Apostolepis alphonsehogei

Passos, Paulo, Prudente, Ana L. C., Ramos, Luciana O., Caicedo-Portilla, José Rances & Lynch, John D., 2018, Species delimitations in the Atractus collaris complex (Serpentes: Dipsadidae), Zootaxa 4392 (3), pp. 491-520: 507-513

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Apostolepis alphonsehogei


Atractus alphonsehogei   Cunha & Nascimento, 1983

Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8

Atractus alphonsehogei   CUNHA & NASCIMENTO, 1983:25 ( FIG. 2 View FIGURE 2 PP. 27).

Holotype. Adult male ( MPEG 14928) collected by O. Cunha and F. Nascimento on August 0 1 1978 at Bela Vista, Km 75 of the PA-242 road near municipality Nova Timboetuba (ca., 0 1 ° 12’47’’S, 47 ° 23’18’’W; 30 m asl), state of Pará, Brazil ( Fig. 8 View FIGURE 8 ).

Paratypes. Thirteen specimens, eleven of them from the state of Pará and the other two from the state of Maranhão, all of them collected by O. Cunha, F. Nascimento or by both in the same fieldtrip: female ( MPEG 2221 View Materials ) collected on September 20 1972 on road PA-140 from Santo Antônio do Tauá (ca., 0 1 ° 08’S, 48 ° 07’W; 20m asl) toward municipality of Vigia (00 ° 51’S, 48 ° 08’W; 10m asl) GoogleMaps   ; male ( MPEG 8573 View Materials ) collected on March 0 2 1975 and female ( MPEG 8667 View Materials ) collected on October 0 7 1974 on Parada Bom Jesus on the PA-242 road, 11 Km to municipality of Bragança (01 ° 03'13’’S, 46 ° 45’56’’W; 10m asl) GoogleMaps   ; male ( MPEG 12593 View Materials ) collected on September 17 1976 at PA-140 road in the locality of Santa Rosa da Vigia 12 Km (airline) from the municipality of Vigia; female ( MPEG 9949 View Materials ) collected on June 26 1975 at Cacoal Farm, Arari road a confluence of PA-242 27 Km from the municipality of Bragança; two males ( MPEG 2976 View Materials ) and ( MPEG 10130 View Materials ) collected on March 14 and 10 1976, respectively and three females ( MPEG 6408 View Materials ) collected on March 27 1974, and ( MPEG 10129 View Materials ) and ( MPEG 10132 View Materials ) both collected on March 10 1976 at locality of Colônia Nova, Km 264 of the BR-316 highway near to Rio Gurupi (ca., 0 1 ° 49’S, 48 ° 24’W; 30m asl) GoogleMaps   ; female ( MPEG 10093 View Materials ) collected on June 23 1975 at Km 224 of the BR-316 highway; and two other males from the state of Maranhão: ( MPEG 10874 View Materials ) collected on November 0 2 1975 on BR- 316 highway 25 Km before Rio Gurupi (ca., 0 1 ° 49’S, 46 ° 06’W; 46m asl), Nova Vida, and ( MPEG 11145 View Materials ) collected on February 23 1976 at São Raimundo ca. 8 Km from Santa Inês (03 ° 39’S, 45 ° 23’W; 30m asl) GoogleMaps   .

Diagnosis. Atractus alphonsehogei   is distinguished from all congeners, except for those species of the A. collaris   species group by having one (usually) or two (rarely) apical pits on dorsal scales of both sexes and supracloacal tubercles in the cloacal region of mature males (Passos et al. 2013b). Additionally, the following unique combination of morphological characters is unique from the species and also distinguishes it from any species of Atractus: (1) dorsal scale rows 17/17/17 with apical pits and supracloacal tubercles in males; (2) postoculars two; (3) moderately long loreal, contacting first three supralabials; (4) temporals 1+2; (5) seven supralabials, third and fourth contacting eye; (6) seven infralabials, first three contacting chinshields; (7) six maxillary teeth; (8) gular scale rows in four series; (9) preventrals usually four; (10) ventrals 163–176 in females, 150–162 in males; (11) subcaudals 17–21 in females, 23–26 in males; (12) in preservative, dorsum brown to grayish black, with cream occipital collar incomplete, first dorsal scale rows with lighter center limited dorsally by dark brown lateral lines on the second and third scale rows, and two barely conspicuous brown dorsolateral lines on the sixth to seventh scale rows on each side of body; (13) in preservative, venter cream except for two lines (one from each side of belly) on the lateral margins of ventral scales (paraventral region); (14) small body size, females reaching 284 mm SVL, males 218 mm; (15) moderate tail length in females (8.0–11.4% SVL) and males (12.3– 13.1% SVL); (16) hemipenis moderately bilobed, non-capitate, and non-calyculate.

