 19 rows at midbody. Adult snakes are red-brown or pink-brown with a darker brown-black head; Young red or pink above with a dark head and a cream collar that fades with age. Each dorsal scale with a dark spot enlarging with age; venter uniform cream. Adults are a uniform salmon color with a dark head. Juveniles have been confused with its close relative Clelia clelia; both species have hatchlings and juveniles that are pink-red to bright red with a black head, light colored band, followed by a black band.  However, the uniquely shaped upturned rostral and single subcaudals, will separate Pseudoboa from Clelia. Oxyrhopus petolarius, may be banded or a uniform black, but it lacks the up-turned rostral and has divided subcaudals. A widespread species, from Panama and Colombia eastward to Suriname, and south to Brazil; widely distributed on both Trinidad and Tobago.  Forest, savanna; common in most habitats, including: agricultural areas, gardens, yards, and plantations. Crepuscular, nocturnal. Diet includes: any appropriately sized vertebrate killed with a combination of constriction and venom; Ameiva atrigularis seems to be a frequently taken prey species; and they have been suggested to be nest predators. May actively forage on the ground or hunt from ambush in low vegetation.  Clutches of 3–9 eggs laid in leaf cutting ant nests in July, September, January, and February. Venom: Anecdotal evidence suggests this snake’s venom may be quite toxic to both mammals and reptiles; it usually does not attempt to bite when picked-up but it should be handled with care.

Cutlah, Phrynoax polylepis (Family Colubridae)

Size: 870 mm SVL, 1235 mm TL, may exceed 2135 mm TL, hatchlings 255 mm. Identification:  Adults a uniform olive green with some, but not all scales keeled in 21 or 23 rows at mid-body reduced to 15 rows posteriorly, and upper labials 4-5-6 in the orbit. Young (<495 mm TL) have crescent-shaped blotches that form cross bands on the dorsum.  Rostral visible from above; nasals single; loreal single; one preocular; two postoculars;  seven upper labials,10−11 lower labials; ventrals 193−203; cloacal single; divided subcaudals 156−181 in males 125−126  in females; dorsal scales smooth with apical pits. Perhaps most easily confused with snakes of the genus Chironius which have 10 or 12 dorsal scales at mid-body; and with Spilotes sulphureus which has a black and yellow dorsum and upper labials 4−5 on the orbit. Ranges from Columbia to the Guianas, including Trinidad, and southward into the Amazon basin. An arboreal snake of forest and forest-edge habitats. Diurnal and crepuscular. Diet: Actively forages for nestling birds and eggs; probably a specialized nest predator; but will also prey on lizards and mammals. Defense: Cryptic behavior includes kinking its body into a shape that resembles a liana to avoid detection; behavior includes inflate its forebody, gape its mouth, actively striking, and vibrating its tail when disturbed. 

Slug-eating Snake, Sibon nebulata (Family Dipsadidae)

Other common names: Mapepire corde violin, fiddle string mapepire; cloud snake, cloudy snake.

Size: 440 mm SVL; 158 mm tail; total length about 1 meter. Identification: A medium sized, gray to brown blotched snake with a mottled pattern; body slightly compressed, slender forebody, wide head, large eyes. Smooth dorsal scales in 15 rows, not reduced posteriorly; the vertebral row is slightly enlarged (scales about 1.5 times wider than lateral scales). Rostral barely visible from above, nasals divided, loreal contacts the orbit; preocular usually absent; postoculars two; upper labials 7−8, 4−5 or 5−6 in orbit, 2−3−4 usually contact the loreal; lower labials 8-10; ventrals 169−182 in Trinidad and Tobago specimens, not sexual dimorphic, subcaudals in males 89−113, in females 84−90. Three pairs of chin shields, the first pair in contact with five or six lower labials.  The only Trinidad and Tobago snake with 15 rows of smooth scales rows at midbody, a slightly enlarged row of vertebral scales, and a mental groove. The dorsum is usually gray with 36−41 brown to black blotches. Most easily confused with Dipsas trinitatis which lacks the mental groove; and with Imantodes cenchoa, an extremely slender snake with 17 scale rows at mid-body. This is a widespread species, ranging from Veracruz and Nayarit, Mexico, to Brazil and Ecuador. S. n. nebulata occurs in the northern portion of this range, including Trinidad, Tobago and the Bocas. Habitat: Forests and forest edge; may be found on the ground, but mostly arboreal, climbing several meters above in vegetation; frequently found along streams. It will also use second forest and agricultural areas.  Biology: Nocturnal. May spend daylight hours coiled in epiphytic plants or on the ground in leaf litter. Diet: snails and slugs; this snake is not as specialized as Dipsas for feeding on snails, but it does have elongated maxillary teeth directed medially in the horizontally plane, a character associated with gastropod predation. This is perhaps the most frequently encountered snake during the wet season.  Reproduction: Females lay 3−9 eggs from May through September. Predation by the crab Eudaniela garmani has been reported. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Brown Vine Snake, Oxybelis aeneus (Family Colubridae)

Size: 1010 mm SVL, 1668 mm TL, may reach 2 m; hatchlings 200 mm; tail 54-77% SVL. Identification: A slender, vine snake with a sharply pointed snout, no loreal scale, 17 scale rows at mid-body, reduced to 13 scale rows posteriorly, and a uniform gray-brown dorsal pattern. Other Trinidad and Tobago vine snakes (genus Leptophis) have 15 scale rows at mid-body and a loreal scale and while Imantodes has 17 scale rows at mid-body, it has a blunt head, a blotched pattern and an enlarged row of vertebral scales. Rostral not visible from above; nasals single; one or two preocular; one to three postoculars; 7−9 upper labials,7−9 lower labials; ventrals 179−192; divided cloacal plate; divided subcaudals 171−192 in males 156-181 in females; dorsal scales smooth. Distribution: Widespread in the Neotropics, present on Trinidad and Tobago. Habitat: An arboreal, forest and forest-edge snake that uses scrub and agricultural areas. It sleeps off the ground on the vegetation. Biology: Diurnal. Diet is mostly lizards, but frogs and small birds are also eaten. Reproduction: Clutches of 3–6 eggs are laid in May-June.

