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A Revision of Snakes of the Genus Conophis (Family

Sexual dimorphism is evident in the number of subcaudals


_Conophis pulcher plagosus_ Smith, Journ. Washington Acad. Sci. 31:121-122, March 15, 1941 (Type.--United States National Museum, no. 109707; type locality: Tonala, Chiapas); Smith and Taylor, Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 33(pt. 2):326, March 20, 1950; Stuart, Contr. Lab. Vert. Biol. Univ. Michigan, 65:19-20, March, 1954; Cochran, Bull. U. S. Natl. Mus., 220:167, 1961.

_Conophis pulcher similis_, Smith, Proc. U. S. Natl. Mus., 92:395, November 5, 1942; Proc. U. S. Natl. Mus., 93:408, October 29, 1943; Smith and Taylor, Bull. U. S. Natl. Mus., 187:43-44, October 5, 1945; Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 33(pt. 2):43-44, March 20, 1950; Maldonado-Koerdell, Inst. Mexicanos Recursos Nat. Renov. pp. 132-133, 1953.

_Types._--Three in the United States National Museum, nos. 6751 (2 specimens) and 6803, obtained by Henery Hague. Type locality: "Peten," or "Verapaz," Guatemala. There is much doubt about localities for many of Hague's specimens collected in the 1860's (Stuart, 1948:10). Since _Conophis pulcher_ is found predominantly in semi-arid environments, the types might have come from the semi-arid Cahabon, Negro, or Salama river basins--all places near the sugar plantation that Hague managed at San Jeronimo, Baja Verapaz. Possibly the types were obtained from as far away as the Motagua Valley or the southeastern highlands of Guatemala, both of which areas Hague is known to have

visited.

_Diagnosis._--Paravertebral stripes present at least posteriorly (fig. 1, F); eight or ten stripes at mid-body; lateral dark stripe passing through eye anteriorly and including at least upper one-half of second scale-row from neck region posteriorly to place of scale reduction near mid-body; eight supralabials immaculate or having dark ventral margins.

_Variation._--Twenty-six specimens have 161 to 182 (169.5 +- 5.31) ventrals. Eighteen of these snakes with complete tails have 65 to 79 (70.6 +- 3.93) subcaudals; the number of ventrals plus subcaudals varies from 231 to 251 (239.3). In 26 specimens the reduction from 19 to 17 dorsal scales takes place between ventrals 94 and 119 (104.6 +- 4.90). Sexual dimorphism is evident in the number of subcaudals; eleven females have 65 to 71 (68.2), and seven males have 70 to 79 (74.3) subcaudals. The longest specimen (AMNH 58364) is a female from El Zamarano, Honduras, having a body length of 703 mm., a tail length of 164 mm. and a total length of 867 mm. The smallest juvenile (MCZ 49793) from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, has a body length of 162 mm., a tail length of 46 mm. and a total length of 208 mm.

The dorsal ground-color is pale brown or white; black or dark brown stripes are present dorsally and laterally. Normally ten stripes are present at mid-body; the first pair on the first row of dorsal scales; the second pair on the upper half of 2nd and lower part of 3rd rows; the third pair on 4th row; the fourth pair on 7th and sometimes part of 8th rows; the fifth pair (paravertebral stripes) on the 9th row. Posterior to the place of reduction from 19 to 17 rows by the fusion of the 3rd and 4th rows, the third, fourth and fifth pairs of stripes are displaced downward one row. Sometimes the second and third pairs of stripes are fused resulting in only eight stripes at mid-body. On some specimens the fourth and fifth pairs of stripes are close together, but in none are they fused so as to result in a pattern of six stripes at mid-body.

The paravertebral stripes begin anteriorly on the nape or at any point on the anterior one-third of the body and continue as discrete stripes onto the base of the tail. Anteriorly these stripes are always broken into a series of dashes; posteriorly the stripes are continuous. In specimens in which the paravertebral stripes do not begin on the anterior-most part of the body, there is no paravertebral pigmentation anteriorly.


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