Comparisons. Atractus alphonsehogei   differs from all members of the A. collaris   species group, except A. collaris   and A. gaigeae   , by having first supralabial contacting loreal (vs. first supralabial not contacting loreal in A. caxiuana   , A. hoogmoedi   , A. surucucu   , and A. zidoki   ). Atractus alphonsehogei   differs from A. collaris   in having calcified alary spines and hemipenial lobes centrifugally oriented, dorsum uniformly dark brown or black lacking spots, and cream supralabials (vs. alary spines lacking calcification and lobes centrolinearly oriented, dorsum with conspicuous spots, and yellow supralabials); from A. gaigeae   in having 163–176 ventrals in females, 150–162 in males, six maxillary teeth, and lacking the vertebral line (vs. 200–214 ventrals in females, 184–198 in males; usually five maxillary teeth, and conspicuous vertebral line).

Description. Head indistinct from body, neraly twice as long as wide, and slightly flattened in lateral view; snout rounded in dorsal view and truncated in lateral view; head length about twice as long as wide; rostrum-orbit distance about one-third of head length; nostril-orbit distance equivalent to pre-frontal length; interorbital distance slightly smaller than parietal length; rostral subpyramidal in frontal view, wider than high, and visible in dorsal view; internasals slightly wider than long; internasal suture sinistral with respect to prefrontal suture; prefrontal as wider as long; supraocular subtrapezoidal in dorsal view, about twice as long as wide; frontal subpyramidal, as long as wide; parietal about twice as long as wide; nasal divided; nostril between prenasal and postnasal; prenasal about twice as high as long; postnasal shorter than prenasal, as high as long; loreal long, contacting first three supralabials; pupil round; two postoculars; upper postocular higher and longer than lower postocular; temporals 1+2; first temporal about twice as long as high; upper posterior temporals usually not fused in a single shield, about three times as long as wide; supralabials seven, third and fourth contacting eye; first four supralabials nearly similar in height; sixth supralabial usually taller and seventh supralabial longer than remaining supralabials; symphysial subtringular, about three times as wide as long; fist pair of infralabials preventing symphysial/chinshields contact; infralabials seven, first three contacting chinshields; chinshields three times as long as wide; gular scales in four series; preventrals usually four; dorsal scale rows 17/17/17; dorsal scales usually with one apical pit on both sexes and supracloacal tubercles in mature males; terminal spine large (longer than last subcaudal), conical and slightly acuminate.

Maxilla arched in dorsal view with usually with four prediastemal teeth and two postdiastemal teeth; first two teeth moderately spaced (smaller than teeth size); spaces among each one of third and fourth teeth longer (similar to the teeth size); prediastemal teeth, posteriorly curved, angular, robust at base and narrowed at the apices; teeth decreasing posteriorly in size; diastema longer than size of postdiastemal tooth; postdiastemal tooth half-size of predistemal ones; lateral maxillary process little developed lacking posterior projection.

Color pattern variation in preservative. Dorsum of head usually uniformly dark brown to black, displaying an usually incomplete (rarely complete; MPEG 8667) occipital light collar (one to two scales long) extending from parietal tip to lower temporal region; anterior portion of snout (rostral, internasal, and anterior portion of prefrontals) occasionally cream colored ( MPEG 8667, 9949); more rarely, both collar parts connected on the medial region ( MPEG 8667); occipital collar extends from end of parietal to lower temporal region; lateral surface of head brown to nearly to mid-ventral region of supralabials; supralabials with cream spots except for third and fourth supralabials contacting the eye almost entirely dark brown; posterior region of sixth and fully seventh supralabials usually dark brown; infralabials cream with dark brown spots; spots generally covering first two infralabials, anterior chinshields, and posterior region of third to sixth infralabials; gular region and preventrals usually uniformly cream; ventral surface of body and tail uniformly cream, except for lateral margins of ventral scales dark brown to black; lateral pigmentation of ventral scales longitudinally arranged forming paraventral lines; dorsal background of body brown to dark brown, usually with continuous dorsolateral black stripes above the sixth scale row (one scale wide); stripes occasionally located on the dorsal edges of first three scale rows but sometimes restricted to first two scale rows; lower half of first two scale rows sometimes light pigmented creating the impression of a light stripe due to the contrast between the dark brown lines dorsally; central portion of first dorsal scale row usually cream pigmented contrasting sharply with paraventral and dorsoslateral dark lines on the first three scale rows.