False Coral Snake, Oxyrhopus petolarius (Family Dipsadidae)

Size: 725 mm TL, maximum total length about 1.1 m. Identification: Rostral barely visible from above; nasal single; loreal elongate and single; one or two preoculars; two postoculars; 7–8 upper labials; 8–9 lower labials; 199–204 ventrals; cloacal plate single; 81–86 subcaudals. Dorsal scales smooth in 19 rows (occasionally 17) at midbody. Most specimens black with red annuli which do not extend onto the venter, however may be uniform black, may also have crossbars reduced to large spots; venter uniform cream. The only T&T snake with 19 (or 17) rows of smooth dorsal scales, a single cloacal plate, a single nasal, and usually a banded pattern of red and black, but may be entirely black on dorsum. Hatchlings completely red with a black head. Habitat: Forest, savanna, secondary growth. Biology: Nocturnal. Diet includes small mammals, lizards, and snakes. Reproduction: Clutches of 5–10 eggs.

Coffee Snake, Ninia atrata (Family Dipsadidae)

Size: 300 mm SVL, 85 mm tail; may reach 490 mm in total length. Identification: The only Trinidad and Tobago snake with a collar making and uniform blue-black color pattern on the dorsum; the venter is immaculate. The collar may be orange, white, or pink, and it may be absent in some specimens, particularly old adults. Scales are keeled and in 19 rows. Rostral visible from above; nasal single; loreal single; preocular absent (fused with loreal); one postoculars; six or seven upper labials; six or seven lower labials; ventrals 147−158; cloacal plate single; 48−59 paired subcaudals. Distribution: A widespread snake, ranging from Honduras and Costa Rica to Ecuador and Venezuela. It also occurs on Trinidad and Tobago and the species is widespread on both islands. Habitat: Forests, urban gardens from sea level to the highest peaks on the islands. Biology: Nocturnal. Diet includes slugs (gastropods). Predators include coral snakes. Other common names: collared snake, ring neck snake, white-collared snake

Simla Coffee Snake, Ninia franciscoi

A recently described species from the Arima Valley of Trinidad, and known from a single specimen. It is sympatric with Ninia atrata.

Trinidad Ribbon Coral Snake, Micrurus lemniscatus diutius (Family Elapidae)

Size: 1220 mm SVL; 100 mm tail; tail 8-10% SVL in males; 8-9% of SVL in females. Identification: A very distinctive snake with bright, bold colored rings, black bands in groups of three (triad). Snout blunt and rounded; rostral visible from above; nasal divided; loreal absent; six or seven upper labials; six or seven lower labials; one preocular; two postoculars; 226 or fewer ventrals in males; 239 of fewer ventrals in females; and 35−38 paired (usually) subcaudals in males, 32−41 paired subcaudals in females. Dorsal scales are smooth and in 15 rows. Black rings in 7−13 triads, groups of three black rings each separated by a white or yellow ring form a single triad; each triad separated by a wide red ring. Tip of nose black followed by a white preocular ring, followed by a red collar. Red and white scales in this species have black pigment. M. circinalis lacks the triad pattern and has large red rings separated by short black bands; each of these black bands is outlined by a very short white ring.Oxyrhopus petolarius in Trinidad has a black and red pattern without white. The ringed pattern ofHydrops consists of numerous rings of black separated by red or orange rings that are about equal in length. Distinguishing this coral snake from its colubrid mimics (or models), Erythrolamprus aesculapii and E. bizona, at a distance is difficult; Erythrolamprus have a loreal scale, the coral snake lacks it; Erythrolamprus have paired or single black annuli, instead of the triad found in this species. Only two specimens of the mimics have been found on Trinidad, and caution is always the best approach when collecting coral snakes. Distribution: M. l. diutius inhabits Trinidad, eastern Venezuela, and the Guianas and northern Brazil; on Trinidad it is widespread, usually at elevations below 300 m. Habitat: Forests and savannas, frequently in or near bodies of water. Biology: Nocturnal, but may be active on overcast days. Diet: Snakes, lizards, synbranchid eels. Reproduction: A female collected in early July contained two eggs.

Trinidad Coral Snake, Micrurus circinalis (Family Elapidae)



Size: 540 mm TL maximum 800 mm TL. Identification: Head small, about same width as neck; rostral visible from above; nasal divided; one preocular; two postoculars; seven upper labials; seven lower labials; males 174-193 ventrals; females have 194–209 ventrals; cloacal plate divided; males 40–50 subcaudals females with 30–35 subcaudals; smooth dorsal scales in 15 rows. Black rings 21–31; black rings edged with yellow and separated by long red interspaces. Female's tail with 5–8 black rings, male's tail with 8–12 black rings. Tail coloration is predominately black with some narrow white bands separating the black rings. All red and white scales are tipped with black. Distinguished from the other coral snake Micrurus lemniscatus diutius because of the very short white rings, usually less than one mid-dorsal scale in length. The absence of a loreal will readily distinguish it from all the banded colubroid snakes on Trinidad except Hydrops, which has black and red-purple bands of about equal widths. Distribution:Restricted to Trinidad and its satellite islands of Gaspar Grande and Monos; on adjacent mainland Venezuela. Habitat: Forest and savanna; but present in urban habitats. Biology: Nocturnal. Diet includes small fossorial snakes and lizards. Reproduction: Mating reported from January to May, clutches of 2–6 eggs laid from July to September.

