Friday, October 21, 2016

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.

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