Thursday, November 1, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Micrurus boicora • A Remarkable New Species of Coralsnake of the Micrurus hemprichii species group from the Brazilian Amazon


Micrurus boicora 
Bernarde, Turci, Abegg & Franco, 2018

SALAMANDRA. 54(4)

Abstract
A new species of elapid snake of the genus Micrurus is described herein, from the states of Rondônia and Mato Grosso, in the western Brazilian Amazon. The new species has a single anal plate, a unique characteristic shared with members of the M. hemprichii species group. It can be distinguished from the other members of this group by having a parietal reddish band in juveniles (absent in adults) and the absence of brownish or orange-yellow dorsal body bands. In addition, this species is distinguished from M. hemprichii by its lower number of body triads, and from M. ortoni by its lower numbers of ventrals and subcaudals scales.

Key words: Squamata, Serpentes, Elapidae, Amazon rainforest, colour pattern, external morphology, Neotropical region.



Body dorsum (A) and venter (B) of Micrurus boicora sp. n. (IBSP 77.772, paratype) from the municipality of Cacoal, Rondônia, Brazil. 

Figure 4. Photographs of live individuals in the Micrurus hemprichii group.
Body dorsum (A) and venter (B) of Micrurus boicora sp. n. (IBSP 77.772, paratype) from the municipality of Cacoal, Rondônia, Brazil;
body dorsum (C) of Micrurus hemprichii (unvouchered, photographed by M. A. Passos) from the municipality of Itaituba, Pará, Brazil; body dorsum (D) of Micrurus ortoni (the “rondonianus” form, unvouchered) from the municipality of Cacoal, Rondônia, Brazil. 

Micrurus boicora sp. n.
 Micrurus hemprichii nec (Jan, 1858) – Bernarde & Abe, 2006 

Micrurus hemprichii nec (Jan, 1858) – Turci & Bernarde, 2008 
Micrurus sp. nov. – Bernarde et al. 2012

Diagnosis and comparisons: Micrurus boicora can be distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: cloacal plate single; narrow parietal reddish band in juveniles present (absent in adults); body triads 5; brownish or orange-yellow dorsal body bands absent; white body rings equidistantly arranged, more than 11 ventral scales apart; red gular region; with red spots on belly triads; ventrals 155–166; subcaudals 19–23.
....

Etymology: The specific epithet boicora is a Tupi-Guarani name (mbóî = snake; corá = coral), employed herein as a noun in apposition alluding to the coral coloration of the new species. Many Amerindians and peasants in Brazil collectively name true coralsnakes and their mimics as “Boicorá”.


Paulo Sérgio Bernarde, Luiz Carlos Batista Turci, Arthur Diesel Abegg and Francisco Luís Franco. 2018. A Remarkable New Species of Coralsnake of the Micrurus hemprichii species group from the Brazilian Amazon. SALAMANDRA. 54(4); 249-258.


Resumo: Uma nova espécie de serpente elapídea do gênero Micrurus é descrita aqui, proveniente dos estados de Rondônia e Mato Grosso, no oeste da Amazônia Brasileira. A nova espécie possui placa anal simples, uma característica unicamente compartilhada entre os membros do grupo de espécies M. hemprichii. Ela é diagnosticável dos outros membros desse grupo por possuir banda parietal avermelhada em juvenis (ausente em adultos) e ausência de bandas dorsais corporais amareladas ou laranjas. Além disso, essa espécie distingue-se de M. hemprichii pelo menor número de tríades corporais, e de M. ortoni pelo menor número de escamas ventrais e subcaudais. 
Palavras-chave. Squamata, Serpentes, Elapidae, Floresta Amazônica, padrão de coloração, morfologia externa, Região Neotropical.

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