Yellow-necked Racer, Mastigodryas amarali (Family Colubridae)

It is unlikely this snake is present on Trinidad or Tobago, but a recent paper suggests that it on both islands. It is included here until the situation can be further investigated.

Leptophis stimsoni (Family Colubridae)

Size. 593 mm SVL, TL 832 mm. Diagnosis. Silver-gray above, tan below, dorsolateral stripe on each side, a dark post ocular stripe, labials white. A small, slender snake with 15 scale rows at mid-body, reduced to 13 rows posteriorly; ventrals number about 147, and subcaudals number about 135. The tail is about 40% of the body length. The coloration, pattern, and lower ventral count will readily distinguish this snake from other Trinidad and Tobago Leptophis. Distribution. Known only from Trinidad’s Northern Range. Life History. Known from only a few specimens, this snake life history remains to be described.

Oliver's Lora, Leptophis coeurleodorsus (Family Colubridae)

Size. 1.2 m. Diagnosis. A thin, bright green snake with a copper colored lateral stripe. Dorsal scales in 15 rows at mid-body, reduced to 13 rows near the vent. Scales on the mid back are slightly larger than lateral scales. It has a dark stripe that passes through the eye, and eight or nine upper labials. Distribution. Northern Venezuela, Isla Margarita, Trinidad, Tobago. Life History. An arboreal, forest, and forest-edge snake that will use agricultural and urban habitats. Diet is mostly frogs and lizards. Clutches of 3–5 eggs have been found in bromeliads high in in the forest canopy of related species. Other common names: parrot snake, green horse whip, machete, and whiplash.

Water Mapapie, Helicops angulatus (Family Dipsadidae)

Other common names: Banded Water Snake; Water Snake, Brown Banded Water Snake.
Size: Males 475 mm, female reach and probably exceed 625 mm; tail 31−43% SVL.
Identification: Head broad, eyes dorsolateral; body stout; dorsum red-brown with 20–27 dark brown cross bands on body and 15–20 blotches on tail; dark blotch on nape may fuse to first cross band. Venter tan or pink with dark brown bands that usually coincide with dorsolateral bands. Rostral visible from above pentagonal; nasal divided and separated by two internasals; prefontals paired; eyes small and directed more dorsally; loreal single and in contact with the second and third labials; one preocular; two postoculars; two primary temporals and three secondary temporals; 7–9 upper labials, sixth largest, and fourth enters the orbit; 7–10 lower labials; anterior chin shields longer than the second pair and the anterior pair contacts the first five lower labials; 114–121 ventrals; anal plate divided; 63–72 paired subcaudals. Keeled, striated and elongated dorsal scales in 19 rows at mid-body, reduced posteriorly to 17 rows; these characteristics distinguish this snake from all other Trinidad snakes. Juveniles with dark brown blotches four or five scale rows wide on dorsal midline and separated by light tan bands, one or two scale rows wide on mid-line. Dark bands narrow toward venter, light bands widen toward venter.
Similar Species: Trinidad and Tobago have few snakes that have a dorsal pattern of transverse bands and keeled scales, the coral snakes and their mimics have bands, but they tend to be slender, smooth scaled snakes. But, Linne’s Swamp Snake has bands when young but it has 17 scale rows, and the Water Coral has triangular-shaped markings and its pattern also contains red, but it has 15 rows of dorsal scales.

Habitat: An aquatic snake found in herbaceous swamps; ponds, ditches, slow moving; streams; rice paddies; flooded pastures.

Natural History: Nocturnal. Diet includes lizards, fish, and frogs. Reproduction clutch sizes are 8–18; some populations of this snake may be facultative ovoviviparous; incubation is 39−45 days. We found a clutch of eight eggs beneath corrugated tin about 10 meters from a water filled ditch in September.


Anaconda or Huilla, Eunectes murinus (Family Boidae)

Size. 7.6 m TL, females larger than males, neonates about 65 mm TL. The largest extant snake but not the longest. Diagnosis. The lack of labial pits, four symmetrical scales between eyes, and presence of subocular scales (between the eye and upper labials) will distinguish the anaconda from all other Trinidad and Tobago snakes. Loreal single; one preocular; one to four postoculars; usually two, sometimes one or three suboculars; 14–17 upper labials; 15–25 lower labials; 241–269 ventrals; anal plate single; 65–72 single subcaudals. Small, smooth dorsal scales in 53–69 rows at midbody. Dorsum olive brown with one or two rows of 36–45 dark brown or black blotches, and a lateral row of light-centered ocelli. Distribution. Widespread Amazonian species: Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, the Guyanas, Trinidad (not present on Tobago). Life History. A highly aquatic, nocturnal species that uses swamps, marshes, rivers, and quarries. Diet includes a variety of vertebrates: amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Reproduction. Courtship and copulation in December-January, 19–82 young born in July-August. Other common names: Anaconda, Huilla (pronounced 'weel') Water Boa,

Red Snake, Erythrolamprus ocellatus (Family Dipsadidae)

Size: 400–530 mm TL, hatchlings about 180 mm TL; tail 19.8% of SVL. Identification: The only Tobago snake with a red dorsum and a series of 21–28 dark ocelli on body with white-yellow center. Rostral visible from above; single loreal; divided nasal; one preocular; two postoculars; seven upper labials (3−4 enter orbit); nine lower labials; 168–179 ventrals; cloacal plate divided; 40–49 paired subcaudals; smooth dorsal scales in 15 rows at midbody with no reduction posteriorly; anterior chin shields larger or equal in size to posterior pair. Head black, red scales tipped with black, belly is white with some red pigment intruding from the dorsum. Habitat: Uses forest and forest edge habitats as well as cacao plantations.Biology: Diurnal particularly in early morning. Diet: snakes: Atractus trilineatus, Tantilla melanocephala, and the lizard Hemidactylus mabouia.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Yellow-tailed Cribo, Drymarchon corais (Family Colubridae)

Coluber corais Boie 1827: 537
Spilotes corais — Duméril & Bibron 1854: 223 (?)
Geoptyas collaris Steindachner 1867: 271
Geoptyas flaviventris Steindachner 1867
Drymarchon corais corais - Stejneger 1899
Phrynonax angulifer Werner 1923
Drymarchon corais — Wallach et al. 2014: 244

Other Common Names: Clibo or cribo noir, Yellow-tailed cribo.Size. 3 m TL. Diagnosis. The only Trinidad and Tobago snake with 17 scale rows at mid-body; scales have apical pits (difficult to see without magnification) a grey-brown dorsum that lightens posteriorly (yellow tail), ventrals about 195, subcaudals about 78; scales on the crown outlined in dark pigment and the labial seams outlined with brown; venter yellow.  Distribution. A widespread species found from the southern United States southward through Mexico, Central America, and southward to Argentina. On Trinidad and Tobago is is associated with forests but uncommon. Life History. A diurnal, forest snake. Diet includes virtually any vertebrate that can be overpowered and many invertebrates. Reproduction: Females reportedly produce clutches of 9–12 eggs. 

Trinidad Snail-eating Snake, Dipsas trinitatis (Family Dipsadidae)




Dipsas trinitatis Parker 1926: 206.
Dipsas variegata trinitatis — Peters 1960: 139.
Dipsas trinitatis — Harvey 2008.


Size: 638 mm SVL, 165 mm tail; tail 25–36% of the SVL. Identification: Slender, yellow, tan, and brown with 17–24 blotches on the dorsum; head significantly larger than the neck; the only Trinidad snake lacking a mental groove on the chin. Crown dark brown, sides of head tan, with dark brown pigment on seams of labials.  Similar species: Perhaps most easily confused with Sibon nebulata that is similar in body and head shape but is gray or brown and white and has a mental groove. Rostral barely visible from above; smooth scales in 15 rows with the vertebral row slightly enlarged, ventrals 168–189, subcaudals divided 81–92. Loreal single, one preocular, two postoculars, 7-9 upper labials, 9-12 lower labials, anal plate single 

Distribution: probably endemic to Trinidad but may also occur in the vicinity of Guarico, Venezuela. Habitat: A forest-edge snake that uses habitats disturbed by humans. Biology: Crepuscular, nocturnal; activity is sporadic. Diet: snails that lack an operculum; the snake uses a ratchet-like motion of its lower jaw to remove the snail from the shell.


Boos, H.E.A. 2001. The snakes of Trinidad and Tobago. Texas A&M University Press, 270 pp.
Harvey, Michael B. 2008. New and Poorly Known Dipsas (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Northern South America. Herpetologica 64 (4): 422-451.
Murphy, J.C. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of Trinidad and Tobago. Krieger Publishing, Malabar.
Murphy, J. C. and M. G. Rutherford.  2014. The first report of the snail-eating snake Dipsas variegata (Duméril, Bibron and Duméril) on Trinidad, its relationship to Dipsas trinitatis Parker (Squamata, Dipsadidae), and a discussion of microcephalic and macrocephalic ecomorphs in Dipsas. Herpetology Notes 7: 757-760.
Parker, H. W. 1926. A new snake from Trinidad. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (9) 18: 205-207
Peters, J. A. 1960. The snakes of the subfamily Dipsadinae. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool., Univ. Michigan (114): 224 pp.
Peters, J,A. Donoso-Barros, R. & Orejas-Miranda B. 1970. Catalogue of the Neotropical Squamata: Part I Snakes. Part II Lizards and Amphisbaenians. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 297: 347 pp.
Wallach, V. K. L. Williams, J. Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.

Ruschenberger's Treeboa, Corallus ruschenbergerii (Family Bodiae)


















Xiphosoma ruschenbergerii Cope 1876: 129.
Xiphosoma ruschenbergii -  Boulenger 1893: 99
Corallus cookei var. ruschenbergi -  Boettger 1898: 10.
Boa ruschenbergii - Stejneger 1902: 184.
Boa salmonidia Briceño Rossi 1934: 1141.
Corallus ruschenbergerii - Henderson 1997: 212.

Size. 1.87 m SVL, 2.2 m TL. Description. Deep labial pits, nasal scales in contact, and internasal scales in contact behind the nasals will separate this snake from all other T&T snakes. Body laterally compressed; head wide, distinct from neck. Rostral slightly visible from above; loreal divided; supraoculars and postoculars divided into small scales; 8–13 supralabials, 12–15 infralabials; 252–268 ventrals; anal single; single subcaudals 100–112. Smooth, dorsal scales in 38–45 rows at midbody. Dorsum khaki-brown to yellow-brown. Males with larger anal spurs than females

Distribution. Costa Rica, to Colombia and northern Venezuela, the Isla de Margarita; and Trinidad, Tobago. Life History. An arboreal, nocturnal, forest and forest-edge boid that occasionally descends to the ground. Readily seen at night using a flashlight and searching the canopy, common in Caroni Swamp and many locations in the Northern Range. Diet includes birds, mice, squirrels, bats, mongoose, porcupine rats, and mouse opossum. Reproduction. Courtship and mating in February; 20–30 young born August.


Acevedo-Charry, Orlando and Jose Rancés Caicedo-Portilla. 2016. Corallus ruschenbergerii (Rushcenberger Tree Boa) Diet. Herpetological Review 47 (1): 143-144
Boettger, O. 1898. Katalog der Reptilien-Sammlung im Museum der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Frankfurt/M. 2.Teil (Schlangen). Frankfurt/M (Gebr. Knauer), i-ix + 1-160.
Boos, H.E.A. 2001. The snakes of Trinidad and Tobago. Texas A&M University Press, 270 pp.
Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp.
Briceno-Rossi, A.L. 1934. El problema del ofidismo en Venezuela. Bol. Min. Salubr. Agric. Cria, Venezuela, Caracas, 1: 1079-1177
Cope, E.D. 1875. On the Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica with notes on the herpetology and ichthyology of Nicaragua and Peru. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia N.S. (2) 8: 93-183.
Esqueda; L.F. & E. La Marca. 2004. Geographic Distribution (Serpentes): Corallus ruschenbergerii. Herpetological Review 35(2):190
Henderson, R. W. 2002. Neotropical Treeboas. Krieger Publ. Company, Malabar, 198 pp.
Henderson, R. W., Pauers, M. J. and Colston, T. J. 2013. On the congruence of morphology, trophic ecology, and phylogeny in Neotropical treeboas (Squamata: Boidae: Corallus). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 109: 466–475. doi: 10.1111/bij.12052
Henderson, Robert W. 1997. A Taxonomic Review of the Corallus hortulanus complex of Neotropical Tree Boas. Carib. J. Sci. 33 (3-4): 198-221.
Henderson, Robert W. and Michael J. Pauers 2012. On the Diets of Neotropical Treeboas (Squamata: Boidae: Corallus). South American Journal of Herpetology 7 (2): 172-180.
Henderson, Robert W.; Michael J. Pauers and Timothy J. Colston 2013. On the congruence of morphology, trophic ecology, and phylogeny in Neotropical treeboas (Squamata: Boidae: Corallus). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, DOI: 10.1111/bij.12052
Kornacker, Paul M.;Dederichs, Ursula 1998. Herpetologische Eindrücke einer Venezuelareise - Teil 2: Die Llanos. Elaphe 6 (3): 68-73
Markezich, A.L. 2002. New distribution records of reptiles from Western Venezuela. Herpetological Review 33 (1): 69-74. McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
Natera-Mumaw, Marco; Luis Felipe Esqueda-González & Manuel Castelaín-Fernández 2015. Atlas Serpientes de Venezuela Santiago de Chile, Dimacofi Negocios Avanzados S.A., 456 pp.
Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
Rivas Fuenmayor, Gilson and Cesar Luis Barrio Amorós 2005. New Amphibian and Reptile records from Cojedes State, Venezuela. Herpetological Review 36 (2):205-209.
Sandoval, Luis and Gerardo Chaves 2014. Corallus ruschenbergeri. Behavior. Mesoamerican Herpetology 1 (2): 287.
 Solórzano, A. 2006. Snakes of the Osa Peninsula [Costa Rica]. Reptilia (GB) (48): 30-34.

Solórzano, A. 2006. Die Schlangen der Osa-Halbinsel [Costa Rica]. Reptilia (Münster) 11 (61): 28-31 Stejneger,L. 1902. An annotated list of batrachians and reptiles collected in the vicinity of La Guaira, Venezuela, with descriptions of two new species of snakes. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 24 [1901]: 179-192. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Yellow Puffing Snake, Spilotes sulphureus (Family Colubridae)

Natrix sulphurea Wagler 1824: 26
Coluber poecilostoma Wied-Neuwied 1824
Spilotes poecilostoma — Duméril, Bibron & Duméril 1854: 221
Phrynonax sulphureus — Boulenger 1894: 19
Pseustes sulphureus sulphureus — Beebe 1946: 41
Pseustes sulphureus — Gasc & Rodrigues 1980

Spilotes sulphureus — Jadin et al. 2013.

Size: 977 mm SVL, 1,424 mm TL, may exceed 3.0 m; tail about 45% of SVL; hatchlings relatively large 350–518 mm SVL.

Identification: Dorsal scales in 21 rows at mid-body reduced to 13 or 15 posteriorly; all rows keeled except the first two. This is a large black snake that may have yellow cross bands or spots on the anterior body, or the body may be more yellow than black.

Similar species: In Trinidad it is most easily confused with Clelia or Drymarchon, none of these have dorsal scales in 21 rows. Rostral visible from above; nasals semi-divided; loreal single; one preocular; three postoculars; eight upper labials, 10 lower labials; ventrals 208−226; single cloacal plate; divided subcaudals 125−145; dorsal scales smooth with apical pits.