Color pattern variation in life. Species known only from the type-series and two additional topotypes, lacking any information regarding coloration in life.

Microdermatoglyphics. At basal portion of scales, A. alphonsehogei   differs from A. collaris   by presenting more triangular denticulations and by not presenting visible micro-ornamentations at cell surface under magnifications up to 10.000x ( Fig. 9C View FIGURE 9 ).

Hemipenis morphology. Retracted organ extends at level of sixth to eighth subcaudal and bifurcates at level of fifth to seventh subcaudal (n = 2). Fully everted and almost maximally expanded hemipenes (n = 2, MPEG 10874, 11145) render a moderately bilobed, non-capitate and non-calyculate; lobes barely centrifugally oriented distally and slightly distinct from hemipenial body; distal portion of lobes clavate with nearly attenuated apices; lobular region do not distinct from the hemipenial body, both in ornamentation and lacking the capitular groove; lobes and hemipenial body uniformly covered by alary spines (sensu Passos et al. 2013d); alary spines with reduced size on the lobular region, forming irregular and barely defined flounces at distal portion of hemipenial body on the asulcate side; alary spines with widely basal region above lobular region on both sides of organ; sulcus spermaticus deeper until its division, bifurcating to the half-length of organ; branches of sulcus spermaticus centrifugally oriented, running to tip of each lobe; margins of sulcus spermaticus laterally expanded along all sulcus spermaticus extension, lacking spinules; hemipenial body sub-cylindrical scattered with larger alary spines, concentrated on the median region of asulcate side of organ; basal naked pocket indistinct; basalmost region of hemipenis with longitudinal plicae and dispersed spinules ( Fig. 10C View FIGURE 10 ).

Meristic and morphometric variations. Largest male SVL 218 mm, TL 26 mm; largest female SVL 284 mm, TL 22 mm; tail 12.3–13.1% SVL (mean = 12.7; SD = 0.3; n = 7) in males, 8.0–11.4% SVL (mean = 8.9; SD = 1.2; n = 7) in females; ventrals 150–162 (mean = 155.7; SD = 4.5; n = 7) in males, 163–176 (mean = 168.1; SD = 5.1; n = 7) in females; subcaudals 23–26 (mean = 25.4; SD = 1.1; n = 7) in males, 17–21 (mean = 19.1; SD = 1.5; n = 7) in females; preventrals 3 (n =1) or 4 (n = 13); dorsals at level of second subcaudal 8–9 (mean = 8.3; SD = 0.3; n = 18 sides); midbody diameter 3.6–4.0 mm (n = 2).

Distribution. Apparently restricted to easternmost portions of the Brazilian Amazonia near the Atlantic coast, from Vigia (00 ° 51’S, 48 ° 08’W), state of Pará southeast to Santa Inês (03 ° 40’S, 45 ° 22’W), state of Maranhão. Atractus alphonsehogei   occurs from sea level up to 50 m elevation ( Fig. 13 View FIGURE 13 ).

Remarks. Atractus alphonsehogei   is known to date only from the original type series (14 individuals) and two additional topotypes ( MPEG 13907–08), all which collected between 1972 and 1978. The absence of additional samples in almost 40 years, as well as its relatively restricted range may represent substantial evidence of rarity and endemism. Such combination of factors would render A. alphonsehogei   a rare and highly threatened taxon in view of the broad deforestation in this region of Amazonia during the last three decades. Considering that the area harbors other endemic taxa (e.g., Atractus hoogmoedi   —Prudente & Passos 2010) our data provide further support to the proposition of a conservation unit in the coastal region of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.


Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi