Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Name Changes for T&T Snakes in the Genus Liophis

Erythrolamprus reginae. JCM
Using eight mitochondrial and nuclear genes Gazziotin et al. present a phylogenetic analysis of the New World snake family Dipsadidae that included 246 terminal taxa and 196 dipsadids. Two previously un-sampled dipsadid genera, Sordellina and Rhachidelus, were included in the analysis. The definitions of the genera, Erythrolamprus, Clelia, Hypsirhynchus, Philodryas and Phimophis, and the tribes Alsophiini, Echinantherini and Conophiini, were revised. In order to maintain monophyly, the genus Umbrivaga was synonymized with Erythrolamprus, and two new genera were erected to accommodate Phimophis iglesiasi and Clelia rustica, as well as closely related species. The West Indian genera Schwartzophis, Darlingtonia, Antillophis and Ocyophis were also resurrected.

This study impacts the Trinidad & Tobago fauna by moving all of the members of the genus Liophis to the genus Erythrolamprus. Thus, Trinidad & Tobago now have seven species in the genus Erythrolamprus, E. aescapulii, E. bizona,  E. cobella, E. melanotus, E. ocellatusE. reginae, and E. sp from Tobago.

Grazziotin, F. G., Zaher, H., Murphy, R. W., Scrocchi, G., Benavides, M. A., Zhang, Y.-P. and Bonatto, S. L. (2012), Molecular phylogeny of the New World Dipsadidae (Serpentes: Colubroidea): a reappraisal. Cladistics, 28: 437–459.

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