Habitat: Forest canopy snake, probably rarely comes to the ground. Biology: Diurnal, mostly arboreal species that is uncommon. Diet includes most vertebrates (reptiles, birds and mammals) it can swallow. Reproduction: Females reported to lay eggs in August with young hatching in October after 84–86 days of incubation.

Boos, H.E.A. 2001. The snakes of Trinidad and Tobago. Texas A&M University Press, 270 pp.
Duellman, W. E. 1978. The biology of an equatorial herpetofauna in Amazonian Ecuador. Misc. Publ. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. 65: 1-352.
Duellman, W. E. 2005. Cusco Amazónico: The Lives of Amphibians and Reptiles in an Amazonian Rainforest. Comstock Pub Assoc.
Duellman, W.E., Salas, A.W. 1991. Annotated checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Cuzco Amazonico, Peru. Occas. Papers Mus. of Natur. Hist., Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence (143): 13 pp.
Frota, J.G. da; Pedroso dos Santos-Jr, Alfredo; Menezes-Chalkidis, H. de & Guimarães Guedes, A. 2005. As Serpentes Da Região Do Baixo Rio Amazonas, Oeste Do Estado Do Pará, Brasil (Squamata). Biociências 13 (2): 211-220
Fugler, Charles M. and A. Brad Walls. 1978. Snakes of the Upano Valley of Amazonian Ecuador. Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science 53 (3): 81-87.
Hamdan, B. & R. M. Lira-da-Silva 2012. The snakes of Bahia State, northeastern Brazil: species richness, composition and biogeographical notes. Salamandra 48 (1): 31-50.
Jadin, R. C., Burbrink, F. T., Rivas, G. A., Vitt, L. J., Barrio-Amorós, C. L. and Guralnick, R. P. 2013. Finding arboreal snakes in an evolutionary tree: phylogenetic placement and systematic revision of the Neotropical birdsnakes. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. 52 (3): 257–264; doi: 10.1111/jzs.12055.
Marques, O. AV Calleffo, Myriam E. 1997. Geographic Distribution. Pseustes sulphureus. Herpetological Review 28 (3): 160.
Marques, R., M.S. Tinôco, D. Couto- Ferreira, C.P. Fazolato, H.C. Browne-Ribeiro, M.L.O. Travassos, M.A. Dias & J.V.L. Mota 2011. Reserva Imbassaí Restinga: inventory of snakes on the northern coast of Bahia, Brazil. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3 (11): 2184–2191
Natera-Mumaw, Marco; Luis Felipe Esqueda-González & Manuel Castelaín-Fernández 2015. Atlas Serpientes de Venezuela Santiago de Chile, Dimacofi Negocios Avanzados S.A., 456 pp.
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 Lula Salles, R. de; Weber, L.N. & Silva-Soares, T. 2010. Reptiles, Squamata, Parque Natural Municipal da Taquara, municipality of Duque de Caxias, state of Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Brazil. Check List 6 (2): 280-286
Pérez-Santos, C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
Pontes, J.A.L.; Figueiredo, J.P., Pontes, RC. & Rocha, C.F.D. 2008. Snakes from the Atlantic Rainforest area of Serra do Mendanha, in Rio de Janeiro state, southeastern Brazil: a first approximation to the taxocenosis composition. Braz. J. Biol. 68(3): 601-609
Rivas, Gilson A.; César R. Molina, Gabriel N. Ugueto, Tito R. Barros, César L. Bar- Rio-Amorós & Philippe J. R. Kok 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64.
Santos-Costa, Maria Cristina dos; Gleomar Fabiano Maschio, Ana Lúcia da Costa Prudente 2015. Natural history of snakes from Floresta Nacional de Caxiuanã, eastern Amazonia, Brazil Herpetology Notes 8: 69-98.
Starace, Fausto 1998. Guide des Serpents et Amphisbènes de Guyane. IBIS Rouge Editions, Guadeloupe, Guyane, 450 pp.
Vanzolini, P. E. 1986. Addenda and corrigenda to the catalogue of Neotropical Squamata. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (70): 1-25.
Wagler,J. 1824. Serpentum Brasiliensium species novae, ou histoire naturelle des espèces nouvelles de serpens. In: Jean de Spix, Animalia nova sive species novae. [NAtrix bahiensis: 27,. Monaco, Typis Franc. Seraph. Hübschmanni, vii + 75 pp.
Whithworth, A. & Beirne, C. 2011. Reptiles of the Yachana Reserve. Global Vision International, 130 pp. 

Flat Snake, Siphlophis compressus (Family Dipsadidae)

Coluber compressus Daudin 1803: 247.
Trypanurgos compressus — Beebe 1946: 43.
Tripanurgos compressus — Peters & Orejas-Miranda 1970: 311.

Siphlophis compressus — Zaher & Prudente 1999.

Type locality: Surinam.

Distribution: In Central America from Costa Rica to  Panama, southward into Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and eastward into Venezuela, Trinidad, and the Guianas and southward into  Brazil. 

This is a semi-arboreal snake that specializes in feeding on lizards. Mainland populations are frequently observed in arboreal habitats. On Trinidad most of the specimens we observed were on the ground at night or in the early morning hours.

Alencar, Laura RV. MP Gaiarsa, and M Martins. 2013. The Evolution of Diet and Microhabitat use in Pseudoboine Snakes. South American Journal of Herpetology Apr 2013, Vol. 8, No. 1: 60-66.
Almendariz, A. 1991. Anfibios y Reptiles [del Ecuador]. Rev. Politecnica. XVI (3): 89-162.
Ávila, RW, RA Kawashita-Ribeiro. 2011. Herpetofauna of São João da Barra Hydroelectric Plant, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Check List 7 (6): 750-755.
Barreto-Guedes, T. Geziana Silva SN, N Lúcia da Costa Prudente and OAV Marques 2011. New records and geographical distribution of the Tropical Banded Treesnake Siphlophis compressus (Dipsadidae) in Brazil. Herpetology Notes 4: 341-346
Barrio-Amorós CL., Chacón-Ortiz A., Diasparra, JP, Orellana, AM,  Bautista J. & Molina C. 2010. Distribution of Siphlophis compressus (Daudin, 1803) in Venezuela with a remarkable geographic extension [Short Note]. Herpetozoa 23: - get paper here
Beebe, William 1946. Field notes on the snakes of Kartabo, British Guiana, and Caripito, Venezuela. Zoologica 31: 11-52
BERNARDE, P.S., ALBUQUERQUE, S., BARROS, T.O. & TURCI, L.C.B. 2012. Serpentes do Estado de Rondônia, Brasil. Biota Neotrop. 12(3): 1-29.
Bernarde, Paulo Sérgio;, Reginaldo Assêncio Machado & Luiz Carlos Batista Turci 2011. Herpetofauna da área do Igarapé Esperança na Reserva Extrativista Riozinho da Liberdade, Acre – Brasil. Biota Neotrop. 11 (3): 117-144.
Boos, H.E.A. 2001. The snakes of Trinidad and Tobago. Texas A&M University Press, 270 pp.
Cañas-Orozco, J. 2015. Auf Exkursion durch den kolumbianischen Amazonas-Regenwald Reptilia (Münster) 20 (115): 86-95.
Carrillo de Espinoza, Nelly & Icochea, Javier 1995. Lista taxonomica preliminar de los reptiles vivientes del Peru. Publicaciones del Museo de Historia Natural “Javier Prado”, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Serie A, Zoología (49): 1–27
Castro-Herrera, F. & Vargas-Salinas, F. 2008. Anfibios y reptiles en el departamento del Valle del Cauca, Colombia. Biota Colombiana 9 (2): 251 – 277.
Catenazzi, A., Lehr, E. & Von May, R. 2013. The amphibians and reptiles of Manu National Park and its buffer zone, Amazon basin and eastern slopes of the Andes, Peru. Biota Neotrop. 13(4): 269-283
Claessen, Hugo 2005. De slangen van de Guyana's. Deel VIII. Lacerta 63 (4): 136-151.
Cole, Charles J.; Carol R. Townsend, Robert P. Reynolds, Ross D. MacCulloch, and Amy Lathrop 2013. Amphibians and reptiles of Guyana, South America: illustrated keys, annotated species accounts, and a biogeographic synopsis. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 125 (4): 317-578; plates: 580-620.
Cortés Gómez, Angela María; Anyelet Valencia Aguilar, Diana Marcela Torres Domínguez, Lina María García Calderón, Diego Fernando Villaquirán Martínez, Andrea del Pilar Cáceres Franco, Fernando Castro Herrera 2010. Guía de los anfibios y reptiles. Área en conservación de la microcuenca Quebrada Pericos. [Valle de Cauca, Colombia]. Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca, Santiago de Cali: CVC, 37 pp.
Daudin, F. M. 1803. Histoire Naturelle Generale et Particuliere des Reptiles. Vol. 6. F. Dufart, Paris.
Dowling, H.G. 2002. “Intraspecific variation of the hemipenis”, a correction , with comments on other erroneous descriptions. Herpetological Review 33 (1): 12-14.
Duellman, W. E. 1978. The biology of an equatorial herpetofauna in Amazonian Ecuador. Misc. Publ. Univ. Kans. Mus. Nat. Hist. 65: 1-352.
Fraga R de, Stow AJ, Magnusson WE, Lima AP 2014. The Costs of Evaluating Species Densities and Composition of Snakes to Assess Development Impacts in Amazonia. PLoS ONE 9(8): e105453. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105453.
 Freitas, Marco Antonio de 2014. Squamate reptiles of the Atlantic Forest of northern Bahia, Brazil. Check List 10 (5): 1020-1030.
 Frota, J.G. da; Pedroso dos Santos-Jr, Alfredo; Menezes-Chalkidis, H. de & Guimarães Guedes, A. 2005. AS Serpentes Da Região do Baixo Rio Amazonas, Oeste do Estado do Pará, Brasil (Squamata). Biociências 13 (2): 211-220.
Gasc & Rodrigues 1980. Liste preliminaire des Serpents de la Guyane francaise. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. Paris 2 (4): 559-598.
Hamdan, B. & R. M. Lira-da-Silva 2012. The snakes of Bahia State, northeastern Brazil: species richness, composition and biogeographical notes. Salamandra 48 (1): 31-50.
Jenner, J. V.; Dowling, H. G. 1985. Taxonomy of American Xenodontine snakes: the tribe Pseudoboini. Herpetologica 41 (2): 161-172.
KAISER, H., BARRIO-AMORÓS, C. L., RIVAS, G. & GRISMER. L. 2003. Geographic Distribution; Serpentes: Siphlophis compressus. Herpetological Review 34 (2): 170.
Köhler, Gunther, Joseph Vargas, Johannes J. Köhler and Milan Vesel´y. 2013. Noteworthy distributional records of amphibians and reptiles from Costa Rica. Herpetological Review 44 (2): 280-283
Lancini,A.R. & Kornacker,P.M. 1989. Die Schlangen von Venezuela. Armitano Editores C.A., Caracas, 1-381
McConnell, G.J. 2013. A field guide to the snakes of Costa Rica. Edition Chimaira, 233 pp.
Mendes-Pinto, T. J. & S. Marques de Souza 2011. Preliminary assessment of amphibians and reptiles from Floresta Nacional do Trairão, with a new snake record for the Pará state, Brazilian Amazon. Salamandra 47 (4): 199-206.
Morato, S.A.A.; Calixto, P.O.; Mendes, L.R.; Gomes, R.; Galatti, U.; Trein, F.L.; Oliveira, F.S.; Ferreira, G.N. 2014. Guia fotográfico de identificação da herpetofauna da Floresta Nacional de Saracá-Taquera, Estado do Pará. Curitiba: STCP Engenharia de Projetos Ltda.; Porto Trombetas: MRN – Mineração Rio do Norte S.A.; 213 p.
Natera-Mumaw, Marco; Luis Felipe Esqueda-González & Manuel Castelaín-Fernández 2015. Atlas Serpientes de Venezuela Santiago de Chile, Dimacofi Negocios Avanzados S.A., 456 pp.
Neto, Antonio Mollo; Paola María Sánchez-Martínez and Renato Augusto Junqueira Gaiga 2013. Predation on the lizard Iguana iguana (Sauria: Iguanidae) by the snake Siphlophis compressus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae), at Rondônia state, Brazil. Herpetology Notes 6: 37-38.
 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 Lula Salles, R. de; Weber, L.N. & Silva-Soares, T. 2010. Reptiles, Squamata, Parque Natural Municipal da Taquara, municipality of Duque de Caxias, state of Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Brazil. Check List 6 (2): 280-286. Pérez-Santos,C. & Moreno, A.G. 1988. Ofidios de Colombia. Museo reegionale di Scienze Naturali, Torino, Monographie VI, 517 pp.
Peters , J. A. 1960. The snakes of Ecuador; check list and key. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 122: 489-541.
Pontes, J.A.L.; Figueiredo, J.P., Pontes, RC. and Rocha, C.F.D. 2008. Snakes from the Atlantic Rainforest area of Serra do Mendanha, in Rio de Janeiro state, southeastern Brazil: a first approximation to the taxocenosis composition. Braz. J. Biol. 68(3): 601-609. Riley, J. & J.M. Winch 1985. Tripanurgus compressus (Trinidad Pseudofalse Coral Snake): Eggs. Herpetological Review 16 (1): 29.
Rivas, GA.; CR Molina, GN Ugueto, TR Barros, C L. Barrio -Amorós & PJR Kok 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 .
Savage, J.M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna Between Two Continents, Between Two Seas. University of Chicago Press, 934 pp.
Sheehy, Coleman M.; Mario H. Yánez-Muñoz, Jorge H. Valencia, and Eric N. Smith 2014. A New Species of Siphlophis (Serpentes: Dipsadidae: Xenodontinae) from the Eastern Andean Slopes of Ecuador. South American Journal of Herpetology Apr 2014, Vol. 9, No. 1: 30-45. Solórzano, A. 2006. Snakes of the Osa Peninsula [Costa Rica]. Reptilia (GB) (48): 30-34.
 Solórzano, A. 2006. Die Schlangen der Osa-Halbinsel [Costa Rica]. Reptilia (Münster) 11 (61): 28-31.
Starace, Fausto 1998. Guide des Serpents et Amphisbènes de Guyane. IBIS Rouge Editions, Guadeloupe, Guyane, 450 pp.
Vilela, Bruno; Gomes De Lima, Marcelo; Gonçalves, Ubiratan; Skuk, Gabriel Omar 2011. Siphlophis compressus (Daudin, 1803) (Squamata: Dipsadidae): First records for the Atlantic forest north of the São Francisco river, northeastern Brazil. Cuadernos de Herpetología 25 (1).
 Vogt, R.C.; Ferrara, C.R.; Bernhard, R.; Carvalho, V.T.; Balensiefer, D.C.; Bonora, L.; Novelle, S.M.H. 2007. Capítulo 9. Herpetofauna. p. 127-143. In: Rapp Py-Daniel, L.; Deus, C.P.; Henriques, A.L.; Pimpão, D.M.; Ribeiro, O.M. (orgs.). Biodiversidade do Médio Madeira: Bases científicas para propostas de conservação. INPA: Manaus, 244pp.
Vrcibradic, D.; C.F.D. Rocha; M.C. Kiefer; F.H. Hatano; A.F. Fontes; M. Almeida-Gomes; C.C. Siqueira; J.A.L. Pontes; V.N.T. Borges-Junior; L.O. Gil; T. Klaion; E.C.N. Rubião; M. Sluys. 2011. Herpetofauna, Estação Ecológica Estadual do Paraíso, state of Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil. Check List 7 (6): 745-749.
Whithworth, A. & Beirne, C. 2011. Reptiles of the Yachana Reserve. Global Vision International, 130 pp.
Zaher, H. 1999. Hemipenial morphology of the South American xenodontine snakes, with a proposal for a monophyletic Xenodontinae and a reappraisal of colubrid hemipenes. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 240: 1-168.Zaher, H. & Prudente, A.L.C. 2003. Hemipenes of Siphlophis (Serpentes, Xenodontinae) and techniques of hemipenial preparation in snakes: a response to Dowling. Herpetological Review 34 (4): 302-307Zaher,H. & Prudente, L.C. 1999. Intraspecific variation of the hemipenis in Siphlophis and Tripanurgos. Journal of Herpetology 33 (4): 698-702.